Skin tags can be seriously annoying. When I was a kid, I would see people with an extra piece of skin hanging there and wonder why they didn’t get rid of it. It’s this useless piece of skin. It has no purpose. It just gets in the way. I really think people just don’t know how. They think it will be costly or painful, but it turns out there lots of ways you can take care of it yourself at home.

People also avoid going to doctors for skin tags because they fear it could be a sign of something worse. But most skin tags are NOT cancerous or indication of anything worse. They are just one of God’s little oddities (or annoyances, however you want to look at it).

You see skin tags a lot on necks and armpits (I know, I’m getting a little graphic here, but this is just as much a medical issue as a beauty concern.) They can also be found on the eyes, on the back, well anywhere you have skin. Some people develop just one, others develop dozens. Here are visual examples:

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These lovelies don’t have a defined cause. No one’s sure what causes them, but they affect about half of us. Some factors increase your chances of getting them, like hormones during pregnancy. Obesity and age (40-60 year olds show more development of skin tags) also come into play.

I’ve never had a skin tag myself, but I’ve done some research so I’ll be prepared should it happen. Here are your options:

1. Cut if off. Be sure to sterilize the scissors. There may be bleeding and you are going to want to keep the area cleaned to avoid infection.

2. Go to a dermatologist. I would probably choose this option just because I’m a wimp and the thought of doing a mini procedure on myself freaks me out.

3. Cover it with bloodroot or apple cider vinegar and cover with a bandage. I’m becoming more and more amazing at all the uses for apple cider vinegar. I lately learned that it helps clear up reddened paws on dogs affected by allergies.

4. Apply tea tree oil and it dries it out. I know, oil dries it out? Sounds counter intuitive, but it works!

If you do go the doctor route, I would highly suggest not jumping in blind. If you have a primary doctor you trust, ask them to do it. If he or she can’t, ask for a good recommendation for a dermatologist. If you don’t have a doctor at all (hey I understand, I only had a gynecologist and had to get a dermatologist referral from her once), talk to friends and family. See who they go to or who they recommend. As a last resort, you can go online and check out reviews. As with all reviews, whether it’s travel, beauty, or even medicine, I’d take the most devastating and most glowing reviews with a grain of salt and focus on the ones that fall in the middle.

 

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