Chances are you already know what a skin tag is, but if not the blurb from Wikipedia should clear things up. Maybe you have one, know someone that has one, or are just curious. I have had a couple skin tags for so long now, I couldn’t tell you exactly when they appeared. My dad has them, my mom has them, I guess it was inevitable right? They don’t hurt or get in the way, other than visually/self esteem they don’t bother me. That’s the thing though, we generally care about how we look even when we don’t want to.
An acrochordon (plural acrochorda; also known as a skin tag or fibro epithelial polyp) is a small benign tumor that forms primarily in areas where the skin forms creases, such as the neck, armpit, and groin. They may also occur on the face, usually on the eyelids. Acrochorda are harmless, are typically painless and usually do not grow or change over time. Though tags up to a half-inch long have been seen, they are typically the size of a grain of rice.
It is believed that skin tags occur from skin rubbing up against skin, since they are so often found in skin creases and folds. Studies have shown existence of low-risk HPV 6 and 11 in skin tags, hinting at a possible role in its pathogenesis. Acrochorda have been reported to have a prevalence of 46% in the general population. A causal genetic component is thought to exist. They also are more common in women than in men.
Why did it bother me so much?
Well one in particular happened to be right in a spot that is always visible. My neck, right where no matter the collar you could always see it. Up until recently it was smaller and more or less the same color as my skin so it didn’t draw my attention too much. Lately though, it had gotten bigger and in the process I think it seemed to have trouble with it’s blood supply because it would sometimes turn shades of purple.
The only reason I have for wanting to get rid of mine is purely aesthetic. The first one was in a place I couldn’t ignore if I wanted to, always staring me in the face when I would catch my reflection in a mirror. I already have plenty of self-esteem issues, and with this at least there were things I could try.
How did you do it?
The most popular method I found to remove skin tags at home is to tie dental floss around it, as close to the base as possible. This cuts off the blood supply and the skin tag will turn purple, then black, and shrivel up some before it finally just falls off. It’s not painless, but it’s not painful either. There is some slight discomfort, but honestly I have had acne that was more painful.
The first time I tried, I tied the floss around the skin tag and cut the ends super short. I put a band-aid over it with tea tree oil on it and I went about my life. Unfortunately when I took off the band-aid it appeared the dental floss had come off. The second time I tried, I double knotted the floss and cut off the ends, no band-aid this time, and waited. Of course that one came off too.
Third times the charm? This time I tied it and double knotted, then tied and double knotted on the opposite side. I left the length of the floss alone and hung out around the house watching it to make sure it didn’t fall off and that it was tight enough to work. This time it worked and it took about two days. Immediately it started turning a darker and darker purple until finally by the end of the day it was black. I dabbed some tea tree oil on it help keep it clean and by the next morning it had shrunk into a dense black grain of rice.
I did kind of move it around a little bit wondering when it would finally fall off because it seemed like it was done. This was the only time I felt pain, when I was moving it around and such. I briefly considered cutting it off because I am so impatient, but opted out of it for fear of bleeding and pain, not to mention infection. I went to bed that night, and when I woke up the next morning I put my hand to my neck and voila! Like magic it just came off no pain or anything and there it was with the floss tied around it. I tossed it in the trash and checked my neck in the mirror.
All that is left is an ever so slight bump on my skin, which hopefully will go away? We will see. I put tea tree oil on this fresh spot to clean it and help it heal. It is really nice to wear my clothes and not be concerned about being able to see it. Especially when I am working. I’m really glad that it worked out and I had no issues with it. Since that one was a success I think I am going to be doing the other one I have on my side up under my arm.
Please remember that everyone is different. I do not have a sensitivity to pure tea tree oil, but many do and if you are unsure you should always dilute your tea tree before use. Also, tying off your skin tags is entirely up to you at your own risk, but you also have the option to ask your doctor to remove them instead.