At-home skin tag removal
September 30, 2019 3:52 PM   Subscribe

Do you have personal experience with at-home skin tag removal?

My husband has a skin tag on his back that has lately been catching on clothing and causing some minor pain. I briefly perused Amazon but not sure which one would actually work, or if this is feasible to try at home at all. (Is this the kind of thing his GP would do in-office?).

Thanks all!
posted by cozenedindigo to Health & Fitness (26 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I've had success tying them off with dental floss. Eventually they'll atrophy and fall off on their own.
I've also snipped them off with a sterilized nail clipper after anesthetising myself with tequila.
They seem to bleed far more than you'd the point where the bathroom looked like the killing floor at Oscar Meyer.
Not recommended.
Tying then snipping a few weeks later had the best results.
I've never had an MD remove one for me.
posted by Floydd at 4:04 PM on September 30, 2019 [11 favorites]

His GP would do it in his office, yes. I get small ones in my armpit and I clip them off with nail scissors. They bleed but nothing you can't stop in a minute or two with a little pressure and some gauze. People do also tie them with thread to drop them off.
posted by DarlingBri at 4:06 PM on September 30, 2019 [1 favorite]

I’ve done the sterilized nail clipper thing too, but didn’t have any bleeding.
posted by amro at 4:08 PM on September 30, 2019 [2 favorites]

I've cut off a few with nail clippers - with no regrowth/scarring/issues after 10 years. There was maybe the teeniest tiniest spec of blood for 2 seconds after, but after that, nothing. No pain in removing them, either.
posted by raztaj at 4:10 PM on September 30, 2019 [3 favorites]

Same. Sterilize the site and the nail clippers with rubbing alcohol, then go to town. In hard-to-reach places I used wire-cutters once or twice. Eyelid tags are trickier, but I once just let my fingernails grow a little long, cleaned them well and dried them, and then pinched the tags off with my fingernails in an act of such pure savagery that now the gods joyously await me in the celebration halls of the afterlife.
posted by Mo Nickels at 4:54 PM on September 30, 2019 [26 favorites]

once. nail clippers. dario argento levels of blood.
posted by roger ackroyd at 5:09 PM on September 30, 2019 [1 favorite]

The kits you get that basically do the tying off with a rubber band thing do work, but I had a little trouble with mine because it turned out to be not quite big enough to do well with that but just big enough to be mildly annoying. So I'd try that first, probably. It does take a lot of patience. Get the good waterproof band-aids to put over the spot while you're waiting, because it does take days. I would not clip yourself because of the location--if he could do it himself that might be another story, but I don't think doing it to another person would be a good idea at all. But I'd try the tiny-rubber-band kit before the doctor.
posted by Sequence at 5:15 PM on September 30, 2019 [1 favorite]

Your doctor can do this with a local anesthetic. It's quick and easy and a lot nicer than using nail clippers.

As a fair and freckled person, I get checked out by a dermatologist regularly and they were happy to take care of my skin tags. Done in office in about 5 minutes total.
posted by brookeb at 5:53 PM on September 30, 2019

I've had success with the at home wart freeze off stuff - it was my GP's idea. He told me to use it and reapply in 2 weeks if needed. If they didn't fall off from that then come in and pay $200 for him to spend 30 seconds on it.
posted by COD at 6:15 PM on September 30, 2019 [1 favorite]

I generally squeeze it with my fingernails where the tag meets the skins and twist until pain. Repeat a few times over a week or so. That seems to "kill" it and then I remove it with with tweezers without the blood. YMMV.
posted by gingerjules at 6:30 PM on September 30, 2019

Nthing nail clippers.
posted by Blue Jello Elf at 6:51 PM on September 30, 2019

I get pointy little DPN lesions on my neck and by my eyes, which are similar to skin tags, and my dermatologist told me I can use the wart freeze stuff on the neck ones (but not the eye-adjacent ones) as it's basically what he does to them in-office anyway. However since I am a disgusting gremlin I just pick at them until they bleed and scab so I can tear them off.
posted by poffin boffin at 8:10 PM on September 30, 2019 [1 favorite]

I've pulled off skin tags that appear on my neck with thumb and forefinger, q-tip soaked with alcohol at the ready. Yes, it hurts, but only for a minute. Plus, it's gratifying revenge against those uninvited bastards!
No negative effects ever experienced.
posted by BostonTerrier at 8:14 PM on September 30, 2019

I've done it the BostonTerrier way, which ended up involving surprising amounts of bleeding, and the wart freeze way, which didn't.
posted by flabdablet at 9:17 PM on September 30, 2019

I too have ripped them off my neck with my fingernails feeling glorious and reckless (no ill effects).
posted by athirstforsalt at 11:05 PM on September 30, 2019 [1 favorite]

I use a small very sharp Fiskars scissors which I only use on skin tags. I soak scissors end in alcohol then snip, dab with antibiotic cream, then bandaid if in a sensitive or easy to rub area. I have snipped off about a dozen on myself and several dozen off my extremely taggy ex. They hardly bleed and most don't hurt at all or very little.
posted by a humble nudibranch at 11:45 PM on September 30, 2019 [1 favorite]

I used dental floss on a particularly big one. It took about 2 weeks before it finally fell off. It shriveled up and looked really gnarly before it finally called it quits.
posted by astapasta24 at 3:48 AM on October 1, 2019

My GP actually recommended the dental floss tying method as least likely to leave any marks/ scarring for a small birth mark very similar to skin tags. That's what I did and it fell off in about a week.
posted by stillnocturnal at 4:19 AM on October 1, 2019

I'm a tie with cotton-er, if it's somewhere not easily visible. No pain or bleeding.

Also, came in to say that a prevoius iteration of this question was my first ever AskMe answer, way back in 2004, but in fact it looks like it wasn't, quite. But nearly!
posted by penguin pie at 4:58 AM on October 1, 2019

I grew up in a house of doctors. Like, actual practicing doctors. They only ever tied them off with dental floss, or just outright cut them off if they were small enough.
posted by PuppetMcSockerson at 6:42 AM on October 1, 2019 [2 favorites]

I'd recommend calling a dermatologist. It's a quick procedure, and will probably be cheap, in the $50-$100 range, even without insurance.
posted by Faint of Butt at 8:34 AM on October 1, 2019

I have skin tags and was told that removing them for cosmetic reasons would be an out-of-pocket expense but if they interfere with daily activities (the example I was given was alone bra lines — not an issue for me) they should be covered by insurance.

I have not removed any of mine yet.
posted by terrapin at 10:51 AM on October 1, 2019

My general practitioner cut some off for me during an office visit. She just pulled out sterilized scissors, and SNIP SNIP. A bit of blood, but not much and no real pain. She didn't use any anesthesia.
posted by tacodave at 5:26 PM on October 1, 2019

Here to join the nail clipper club. I thought I was the only one who thought that would be a good idea. Who knew a tiny skin tag could possibly bleed that much?!
posted by easy, lucky, free at 5:41 PM on October 1, 2019

My dad, the colonel, used nail clippers. I use a pair of iris scissors or a box knife. Never paid much attention to “sterilization” aside from a quick wipe with an alcohol pad. Bleeding, if any, is easily managed with a styptic pencil. All that medical training didn’t stick, I guess.
posted by sudogeek at 5:56 PM on October 1, 2019

Update: we used the dental floss method and it worked! Fell off in about 5 days. Thanks all!
posted by cozenedindigo at 6:26 PM on October 6, 2019

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