Dermatologists say nay: The tags are almost never cancerous and don’t need to be removed; in fact, they’re (almost!) always benign. And while many people opt to remove them due to discomfort or for cosmetic reasons, there is no harm in leaving them be. There are extremely rare exceptions to this rule: In one study, two patients with known basal cell nevus syndrome (BCNS) were found to have multiple basal cell carcinomas that resembled ordinary skin tags. “There are rare cases where skin cancers, such as basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and even melanoma, can mimic a skin tag,” says dermatologist Avnee Shah, MD. “Going to a board-certified dermatologist assures a trained eye is examining the lesion and determining the risk of a more harmful condition masquerading as a skin tag.” To be safe, if any tag is growing, changing color, or bleeding and itching, it’s definitely time to see an expert. Find out 6 surprising signs of disease your skin can reveal.
If you notice a growth on your skin, don't assume it's a skin tag right away. Check with a doctor first, as it can signify a more severe condition. If the growth is confirmed to be a skin tag and you want to remove it manually, sterilize your tools and check for any allergic reactions first, particularly if applying essential oils. If home remedies don't work, you may visit a dermatologist as a last resort.
At Skin Wellness Center of Alabama, we offer cutting-edge skin care and dermatology services to our patients in the Greater Birmingham area, including Hoover and Homewood. At our offices in Birmingham & Chelsea, AL, our certified dermatologists are here to listen to your concerns and offer the individualized, high level of patient care you seek. We believe in making care accessible and affordable, and we will go out of our way to accommodate your visit.
There are a few at-home skin tag removal kit options you can pick up from pharmacies - some products are designed to freeze small skin tags, others involve wrapping small rubber bands around the skin tag to cut off the blood supply, and we’ve also seen ones where you apply a solution to the tag and cover it in a bandaid to hinder the supply of oxygen.
Cauterization. Burning off a skin tag should never be attempted at home. This is a procedure that must be conducted by an experienced medical professional. Electrocauterization requires a special tool that is heated and then carefully applied to the skin tag; the skin tag may not come off immediately. It may fall off in the hours or days following the procedure.
Moles are clusters of pigment-producing cells that can appear anywhere on the skin—alone or in groups—as tan, brown, black, or yellowish, skin-toned spots. If you have a mole you want to remove, the safest, most effective way to do it is by consulting with a doctor to have it professionally removed. It's an easy out-patient procedure for benign, noncancerous moles that just takes a few minutes. Attempting to remove a mole on your own can result in scarring, bleeding, infection, and the possibility of missing a cancerous mole. If you really don't want to deal with surgery, try fading the appearance of your mole using an unverified home remedy.
The first mole I used this on went away in 2 weeks. I Soaked a qtip and held it there for a minute 3 times a day. You won’t think it’s working but suddenly one day the mole is itchy and it gets gummy and crumbles off. I next tried it on a clear mole on my nose Ive had for 35 years. It took the same qtip method but this one took over a month - it got itchy and I rubbed it and it peeled off. I am so happy! I went through 2 large bottles but it is cheaper than a doctor and I have no scarring. * - Mindy
I'm one of those people who don't think much of natural remedies. If a pill or a shot will handle whatever ailment I've got I'll take it. Against my nature, I decided to give this product a shot to clear up severe toenail fungus on both of my big toes. Wow am I impressed! Used in conjunction with a tree tea oil soap in the shower, this stuff began eating away the fungus within 2-3 weeks while leaving the healthy part of the nail alone. After 6 weeks I'm almost completely fungus free. I've been saturating the nail every night and sometimes 2x a day. Best results after filing down infected area and then applying oil. Highly recommend this product.
Experts don't know the exact cause of skin tags, but they believe that these growths appear when skin rubs against skin. As such, skin tags are often found in armpits, or on the neck and groin.9 In other cases, your skin tag may be confused with a condition known as the Birt-Hogg-Dube (BHD) syndrome, a condition that produces growths on the skin that look exactly like skin tags.10
Disclaimer - These products, the information and statements contained within this web site, including any links to external sites, are designed for educational purposes only and are not intended to replace medical advice. These statements have not been assessed by the FDA. These homeopathic products have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration for safety or efficacy. The FDA is not aware of scientific evidence to support homeopathy as effective. Any information provided is not intended to replace medical advice offered by a physician nor should this information be used to treat any health issues without first consulting with a physician or pediatrician. Use as instructed and if your condition persists, see your medical professional.
A biopsy usually involves taking cells or samples from the mole to be analyzed in a lab, according to the Mayo Clinic. Moles are usually just clusters of pigment cells called melanocytes, according to the Cleveland Clinic, but sometimes they can become cancerous. A biopsy helps determine if there is anything wrong with the mole, like melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer.
Congenital nevi are moles that are present at birth. Congenital nevi occur in about one in 100 people. These moles are slightly more likely to develop into melanoma (cancer) than are moles that appear after birth. A mole or freckle should be checked if it has a diameter of more than a pencil eraser or any characteristics of the ABCDEs of melanoma (see below).
Treat with apple cider vinegar. Get a cotton ball and soak it in apple cider vinegar until it is totally saturated. Place the cotton ball on your skin tag and hold for a few minutes. You can move the ball in a circular motion on the skin to increase absorption if you like. Repeat this process three times per day until your skin tag falls off. This method is usually quite effective. Depending on your skin the vinegar may not be as effective so you can try using apple cider by itself. 
Skin tags are usually harmless, so treatment isn’t necessary unless the lesion causes irritation. Although home remedies and over-the-counter products are effective, inexpensive solutions, see a doctor if a skin tag doesn't respond to home treatment, bleeds, or continues to grow. Several procedures can successfully remove a skin tag with minimal pain and scarring.
Castor oil has been a medicine cabinet staple for generations, much like baking soda. Together, they may help to safely get rid of a bothersome skin tag. Mix two parts castor oil with one part baking soda and rub it gently over the skin tag. Cover with a piece of plastic wrap, or banana or papaya peel, and secure with a bandage. Leave on overnight and rinse off in the morning. Repeat nightly until the skin tag falls off.
The last issue to consider with the cost of mole removal is the charge for pathology. All moles, no matter how benign they may appear, should be sent for pathological study to confirm their histology. Finally, mole removal is basically elective and cosmetic when the mole appears clinically benign;however, if your dermatologist has suspicions or doubts regarding the benignity of the mole, then he is performing a medically indicated excisional biopsy.
Removing skin tags can be done easily in a dermatologist’s office. Most of the time, the appointment begins with the dermatologist inspecting the skin tag to be sure that it is only a benign skin tag. Likely, the dermatologist is also ruling out any signs of infection as well. After that the dermatologist will probably clean the area and use one of the following procedures to remove your skin tags:
Use tea tree oil. Tea tree oil may be helpful for certain skin conditions, such as acne, fungal infections, and bug bites, so you can try it on your mole if you like. Brush tea tree oil on the mole twice daily using a q-tip. At night, you can also soak a cotton ball in tea tree oil and secure it over the mole with a Band-Aid. Repeat this method for a month, or however long it takes the mole to go away. However, keep in mind that applying tea tree oil to your skin daily may cause it to burn. Stop if skin irritation occurs.
Michelle Nguyen, a dermatologist and the director of Mohs micrographic surgery at Tufts Medical Center in Boston, tells Allure that what we call skin tags are really just benign skin lesions composed of normal skin tissue. New York City dermatologist Joshua Zeichner adds that skin tags, comprised of extra skin and fat, can happen to anyone. There is, however, a genetic component to them, and people whose parents had them are more likely to get them themselves.
Skin tags have been linked to diabetes. "We know that diabetics are more prone to them. More research is needed to know exactly why that is scientifically, but there’s some correlation that we observed with diabetes," says Geraghty. Though doctors don't fully understand why, the body's resistance to insulin might have something to do with it. So, if you have diabetes, you may be at an increased risk of developing skin tags.
Back in the 1980s, there was some speculation that skin tags were more common in people who went on to develop colon polyps or colon cancer. Subsequent research published in the Archives of Internal Medicine and the Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology, however, found no association. That means people with skin tags had no greater chance of developing colon polyps or cancer. The authors concluded skin tags should not be used as a reason for more intensive screening.
But skin tags are generally benign, so I’ll probably just live with it. The same way I live with the ones on my genitals — a story I can now look back on and laugh at. Skin tags. I thought I’d contracted some disease as yet unknown to science, but really, I had skin tags. No wonder that poor ob-gyn almost laughed me out of the stirrups. Because if there’s one things that’s true, it’s that about half of us have skin tags — whether you can see them or not.