Skin tags, also known as acrochordons, are painless, noncancerous growths on the skin. These skin growths are made up of blood vessels and collagen, surrounded by an outer layer of skin. They are connected to the skin by a small, thin stalk called a peduncle.
They usually appear on the neck and other places where there are skin folds like the armpits, groin, thighs, eyelids and the area under your breasts.
Most skin tags on the neck are tiny in size and soft to the touch. In appearance, they may be smooth and round or wrinkly and asymmetrical.
Skin tags equally affect males and females. The older you get, the more susceptible you are to these skin tags. You may have a higher risk of developing skin tags if you are diabetic, overweight, pregnant, have the human papillomavirus (HPV) or have family members who have skin tags.
It is not yet clear what causes skin tags. However, as they usually develop in skin folds, friction may play a role.
A 2008 study published in the Indian Journal of Dermatology, Venereology, and Leprology found that HPV may be a factor in the development of skin tags.
In 2010, a study published in the Anais Brasileiros de Dermatologia reported that multiple skin tags are associated with insulin resistance, a high body mass index (BMI) and high triglycerides.
Usually skin tags are not harmful. However, most people want to get rid of them for cosmetic and aesthetic reasons. While cryosurgery, cauterization and excision can help remove skin tags, there are many safe and effective home treatments that you can use to remove skin tags yourself.
Here are the top 10 ways to remove skin tags on your neck easily at home.
1. Dental Floss or String
One simple solution to remove skin tags from your neck is using dental floss, surgical thread or string. All you need to do is tie a knot around the tag to cut off blood circulation to the area (ligation), which causes the skin tag to turn black or blue and eventually fall off.
- Clean the area thoroughly with mild soap and water.
- Wipe the skin tag and surrounding area with rubbing alcohol.
- Tie a piece of dental floss or thread securely around the bottom of the stalk to stop the circulation of blood into the skin tag.
- Cover the skin tag with a bandage so it doesn’t brush against clothing or other objects.
- Sterilize the area and change the bandage each day to prevent the area from getting infected.
- Within 1 or 2 weeks, the tag will wither and fall off.
Depending on the location of the skin tag, you may have to ask someone to help you with this remedy.
Caution: When tying the dental floss around your skin tag, make sure it does not cut into the skin.
2. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is very effective and safe for removing skin tags yourself at home. Its acidic property helps break down the excess cells in the skin tag. This is turn helps diminish and eventually eliminate the skin tag.
- Clean the skin tag and surrounding area with a gentle cleanser and pat it completely dry.
- Use a cotton ball to apply raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar on the skin tag.
- Optionally, cover it with a bandage.
- Leave it on for a couple of hours.
- Rinse it off with lukewarm water.
- Do this once daily until the skin tag drops off.
Caution: If you have sensitive skin, dilute the apple cider vinegar with a little water before applying it.
3. Tea Tree Oil
Being potent in nature, tea tree oil is another very effective solution for getting rid of skin tags from your neck fast and naturally.
Tea tree oil helps dry out the skin tags and make them fall off. Plus, its antiseptic nature prevents any kind of infection.
- Clean your neck with warm water and mild soap, then pat your skin dry.
- Put a few drops of tea tree essential oil on a cotton ball or gauze pad.
- Apply it on the skin tag and allow the oil to naturally air-dry.
- Repeat this process 2 or 3 times daily.
Iodine is another effective remedy that you can try at home. Iodine is a natural element that breaks down skin cells and causes the skin tags to safely fall off.
For skin tags, you need liquid iodine. It’s readily available in the market.
- Clean the area well with water and mild soap.
- Dip a cotton swab in the liquid iodine.
- Apply it directly on your skin tag. Be careful to avoid getting it on the healthy skin surrounding the tag.
- Cover with a bandage or duct tape.
- Do it once daily until the skin tag falls off.
Caution: To protect the surrounding skin from the harsh effect of iodine, apply a thin coat of coconut oil on the area surrounding as a barrier.
5. Duct Tape
You can also use duct tape to get rid of skin tags on your neck. Duct tape irritates skin tags as well as reduces the flow of blood, which causes the skin growth to die off.
- Wash the neck area with water and mild soap, then pat dry the area.
- Use a toothpick to gently scratch the skin tag.
- Cover the area completely with duct tape.
- Leave it on for a day.
- Apply new tape daily, continuing for a few weeks if needed.
- Eventually, your skin tag will fall off.
Though not highly recommended, you can also try cutting off small, irritating skin tags with a pair of sharp and sterile scissors or nail clippers.
- Disinfect the area by wiping it with 70 percent isopropyl alcohol.
- Place an ice cube wrapped in a piece of cloth on the skin tag and its surrounding area for a few minutes.
- Clean your scissors with a cotton pad dipped in rubbing alcohol.
- Cut off the skin tag as close to the base as possible. It should feel only like a pinch.
- Apply an antibacterial cream on the area, especially if it starts to bleed.
- Cover with a medicated tape. Change the dressing daily for a few days until the wound heals.
Caution: Make sure you snip the skin tag with a stable (not shaky) hand in one go. Do not attempt to cut off large skin tags by yourself as they may bleed heavily.
7. Oil of Oregano
You can also use oil of oregano to get rid of those ugly skin tags. In addition to its potent nature that helps shed skin tags, oregano oil has antibacterial properties that will help prevent infection.
- Put a drop of oregano oil on a cotton swab.
- Apply it on the affected area and leave it on for a few hours before rinsing it off.
- Do this twice daily for a couple of weeks or until the skin tag falls off.
If oil of oregano seems too strong for you, use 5 drops of lemon oil mixed in ¼ teaspoon of coconut or olive oil.
8. Witch Hazel
Witch hazel also helps dry out and shed skin tags, thanks to its astringent properties.
- Dip a cotton ball in witch hazel and apply on your skin tag.
- Leave it on for a few hours, then rinse your skin.
- Reapply 2 more times throughout the day.
- Do this daily for a few weeks until your skin tag dries up and ultimately falls off.
9. Nail Polish
One simple yet effective method to get rid of skin tags is coating them with clear nail polish. It suffocates the skin tag, causing it to dry up and fall off.
- Wash the area with mild soap and warm water, then pat dry your skin.
- Dab clear nail polish onto the skin tag, coating the tag thoroughly.
- Allow the polish to dry on the skin, then put a bandage over the area.
- Leave it on overnight.
- The next morning, remove the bandage and remove the polish with nail polish remover.
- Repeat daily until the skin tag is gone.
Caution: If there is any redness or irritation on your skin, do not use this nail polish remedy.
10. Castor Oil
Castor oil, the one obtained from castor beans, can also help get rid of skin tags without leaving a scar.
In addition, being loaded with many nutrients, it helps keep the skin on your neck area healthy.
- Clean the skin on your neck with water and mild soap.
- Mix castor oil and baking soda in a ratio of 1:2 to create a paste.
- Apply the paste over the skin tag and cover it with a bandage.
- Leave it on overnight.
- The next morning, rinse off the area with lukewarm water.
- Do this daily before going to bed until the tag is removed.
- Shave with caution around skin tags, as it may cause pain and prolonged bleeding if you nick them with a razor.
- Avoid picking at the tags as it will increase the risk of scarring and infection.
- If you have a skin growth that bleeds, itches or changes color, see your doctor immediately to rule out the possibility of skin cancer.