Skin tags are growths on the skin, connected to the skin by a thin stalk known as a peduncle. They are extremely common in both men and women. These bumps are also more common among the elderly, overweight, and people with certain medical conditions or diseases.
Although skin tags are harmless and should not be painful, they may cause discomfort when snagged by jewelry or clothing. These inaesthetic growths may also cause self-esteem issues. Whatever the reason, when these lesions become bothersome, people usually search for relief.
Luckily, there are a number of treatments, including home remedies, you can try to remove skin tags on different parts of the body. Let’s take a look at some of these treatment options, including one very common ingredient that some claim helps remove skin tags.
Does Vaseline Get Rid of Skin Tags?
Vaseline, or petroleum jelly, is a mixture of mineral oils and waxes which form a jelly-like substance. It was discovered in the mid-1800’s by an American chemist who noticed the oil workers used it to heal their wounds and burns. Its benefits are undeniable since Vaseline’s main ingredient – petroleum – does indeed help the skin heal and retain moisture. However, it does not help with every single skin lesion.
Vaseline does not help you get rid of skin tags. Well, at least not on its own. This product is, nonetheless, used in many treatments and procedures, but just for protection or to promote skin healing.
Following a skin tag removal procedure, your doctor may suggest covering the wound with a thin layer of petroleum jelly, such as Vaseline, and a bandage to aid skin healing. Petroleum jelly acts as a “sealant” – it keeps the crust moist so that your skin will heal quickly. If your doctor uses liquid nitrogen to freeze off your skin tag, they may also apply Vaseline around it before the procedure to protect the skin.
How Do You Get Rid of Skin Tags?
Skin tags are noncancerous lesions that don’t usually require treatment or a visit to the doctor. However, you do need to see a medical professional to confirm your diagnosis, as there are many other, more serious skin conditions that can resemble a skin tag. If you do, indeed, have a skin tag, here are some of the most common treatment options used for removing them.
People with a large skin tag or multiple skin tags usually turn to a doctor to remove their skin growths. These procedures don’t usually require anesthesia, but local anesthesia may be used when needed.
- Cryotherapy. Skin tags are frozen with liquid nitrogen and they fall off on their own.
- Surgical removal. Skin tags are surgically removed with scissors or a scalpel.
- Electrosurgery. Skin tags are burned off with high-frequency electrical energy.
- Ligation. Skin tags are tied off with surgical thread in order to cut off their blood flow. They fall off on their own when this happens.
Irritation, bleeding, or temporary skin discoloration may occur following a skin tag removal. In some cases, further treatment may be needed to remove the skin tag completely. Do not attempt to remove large skin tags at home because they could bleed heavily.
If your skin tag is small with a narrow base, even your doctor may suggest that you try to remove it yourself. Here are some of the most common home remedies for removing skin tags. Discuss these options with a general practitioner before attempting to remove your skin growth at home.
- Skin tag removal cream. These kits containing cream and an applicator usually do the job and the skin tags fall off within two to three weeks.
- Ligation. This can also be done at home using dental floss or a piece of string. You may, however, require the help of another person. Before using this method, you should always clean your skin, including the hands, and the string to prevent infection.
- Tea tree oil. This oil is used for treating several skin conditions, but there’s no actual evidence it works for skin tags as well. Despite this, many people state that they have successfully removed their skin tags by applying it to the skin. Apply a few drops of oil to a cotton ball and then place it on the skin for about ten minutes. Do this three times daily for several days or until the skin tag falls off. Apply with caution, as tea tree oil is known to cause skin irritation.
- Apple cider vinegar. You may try to apply vinegar in the same way you would use tea tree oil. Discontinue use if you notice adverse reactions such as irritation.
- Lemon juice. Another acid ingredient, lemon oil is used to dry out a skin tag. However, it can sometimes cause sensitivity.
- Frankincense oil. This is another liquid used for drying skin tags. It is not considered as potent as tea tree oil or vinegar, so it will take more time to work.
- Iodine. Liquid iodine may also be used. First, apply Vaseline to the area and then soak a Q-tip in iodine to spread it across the skin tag. Cover the area with a bandage. Do this twice a day until the skin tag falls off.
- Vitamin E. Since aging is attributed to skin tags, applying liquid vitamin E to the affected skin may cause the growth to disappear in a few days.
- Baking soda. Another commonly used ingredient, baking soda is said to inhibit the growth of skin tags. Mix a bit of baking soda with a few drops of castor oil and apply the paste to the skin tag. Leave it on for a few hours before washing it off with water.
- Ginger. This plant has bioactive compounds and nutrients that promote skin healing and help inhibit bacterial growth. Slice the ginger and rub a slice on the skin tag for about a minute. Repeat this process once a day until the skin tag is removed. Do not rinse.
While Vaseline does not remove a skin tag on its own, it can be used in combination with other ingredients or methods to treat this skin condition. See a doctor to receive confirmation that the growth is benign and ask them about the most effective ways you can get rid of a skin tag.