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Unsightly Skin Tags? Your Doctor Can Help

Unsightly Skin Tags? Your Doctor Can Help

Unsightly Skin Tags

Skin tags are a common condition that appear as harmless fleshy bumps that protrude from the surface of your skin. They can happen to anyone and often run in families. Often, skin tags form on areas where friction happens, such as around your neck, between the thighs, around the eyelids, and under your arms. Although a skin tag isn’t medically dangerous, they can be annoying and uncomfortable.

If you have a skin tag, you’ve probably wondered how to remove it. And while it’s not necessary to remove a skin tag, doing so may help you feel better about your appearance. You may also consider removing your skin tag if it regularly gets in the way of your clothing or jewelry.

Removing skin tags at home isn't a good idea

It’s entirely possible to remove a skin tag at home. However, complications are possible, since many home removal methods (such as using nail clippers to cut off a skin tag) can introduce infection, cause bleeding, and may leave you with scars when it’s healed. Because of this, it’s better to visit a dermatologist to remove a skin tag.

Skin tag removal at a doctor's office

Since removing skin tags at home isn’t recommended, visit your doctor if you want them removed. Your doctor may use several different methods to remove a skin tag. These include:

  • Freezing it off. A small dollop or spray of liquid nitrogen applied directly to your skin tag will encourage the skin tag to fall off. It may hurt a little as the skin around it can form a small blister, which will heal on its own.
  • Cutting it off. Your doctor may use a scalpel or special scissors to clip the skin tag off. If your doctor is concerned about pain, a local anesthetic may be applied beforehand.
  • Burning it off. Burning is a removal technique that’s unlikely to leave any scars or marks. A wire heated with an electric current becomes hot and is then used to burn through the small stem that attaches the skin tag to your skin. As the heat passes through the stem it’ll also cauterize it, so there’s minimal or no bleeding.

If you have more than one skin tag, it’s a smart idea to have your doctor remove them all at once, especially if you’re trying to get your insurance to pay for the procedure. Even if your insurance doesn’t cover it, having skin tags removed may be cheaper than you expect. In many cases, it can cost as little as $100 to have them removed, although if you have a lot of skin tags, it may cost more. Your total price will depend on your insurance, deductible, and the doctor you choose.