Skin tag removal

I have skin tags, especially on places where clothing rubs my skin, such as on the collar area of my neck. I’ve heard of several ways to get rid of them, including teatree oil (the smell is disgusting) and nail clippers (ouch, and may I repeat, ouch). Anyone know any other way to remove them? Has anyone ever had one or more removed by a doctor? Is it costly?

I get these removed by a doctor all the time. Price varies a lot based on your insurance or lack of same, but I think it’s about $100/ group of up to about 15 tags. There are a bunch of different methods, and the cooler they sound (“cryogenic? really?”) the worse they seem to work on me. I suggest just scalpel removal – it’s relatively painless for the small ones and they’ll use lidocaine for the big ones.

If you’re pre-disposed to skin tags, by the way, be aware that they’ll often come back, and you’ll be repeating the exercise every couple of years. I’ve stopped worrying about the small ones and only get rid of the ones that are unsightly or uncomfortable for some reason.

Back when I had really good medical coverage, I had two removed in a dermatologist’s office with some local anesthesia and cautery. No pain whatsoever. No charge either.

My gf removed one with nail-clippers and couldn’t believe how bad it hurt!

This really shouldn’t be a do-it-yourself endeavor.

There are several techniques that can be used, depending on the size and placement of the skin tag. Sometimes they can be frozen off with liquid nitrogen (that’s my favorite - the stuff is so cool!). Sometimes they can just touch it with an electric cauterization needle (not really a “needle”, more like a soldering tool). If they’re really big, they may use a scalpel to nip it off and cauterize or put a stitch in to stop the bleeding.

Most of 'em don’t hurt much. They can put numbing gel on it first, or use a small injection of lidocaine to numb it. They may not even do that for small ones.

It hurts way more if you try to do it yourself.

This is easy. Tie dental floss or thread around the base of the skin tag tightly. It will turn black and fall off in a couple of days. The problem is it has to grow long enough to tie the floss around. They are often caused by skin irritation, so the collar line is a common place to have them show up. I find rough scrubbing of my collar line with a washcloth gets rid of them as they start to appear. But other ones would show up randomly on my torso, and I use the dental floss technique successfully.

If you see a dermatologist, make sure to mention that they get irritated and inflamed from contact with clothing. That may qualify you for insurance coverage of removal. Insurance usually doesn’t cover removal for cosmetic purposes.

I use a really, really, really sharp hunting knife. Effective but nevertheless crude, you may want to consider those other options.

I’ve done a number of things, and I’ve only had something like 4 in my life.

I took nail clippers to one, no pain at all. It was a small one and I put alcohol on the ‘site’ and the nail clippers before hand. There was no blood either.

I tied off (with dental floss) 2, one of which withered and came off in my clothes. The other I (apparently) didn’t tie tight enough and swelled a bit. When it didn’t fall off on the second day (third?) I went to the doctors, who clipped it with scissors. She also took care of another one (which was not tied off), on the back of my leg. It was rather large (say about the size of a pencil eraser). She gave me a shot and then clipped it. It bled a bit.

It didn’t cost me anything outside of a 20 dollar copay for the visit.

I had a doctor remove about 20 of them, including some of them that were moles, mostly around my neck and my inner thighs. It was fairly quick…about 30 minutes total. He would shoot a numbing agent just under the tag/mole and burn it off with a cauterizer. It’s been about 5 years, and none of them have returned. I highly endorse this method.

Razor-sharp scissors made for making fishing flies. I’ll put an ice-cube on it for a few minutes first if its “fresh” (basically the same color as my skin) or not if its ripe (turning brown).

I had several removed by my doctor. I had a couple in my armpit, and a few very small ones at the base of my neck, right above the collar bone. Those were so small I didn’t know they were even there, but the doc said that since he was at it, he might as well get them as well. He used a scalpel and tweezers to remove them. It didn’t really hurt at all, as I remember. Then after they were off, he put a dab of some antibiotic on it. THAT stung!

He told me later that they could come back, and if I wanted to get rid of them, I could just as easily do it myself with nail clippers or a sharp pair of tiny scissors. I’ve never had any more skin tags big enough to worry about, so I’ve never tried that.

The same applies when getting them removed under the NHS. Bonus points if they are prone to bleeding :slight_smile:

I get skin tags all the time. I can’t bring myself to cut, pull, or tie them though. Just the thought of doing that makes me light-headed and queasy. I’ve had my doctor remove one that was just too big and annoying, but he was kind of a jerk about it because he couldn’t believe that I wouldn’t just cut the damn things off on my own. I think I’d pass out if I tried and probably stab myself with the scissors. The $150 charge did make determined to figure out some other way though.

So, I’m watching this thread with interest…although it is making me a little nauseated. Blech. It’s SKIN! I can’t cut it…urgh…

Maybe if I have my husband cut them with sharp scissors…ACK!

I take mine off myself with new, super sharp cuticle clippers and it hasn’t been any more painful than a shot of xylocaine would be. But then, I do love some home surgery. I’ve quit now that I have things that can be taken from me for such infractions (nursing license, malpractice insurance)but a little home removal or I&D is my idea of a good time. :slight_smile:

I’ve used sharp embroidery scissors in the past. It didn’t hurt. I was more afraid of infection, but that didn’t happen either. I don’t get them any more, and that’s a good thing.


There are multiple over the counter products (that work) to remove skin tags. Ask your Pharmacist or use internet to discover best choices. The wart/mole removers work the fastest. (and cost the most). If any skin problem gets worse or reacts badly, see your Doctor right away.

And don’t trust the internet for medical advice.

i had three removed from my neck just above the collarbone - those bled like crazy but didn’t hurt at all - and ten years later had another four removed at the bra line where the breast tissue meets the chest. both breasts, btw. those removals hurt like the dickens but didn’t bleed much at all.

the neck ones have never come back. we’ll see how the bra line ones do over time.

I have had a couple removed at various points by professionals. One doctor used ice and a pair of scissors (he thought it was no big deal, so I went with it.) I had a dermatologist who used liquid nitrogen, which was way cool, but took a couple of weeks to heal and looked sort of funky until then.

The secret ingredient is ice. Hold ice on the tag for 10-15 minutes, then cut it off with nail clippers. No pain, though probably some blood.

I have trimmed them previously but they alway came back unless I got the root/whole thing. The last ones I just dry iced them myself. They swelled up for a day or two, shriveled to black and fell off about a week and half later. Would definitely just do that method again.