Skin tags, also known medically as ‘acrochordons,’ are small, benign growths that can appear anywhere on your skin. They most commonly appear in places where skin rubs against skin or clothing, such as the neck, eyelids, underarms, and groin. These harmless protrusions often match your skin color and may look like soft clusters of skin hanging from a thin piece of tissue called a stalk.
Despite being noncancerous, skin tags can impact individuals’ self-esteem and cause discomfort, especially when they are routinely rubbed or caught on clothing or jewelry. While they don’t pose any significant health risks, their appearance can lead to anxiety and cosmetic concerns for some people.
Methods of Skin Tag Removal
There are several procedures available for removing skin tags:
Radiocautery: This common procedure removes skin tags by passing high-frequency radio waves through soft tissue. It’s usually quick and may leave minimal scarring.
Cryotherapy: This method involves freezing the skin tag with liquid nitrogen. It is a relatively quick procedure, but complete removal may necessitate more than one session.
Surgical removal: This entails removing the skin tag with a scalpel or surgical scissors. While it provides immediate results, it may cause minor bleeding or scarring.
Laser Removal: This procedure uses laser technology to burn off the skin tag. It’s known for its precision, reduces the risk of scarring, and is often used for hard-to-reach areas.
Before deciding on a skin tag removal method, consult with a dermatologist or healthcare professional. They can provide a proper diagnosis and discuss the best treatment options for your specific situation.
Costs and Sessions of Skin Tag Removal
The cost of skin tag removal is determined by several factors, including the method used, the number of skin tags, their size, and location. It is also worth noting that, depending on these factors, multiple sessions may be required.
This procedure involves the use of a special device that sends radio waves into the skin tag in order to burn it off. The cost of a session typically ranges from $75 to $150, depending on the clinic. The number of sessions needed will be determined by the number and size of skin tags. On average, 1-3 sessions might be necessary for complete removal.
Cryotherapy freezes and removes skin tags using liquid nitrogen. The cost usually falls between $50 to $100 per skin tag. Similar to radiocautery, the number of sessions needed can vary, but typically 1-2 sessions are sufficient for smaller skin tags. Larger skin tags may require additional treatments.
Surgical removal involves removing the skin tag with a scalpel or surgical scissors. This method can cost between $150 to $200 per skin tag. While surgical removal often provides immediate results, larger skin tags or those in delicate areas may require more than one visit to ensure safe and complete removal.
Laser removal destroys the skin tag by using focused light technology. As a more advanced technology, laser removal tends to be pricier, with costs ranging from $200 to $400 per session. The number of sessions required for laser removal can vary based on the number and size of the skin tags, but generally, 1-3 sessions are expected for complete removal.
Insurance Coverage for Skin Tag Removal
Skin tag removal is typically not covered by health insurance because it is regarded as a cosmetic procedure. However, if a skin tag causes irritation, bleeding, or interferes with daily activities, insurance may cover the removal cost. It is best to speak with your insurance provider to determine what is covered under your policy and what out-of-pocket expenses you may incur.
Home Remedies & Over-The-Counter Treatments for Skin Tag Removal
While professional procedures are often the most effective way to remove skin tags, there are also at-home remedies and over-the-counter (OTC) treatments that some people find useful. It’s important to note that these methods may take longer to show results and their effectiveness can vary from person to person.
Tea Tree Oil
Because of its antiviral and antifungal properties, this essential oil has been used in traditional medicine. Some people claim it can dry out and eventually fall off skin tags if applied regularly. A bottle of tea tree oil typically costs around $10 – $20.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar, known for its acidic properties, is believed to help remove skin tags when applied with a cotton ball several times per day. A bottle usually costs between $5 – $10.
Liquid iodine can be applied directly to the skin tag to break down its cells and cause it to fall off. Iodine is generally available for around $10 – $15 per bottle.
Over-the-counter (OTC) treatments are widely available and can be a convenient and cost-effective option for skin tag removal. These products frequently contain active ingredients such as salicylic acid, which can aid in the drying out and removal of skin tags. It is important to remember that the efficacy of these treatments varies and that they may not be appropriate for everyone.
Here are some of the top OTC products for skin tag removal:
Dr. Scholl’s Freeze Away Skin Tag Remover: This product uses a method similar to professional cryotherapy treatments. It is intended to freeze the skin tag, causing it to fall off naturally over time. Freeze Away by Dr. Scholl is FDA-approved and can remove skin tags in as little as one treatment. Prices typically range from $15 to $25 per kit.
All-Natural Skin Tag Remover Liquid from Walgreens: This product contains Thuja Occidentalis, a type of cedar tree extract that’s often used in homeopathic treatments. It’s applied directly to the skin tag to aid in its removal. Prices typically range between $20 and $30 per bottle.
Skincell Advanced: This serum claims to target and remove skin tags with natural ingredients. The product is applied directly to the skin tag and works to dry out and remove the growth over time. Prices for Skincell Advanced typically range from $30 to $50 per bottle.
Amarose Skin Tag Remover: It also makes use of natural components to eliminate skin tags. It’s applied directly to the skin tag, and with regular use, it helps to dry out and eventually remove the skin tag. Prices usually range from $30 to $40 per bottle.
DermaCorrect: Another all-natural remedy that promises to quickly and painlessly remove skin tags. The skin tag will dry out and fall off after being treated with the product directly on the skin. Usually, bottles cost between $30 and $50.
The Importance of Professional Guidance in Skin Tag Removal
It is strongly advised to seek professional advice before beginning any skin tag removal process. Dermatologists and other healthcare providers can make tailored recommendations based on your specific skin condition and requirements. They can help ensure that the chosen method is suitable for your skin type and won’t cause irritation or adverse reactions, providing you with a safe and effective solution to your skin tags.
Finally, while skin tags are generally harmless, they can be irritating. Thankfully, there are many options available to safely and effectively remove them. You can choose the best method for your preferences, budget, and skin needs with the right information and professional guidance.