Last Modified on May 18, 2016
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!
Remedies for Skin Tags
The Popularity of Skin Tags Remedies - Full List
|A String Tied Around the Skin Tag||12||2013-06-13|
|Apple Cider Vinegar||21||2015-09-28|
|Castor Oil and Baking Soda Paste||2||2009-01-15|
|Lavender or Garlic Oil||1||2016-04-21|
|Oregano Essential Oils||1||2015-10-05|
|Oregano Oil, Tea Tree Oil||1||2014-01-23|
|OTC Wart Remedies||2||2008-03-05|
|Scissors, Nail Clippers or String||1||2013-06-17|
|Skin Tag Theories||0||2012-09-23|
|String or Blade Method||2||2009-12-08|
|Tea Tree Oil||6||2016-03-20|
|The Fingernail Clipper Snipping Method||5||2015-09-22|
|The Rip It Off Method||4||2014-03-27|
|The Tweezer Method||1||2014-09-01|
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.
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!
Replied by Windndown
Kitty Ville, Ca
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Posted by Anonymous (San Francisco, CA) on 06/28/2009
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.
Replied by Cynthia
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Posted by Alexandra (Ottawa, Canada) on 05/11/2009
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!!!
Posted by Cynthia (Atlanta, GA) on 01/24/2009
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.
Replied by Whitney
Posted by Elizabeth (Baltimore, USA) on 04/15/2008
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!!!
Replied by Ouch!!
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Posted by Joyyce (Joelton, Tn.) on 11/10/2007
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.
Replied by Rachel
Posted by Renee (El Dorado, Kansas) on 05/28/2007
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.
Posted by Silvia (Wiltshire, England) on 04/01/2007
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.
Posted by Christine (Tulsa, OK) on 09/26/2006
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.
Posted by Andrew (Cambridge) on 09/28/2015
For a fast and easy solution, pick up some apple cider vinegar from your local supermarket. You should have no trouble finding it, because it is a common cooking ingredient. In fact, if you Google the words âapple cider vinegar, â you will find that there are thousands of results relating to home remedies of all shapes and sizes â apple cider vinegar is extremely versatile.
It works for getting rid of skin tags because it is so acidic. However, this does mean that it should never be used to eradicate skin tags on or around the eyes. For effective removal, all you have to do is carefully clean the area in question â just do this as you usually would, with a mix of mild soap and water.
Once completely dry, dab a cotton ball in a small bowl of apple cider vinegar. Use your fingertips to squeeze out the excess liquid and then hold the cotton ball firm against the skin tag. You need to keep it there for approximately 10-15 minutes, so it could be useful to stick it to the skin with a bandage or plaster and then get on with another task.
To start getting rid of skin tags on your body, you need to do this three times every day for a 1-2 weeks (or until you can see the bit of skin start to darken in color, shrivel, and then fall off. There should be no pain involved with this home remedy, but if you do have any small cuts or scratches around the area which you are treating, you might find that the apple cider vinegar stings a little.
I had this problem in the past and I want to share some of my experiences.
All the best, Andrew
Posted by Phoebe (Manchester) on 04/30/2015
I've had what I can only assume to be an anal skin tag/sentinel tag for a few years now. it started off small, but gradually got bigger and I'm certain it's due to struggling to pass stool, so the skin stretched and never stretched back, leaving a hanging skin tag at the top of my anus.
Its not painful at all, has never been sore but it bothers me what it looks like down there!
I would never consider surgery and I'm far too scared to try anything like cutting it off or tying it off with thread or floss just in case it complicates and becomes worse, so I'm trying the apple cider vinegar method.
Day 1: I got a cotton wool pad and soaked in apple cider vinegar. I squeeze out excess and folded in half, small enough to fit over my anal tag.
I got a second clean, dry cotton wool pad and secured it over the top of the first. I then stuck it on with medical tape and kept it there for 1 hour.
I removed the apple cider pads every time I went to the toilet and re applied them. After 3-4 hours it started to sting a little which is when I took it off.
Results: I have not yet noticed any results but I am planning on repeating this process (maybe prolonging the tags exposure to the vinegar) everyday until I get results.
I will keep you updated! Wish me luck.
Replied by Phoebe
Posted by Sewak (Uk) on 12/28/2014
Hi, I have a skin tag that is about 6mm, will apple cider remedy or the cotton thread methods work on tag this large. The tag is just above the groin area. Appreciate any advice - thanks.
Posted by Lamotz76 (Ohio, US) on 07/26/2014
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!!
Posted by Lb (Oregon, US) on 06/08/2014
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!!!!!