Next to warts, one of the issues I tend to get a lot of questions about is the skin tag. Skin tags are fleshy bumps that can be anywhere from the size of a grain of rice to the size of a pea. Technically called acrochordons or cutaneous papilloma, the benign growths of skin are more annoying than problematic. Let’s discuss how to remove skin tags naturally.
Why Do We Get Skin Tags?
There really is no scientific consensus on why people get skin tags. Studies have shown a correlation between adult onset diabetes and the development of the benign growths, but the results are not conclusive.¹ Skin tags show up more often in people who are overweight. They tend to occur where the skin folds and there is friction, such as in the groin area, on the neck, under the breasts, and on the thighs. They are also common on the eyelids.
Adult onset diabetes tends to be related to obesity and when we are overweight we tend to have more areas of skin folds and friction. For this reason I think it’s more likely that friction encourages the skin tags and it’s less likely related to the inability to process carbohydrates.
It is also believed that there might be a connection between skin tags and human papilloma virus (HPV). Finally, it seems that you have a greater chance of developing the growths if someone in your family has them.
I remember hearing a lecture once during which the speaker suggested we get skin tags when our lymphatic system becomes congested. I think this makes a lot of sense. If we are constantly applying friction to the top layer of our skin and there is a toxic soup below, it stands to reason that a wart-like growth could occur.
Natural Ways to Remove Skin Tags
There really isn’t any reason to do anything unless the tag is in a place where it gets irritated or you just don’t like the look of it. Your doctor may freeze it or simply snip it off with a pair of scissors. Unfortunately, these methods often leave a scar behind. There are a number of well-known natural ways to remove these growths without leaving a scar.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apply twice a day with a cotton ball. It may sting a bit at first but this should decrease with time. It takes 2-4 weeks for the skin tag to fall off. (Matt and Betsy recommend this organic raw ACV.)
Castor Oil and Baking Soda
Make a paste with castor oil and baking soda and apply over the skin tag. This can be covered with a bandage. Continue to apply until the skin is smooth. (Find organic castor oil here.)
Tea Tree Essential Oil
Add two to three drops of tea tree oil to a cotton ball that has been moistened with water. Apply directly to the skin tag and cover with a bandage. The tag will darken and usually drop off in about a week and a half. (Find 100% pure, organic tea tree oil here.)
This is the fastest method, but requires consistency and bravery. Tie a small string or dental floss around the tag as tightly as possible and leave on. Keep an eye on the string and tighten as the blood supply to the tag lessens. In a few days the growth will change colors and fall off.
Other Possible Treatments
Finally, if my hunch is right about the connection between skin tags and a congested lymphatic system, merely cutting off today’s growths will not be the end of it. You might want to get your body moving, begin a daily practice of dry brushing skin before bathing, and try a simple cup of calendula tea (Calendula officinalis) to head off any more problems.
Have you ever successfully removed a skin tag using a natural method? Tell us about it!
¹ Rasi A, Soltani-Arabshahi R, Shahbazi N. Skin tag as a cutaneous marker for impaired carbohydrate metabolism: a case-control study. Intl J Dermatol 2007; 46: 1155-1159