Tag: You're It!
September 3, 2004 3:10 AM   Subscribe

SkinTagFilter: I have a tag right on the apex of my ever-growing spare-tyre - I've had it for a long time, but as I'm succumbing to the middle-age spread, it's becoming more prominent, rubbing on clothing, etc. Is there any problem with me getting a sterilised scalpel and just whipping it off, then staunching the blood flow like I'd been injured naturally and letting it all heal?
posted by benzo8 to Health & Fitness (20 answers total)
"A friend" tells me it's perfectly fine to get a piece of thread and wrap it tightly around the tag until it pops off.
posted by skylar at 5:07 AM on September 3, 2004

I was going to suggest what skylar just did.
posted by i_cola at 5:12 AM on September 3, 2004

Me too, it works. Tie tight, now.
posted by penguin pie at 5:17 AM on September 3, 2004

Response by poster: As in, leave the thread on for a day or three /until/ it drops off, or wind the thread tighter and tighter until it, erm, pops off?
posted by benzo8 at 5:18 AM on September 3, 2004

I accidentally ripped one of mine half off (ow!). I used scissors to get the last of it and then swabbed it with alcohol and put on a bandage. It was fine.

I really should get the rest of them, but they don't really bother me that much.
posted by ODiV at 5:18 AM on September 3, 2004

It's been a while, but I think I just tied it tight and left it - took quite a while but eventually it just erm.. (GrossFilter) dried up and fell off. I might have retied at some point but as long as its tight, should do the job. Mine was pretty tiny.
posted by penguin pie at 5:40 AM on September 3, 2004

What's a tag?
posted by luser at 6:01 AM on September 3, 2004

Thank you luser. Additionally, I'm not easily freaked or grossed out, but for some reason...
posted by Witty at 6:10 AM on September 3, 2004

Skin tags. I never knew what they were called. I get them all the time and I've taken out a few with a sharp scissors. A sterile scalpel is probably much smarter. They bled like hell, but they healed just fine.
posted by jpoulos at 6:59 AM on September 3, 2004

Er. Don't wanna be the expert... but just a kind of teensy bump of skin a few mm across that sticks out.

They're usually pretty unobtrusive but whatever you do don't do a Google image search. I just did in the interests of enlightening my fellow human beings and entered a whole world of dermatological extremis.

Scuse me, gotta put my head between my knees.
posted by penguin pie at 6:59 AM on September 3, 2004 [1 favorite]

I've used the thread method. The tag swells up and gets sore, but then, yes, it eventually dries up and drops off.

My preferred method is to use boiled fingernail clippers. Yup.
posted by MrMoonPie at 7:30 AM on September 3, 2004

Interesting. I had never heard of these.
posted by rushmc at 7:53 AM on September 3, 2004

jpoulos' link suggests they are frequently frozen off, and I've recently started seeing commercials for an at-home wart treatment that involves freezing. (Compound W Freeze Off?) Perhaps this would do it?
posted by o2b at 7:53 AM on September 3, 2004

Just go to the doctor and have CO2 laser removal. Just a $20 copay.
posted by the fire you left me at 7:58 AM on September 3, 2004

You can get benzocaine over the counter too, in various formulations. I haven't been able to find the home freezing kit, but it looks fun.
posted by mecran01 at 8:16 AM on September 3, 2004

I've cut off very small ones with zero pain whatsoever. I mean, zero. I don't think they have nerves in them. (though mine may not be equal to yours)
posted by John Kenneth Fisher at 8:38 AM on September 3, 2004

If it's darker than your skin, reddened, or crusty (sorry, penguin pie) visit a doctor, and get thoroughly checked. Yuo don't want to cut skin cancers yourself. Skin cancers, including the nasty melanomas, are increasing and can be serious.
posted by theora55 at 8:59 AM on September 3, 2004

I've had skin tags removed by freezing, and I've had moles removed by surgery. The latter left "boat shaped" scars, the former left no scar or a shallow circular scar.

No big deal either way.

It is worth having a doctor check 'em out before you get them removed, though. Just a cautionary cancer check.
posted by five fresh fish at 11:40 AM on September 3, 2004

Response by poster: Thanks for the advice guys.

theora55: It's not a tumour - wrong colour, wrong shape, ain't changed in years, not scabby, doesn't pus, etc.

I think, as no-one's found a decent reason why I shouldn't, I'm gonna scalpel the bugger. I'll get some disinfectant and some gauze, and be prepared for the blood.

I would string it, but I'm impatient. And freeze it - brrrr! (And anyhow, as I recall, it doesn't drop off immediately then either - just dies and then drops off eventually - much like stringing.)

See you in casualty! (ER, for the USians...)
posted by benzo8 at 1:33 PM on September 3, 2004

Take pictures! (Ewwwww!)
posted by five fresh fish at 2:21 PM on September 3, 2004

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