Last Modified on Jul 26, 2014
From blemishes to moles and even birthmarks, there are a number of different types of skin conditions that may be bothering you. But one of the most common yet easiest to treat issues are skin tags. While these miniscule bumps are one of the most annoying skin conditions, they can actually be treated quickly and easily right in your home using a variety of treatments like iodine, apple cider vinegar, and tea tree oil.
What Are Skin Tags?
Skin tags, known by a number of different names including soft fibroma and cutaneous tag, are literally just small tags of skin. The tags look like a small piece of skin and are typically soft and hanging. You can develop tags anywhere on your skin, but they are most likely to occur in areas where you skin rubs against itself. Some of the common areas for skin tags include your eyelids, armpits, groin, upper chest, under the breasts, and neck.
Can I Remove a Skin Tag at Home?
While you can often remove skin tags at home quite easily, we highly suggest that you consult a doctor prior to removing any type of skin growth or development. A doctor can help you rule out any potentially serious skin conditions. Once you have been cleared by a doctor, you can easily remove skin tags using at home remedies such as iodine, apple cider vinegar, and tea tree oil. Some people have even had good results using scissors to cut skin tags off and even string tied around the tags for removal.
Iodine is a chemical element that functions to kill germs and other growths. When applied to a skin tag, it naturally breaks down the built-up skin cells and causes them to safely fall off. Apply the iodine directly to your skin tag with a cotton swab once a day. Be careful to avoid the healthy skin surrounding the tag, and expect to see the tag fall off within several days.
2. Apple Cider Vinegar
ACV is a naturally acidic liquid. The acid in apple cider vinegar breaks down the excess cells in the skin tag and naturally removes them. Apply a small dab of vinegar to your skin tag with a cotton swab. Apply the vinegar daily for a period of two to four weeks to eliminate the tags.
3. Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is an active ingredient in a number of skin treatments. It helps naturally dry and tighten the skin. Begin by cleansing your skin with water, then add 3 drops of tea tree oil to a water soaked cotton ball. Apply the oil to your tag in a circular motion. Apply the oil 1-2 times a day for a week to 10 days, and you should be tag free.
While these treatments are effective, they aren’t immediate. Be persistent with your treatment, and you’ll get rid of pesky skin tags in no time. Continue reading below to find out what worked best for our readers and let us know which remedy worked for you!
|Apple Cider Vinegar||19 YEAS|
|A String Tied Around the Skin Tag||10 YEAS|
|Tea Tree Oil||5 YEAS|
Table of Contents
- QUESTIONS & ANSWERS
- POPULAR REMEDIES
- A String Tied Around the Skin Tag
- Apple Cider Vinegar
- Bacitracin Ointment
- Castor Oil and Baking Soda Paste
- Dry Ice
- Essiac Tea
- Hydrogen Peroxide
- Laser Treatment
- Lavender Oil
- Nail Polish
- Oregano Oil
- Oregano Oil, Tea Tree Oil
- OTC Wart Remedies
- Remedies Needed
- Salicylic Acid
- Scissors, Nail Clippers or String
- Skin Tag Theories
- String or Blade Method
- Tea Tree Oil
- Ted's Remedies
- The Fingernail Clipper Snipping Method
- The Rip It Off Method
String Treatment to Remove a Skin Tag
- A Piece of Cotton String, or
- Dental Floss
Use a string of cotton or dental floss to tie a tight loop around the base of the skin tag to slowly cut off the supply of blood to the tag. It will fall off on its own in a couple of days.
[YEA] 06/13/2013: Lilli from Kenmore, Wa: "I had to write and thank everyone on the site for yet another great remedy.
I have several skin tags. Most are flat, but a few were raised and itchy. I have to say that I put off dealing with them for quite awhile, but finally got up the nerve to try the string method.
I cleaned the three tags with alcohol. Then, I used plain white sewing thread to form a loop around each and tightened it as much as I could stand. After a few days I repeated the string because the tags shrink and you want to continue cutting off the blood supply. On the fourth day, one had almost fallen off so I clipped it with sterilized scissors. It bled a tiny bit so I swabbed it with alcohol, dabbed on some anti-bac cream and covered it with a bandaid. I was more patient with the other two and they just fell off with no bleeding.
What a simple solution to an annoying problem.
I would appreciate input on flat skin tags that cannot be tied with string. thanks."
[YEA] 05/06/2010: Karen from Channel Islands, Uk: "skin tag cures
For me, the most successful was the cotton-tying method. Tried the iodine and tea tree oil without success. The cotton method worked well, and within just a few days the tags had discoloured, dried and fallen off-amazing! You have to take the time to tie the cotton just right, and I left quite long strings, so that I could pull it a little tighter, after a while. You can tell within a few hours if you have tied it correctly, as it starts to discolour, and 'picks' a bit. If not, take it off and tie again-it's worth the small effort. I had about 10 fairly prominent tags around my neck which have gone, and no scarring! An excellent remedy-thank you!"Replies
03/20/2011: Windndown from Kitty Ville, Ca replies: "I read on livingstrong asprin works well. Make a paste and use it on the tag. Also, wart, corn remover patches cut the patch a little bit bigger than the tag and put it on, may take a few days no pain either!! GOOD LUCK"
02/07/2012: Km from Sacramento, Ca replies: "I have also done this with a mole. The most effective way to do this is to tie it at the base-where the mole meets your skin... Tie it as tight as you can bear... The mole will eventually die (turn black/hard) and fall off... I did not the entire mole.... It reduced it.. and, it never grew back."
[YEA] 01/11/2013: Robert from Eugene, Oregon replies: "I had a sprouting skin tag (looked weird!) between my eyebrow and my eye. I used diluted grapefuit seed extract, using a q-tip (carefully! ). It helped a little bit. After reading this site, I got the nerve to tie a piece of dental floss around it and pulled tight. I didn't use a double knot because I wanted to get it off in the morning. It reduced the size and got got darker. I kept using the GSE, but took a night off before using the string again. This time I pulled really tight. The sharp pain I felt the first time didn't happen this time. In the morning I pulled again, but it wouldn't come off, so I used a razor blade and cut it off, because this time I couldn't get the string off, and didn't want to have a string over my eye all day. No bleeding, no scarring, just a small bump left. My wife was quite impressed."
[YEA] 06/28/2009: Anonymous from San Francisco, CA: "OK - I tried the string and iodine - it did help the tag turn dark but it would not remove. So, I mustered enough courage to do it one day right near the armpit. I wanted to remove this one because I could not wear tank tops, etc. I agree with the others - use alcohol and keep everything clean. You do feel a pinch but it is not that bad (I will use ice next time). I placed a band aid over it and the next morning it is fine. Thanks again."Replies
[YEA] 04/19/2010: Cynthia from Jacksonville, Alabama replies: "I had a skin tag that eventually grew to about the size of a lentil behind my ear on my neck. I tried a lot of things of what ppl have put on here, including putting aspirin paste and a bandaid, acv, and even calcium mixed with lemon juice which normally works very well for blemishes. I tried tying a piece of thread on it tighter and tighter every few days for 2 weeks. It just got bigger and bigger and looked like a giant swollen tick. Finally I bit the bone and did what some have said on here and had my husband cut it off with a razor blade after I put some ice on it to numb it a little. He was scared to do and and wouldn't at first, but after 3 more days, I forced him. It took a micro second and hurt less than anything you can imagine. Just a tiny scratch and boy what a relief. The thread had made the connection of it to my neck extremely small, but my hubby couldn't tell that until he cut it off. Boy was that a relief to have that annoying thing gone, and have a flat smooth neck again. It didn't even bleed hardly a speck . Believe me, that was an experience. Thanks to this site and everyone with their sharing. Next time, I'll probably just cut them off, it's not worth all the trouble. I'd been living with that for years, it was SO nice to have it finally gone! Bless you all~"
05/09/2012: Caryn from Schaumburg, Il replies: "OMG.. I tried the nail clipper route on a couple of skin tages... Man that hurt and it didnt get down to the skin without cutting my neck.. They are still there and now sore.. Not a good idea... Trying tea tree oil on one but not liking that much either.. Smells sooooo strong.. Will try the ACV though... See if that works.. Thanks all for the info."
[YEA] 05/11/2009: Alexandra from Ottawa, Canada: "I just wanted to re-affirm the fact that a string tied around a skin tag does work! I used dental floss around a skin tag under my arm that I had for years. I left it on for three days and on the fourth day it turned black and just fell off. It did not even leave a mark. I wish I knew about this earlier. It was not painful at all and worked great! I would recommend tying a string around a skin tag to remove it any day. Thanks Earth Clinic! No more skin tags!!!"
[YEA] 01/24/2009: Cynthia from Atlanta, GA: "I have skin tags on my neck, armpits, stomach and face. I have tried tying the skin tags with string , which has worked for me 100% of the time. Usually the skin tag will fall off after 4 or 5 days, does not leave a scar. But I would like to know what can I use on my face for skin tags, I obviously could not walk around with a string tied to my face. I have read other remedies for skin tags, but not sure which method is best for the face."Replies
08/20/2013: Whitney from Austin replies: "What I do is put a small bandaid over the tag. No one can see either the tag or the string, so they don't know what I'm up to. Hope that helps."
[YEA] 04/15/2008: Elizabeth from Baltimore, USA: "ailment: skin tag, specially-anal tag or sentinel tag
remedy: string method
i have tried so many things... i tried wart remover for many months and although it would peel some of the skin it would not make much of a difference and it was really painful. i also tried sally hansen hard as nails which supposedly if u put on twice a day will rid u of your problem and although it did shrink a bit it still did not go away. my tag was about 1/4 of an inch so maybe it was too long for that??? i also tried just applying tea tree oil. so finally i had HAD it...
first of all i have to say that it is really important to apply hydrogen peroxide a few times a day to the tag, KEEP IT CLEAN while you use this method. who knows what could happen if you do not KEEP IT CLEAN. it is in the anal area after all. it is utterly important to especially clean the tag after every bowel movement. also u will need a good sized hand mirror. i would hold it between my knees to see the tag or place it somewhere at a good angle to see the tag. you will also need a distinctive colored string like red and some cuticle scissors to cut the string. so this is what i did...
after applying some wart remover for a few days my tag seemed to be long and swollen enough to tie a string around it. i had tried this before with no luck but the drying action of the wart remover helped the string to stay tied. i tried floss but it slipped off, sewing string is the best bet. the first couple days the string slipped off, especially u know... while going to the bathroom... but i kept applying wart remover just to help the tag stay dry and the string to stay on. finally i had no problem with it slipping after a few days. the tag started to swell and turn blistered and black on the underside but the whole tag never turned black, so i was worried because from what i had read i thought it would and that maybe it wouldn't work. i also started to notice after a few days if the string fell off there was a definite indentation of where the string used to be which made tieing the string that much easier. each day i would take a bath to soften the tag and examine it. after getting out of the bath i would tie another string around it as tight as i could without removing the previous string i applied. sometimes the strings would come off during the day but i would just tie a new string around it and apply wart remover again to help the string stay on. usually i would tie two string just to make sure it was tight enough. the tighter the better. anyways after about 3 days the tag started to hurt a bit, it wasn't that bad or anything i just took like 3 advil and i was fine and could sleep. i didn't even care honestly because i could tell it was working, i definitely was noticing seperation from the skin. so i tied a new string and continued with the process. it took just ten days for my tag to fall off. if you can manage to keep the string on it will fall off in less time. but i promise it works and after 4 months of trying to get rid of this damn thing it finally came off today. the last couple days i noticed the skin dying off and i started trying to twist it a bit. i noticed today that when i pinched it i felt no sensation, just at the base. so i started to twist it and i twisted it right off with no pain at all! it's probably best if u don't mess with it and just leave the thing alone but i just couldn't help it. i wanted it OFF.
even though i'm aware that this is definitely TMI i really hope this helps someone. all the other posts i could find had no detail and i was really looking for someone to post something this specific. good luck and remember that even if u get rid of a tag it is the symptom of a greater problem. i suspect that i might have had a fissure or a hemmie that went unnoticed. i already eat healthy and get a lot of fiber in my diet but i plan on taking metamucil every night from now on and taking beano with meals that bother my stomach. i also plan on being extra gentle down there with the toilet paper and buying some witchhazel pads and also applying prep h for a while. it's important to be good to your body because u never know when another tag just might pop up again!!!"Replies
04/22/2011: Ouch!! from Baltimore, Md replies: "Did it hurt for the first few days? I tried this method today for the same "area" and it is quite painful for the first several hours. I am wondering if I will be able to function (gym, going out) or if I should just go see a specialist?"
06/19/2011: Helga from Birkirkara, Malta replies: "Thank you so much for your post Elizabeth! Its exactly what I needed! I went into the hospital hoping that they would say that they are hemeroids and that they would remove them for me.... However I found out that its a fissure and that bit of skin was just a skin tag... I want it off so badly that I was so disappointed! Your post gave me hope that I will soon be rid of this thing and so simply right from home! I will try the string thing now... Thanks again!"
05/02/2012: Moon from Miami, Fl replies: "I'm dealing with this problem right now. Yours are the details that I need. I have tried duct tape. That was just bothersome and never stayed on. Wart removing medicine, that just irritated the area. I've tried the dental floss string and it kept falling off the next day and was quite painful. Maybe mine is too big? I have courage to try the string again. I hate this thing!! It affects my life a lot! I shut the lights off when I'm intimate with my husband and hope his hands don't wander too far down to notice. It's all I think.... How can I rid myself of this without causing damage to my privates!? Freezing it off is my next step but the warnings on the package scare me that it will cause problems if it's not done correctly. Please please let this string thing work!"
06/20/2012: Lawrence from Richmond, Va replies: "Has anyone tried using a Boric Acid Solution? I am thinking about trying it. I ordered a bottle of boriac acid from amazon. I know it is a mild acid used for the eyes for pink eye when I was a child."
[YEA] 11/10/2007: Joyyce from Joelton, Tn.: "To the lady with skin tag on 10 yr. old dog: I recently removed large black, mushroom shaped mole off edge of upper eyelid of a little older dog with some old folks surgery, and it should work on a skin tag. Have someone the dog knows and trust to pull it gently away from the attached area while you tie a short piece of sewing thread tightly around the base of it. This cuts off its circu-lation & it drops off 3-4 days later. Our little doggie sure looked better and happier without that ugly thing that looked like a big blood-filled tick hanging down over her eye and interfering with her vision."Replies
09/15/2007: Rachel from Webster, TX replies: "Does anyone know a remedy for skin tags on pets? My 10 yr old dog has them and I'm wondering if I can use the Iodine remedy on her?"
[YEA] 05/28/2007: Renee from El Dorado, Kansas: "I've had two skin tags in which I treated them myself. I twisted them as much as I could stand and then tied them off with thread, tightening once or twice. The tag turned a dead grayish color and no longer had feeling... (no blood circulating through it) then I sliced them off. They have not returned - one gone for years and the other for over 6 months already."
[YEA] 04/01/2007: Silvia from Wiltshire, England: "I had a skin tag on my underarm, i tied a bit of white cotton round it tightly, left it a few days then tied another bit of cotton and left it for a few more days, it started to get red and go darker, i put some antiseptic cream to soothe it, a few days later it got darker and fell off, it worked with my sister too, very effective."
[YEA] 09/26/2006: Christine from Tulsa, OK: "My friend had a skin tag on her neck. A mutual friend tied a string tightly around the tag and in less than 3 days it fell off. No blood or scar. He said it only works on skin tags."
Apple Cider Vinegar Treatment for a Skin Tag
- Apple Cider Vinegar
- Cotton Balls
Dampen a cotton ball with apple cider vinegar and apply to the skin tag. Rub the tag with the cotton ball for a few minutes twice a day for a few days until the tag disappears or falls off.
[YEA] 07/26/2014: Lamotz76 from Ohio, US: "I have had this skin tag on my underarm for years. I thought I was stuck with it. It was bothersome because of shaving. Well I nicked it a couple days ago and decided to make an appointment to get it removed. But then had a thought to look on earth clinic. I tried ACV with much skepticism last night. I soaked gauze in ACV for about 20 minutes. and again this morning. A little while ago I peeked at it. It was black and shriveled. I touched it , it rubbed right off!! I am a believer!! ACV is slightly irritating, not too much. I won't be needing that appointment!!"
[YEA] 06/08/2014: Lb from Oregon, US: "Hi, I came across this site and can't tell you how excited I am I tried the apple cider vinegar for removal of a skin tag I had under my arm for YEARS. I hated it and wanted to try another method other than snipping it off. I used regular Apple Cider Vinegar from the store - nothing special. It took mine just under 2 weeks to work. I wet a cotton ball with the vinegar and held it under my arm for about 5 minutes 3x a day. After a couple of days, the tag would turn white right after applying vinegar and then would be deep red. The stuff just disintegrates them - sometimes would sting a little, but not bad. Slowly parts of it turned black. At the end, it had shrunk and turned black and then one day I just pulled it off. So easy! Wish I'd done it long ago. It works!!!!!"
[YEA] 01/04/2014: Earth Clinic Friend from Forster, Australia: "I had 2 very large skin tags one under my right arm pit & one large dark one on my right sholder near my neck & I applied Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) twice a day for about 4 days & they both fell off leaving no scars. Thank you Earth Clinic."Replies
[YEA] 03/14/2014: Shawn Marhsall from Raleigh, Nc replies: "Oh My Gosh!!! All of my co-workers called me crazy!! Or cheap because I was trying this. First maybe I am cheap but I would much rather spend my $25.00 co-pay on a cute pair of wedges.... Ever since I turned 40 a few months ago it seems like about four of those hideous things just popped up over night!! I was so embarrassed by them. Let me just say I only did a test run on just one that was located right above my collar bone and I have only been doing it for one and a half days. I put the ACV on a cotton ball and kept it in place with a band-aid once in the morning and one time last night before bed, I put fresh on on this morning, and that sucker is almost gone. I figure maybe another day and a half and no more ugly!!! I a a true believer in this method!!!!"
[YEA] 12/17/2013: Dee from Melbourne: "I want to share my story. I had that skin tag on my eyelid for the last five years. Use to annoy me a lot because I could never put eyeliner straight. So after reading here on this website I started pressing and kind of squeezing the bottom of skin tag where it was on my eyelid for a week then I put apple cider vinegar for maximum five times carefully not getting into my eye and voila it came off itself.. Am so pleased and amazed.. This site is truly amazing and people who taking their time out to help others.. Thank you so much everybody."
[YEA] 05/28/2013: Ct from Somewhere in Texas, Usa: "I think what I had was a skin tag! The tag was on my back and I could only see it by holding a hand mirror above sholder level and viewing my back in the bathroom mirror. The tag was in the middle of my back, slightly to right (or to the left looking in the mirror! ). It had been there some time, and I paid it little attention. However, as it grew, I could feel it when leaning back in my office chair. It had grown to about the size and shape of a No2 Pencil eraser.
Fortunately, I could just reach it by extending my left arm over my right sholder, and so I taped a cotton ball soaked in ACV over it each night before going to bed. I did this every night for about sixty days (two - thirty band aids - packs) by which time the tag dissolved, leaving just a small spot about the size of a freckle or mole.
I learned early on to sleep on a towel as the Apple Cider Vinegar stained my sheets when I rolled over on my back during sleep. Marvelous stuff this ACV!"