Skin tags (known medically as acrochordons) are small pieces of flesh-coloured skin which hang off the body. Anyone can develop a skin tag anywhere on their body at any time and, although they’re completely harmless to your health, many people choose to remove them.
One of the two main reasons people decide to remove skin tags is because they’re situated on an awkward part of their body where they can easily catch and tear on clothes, jewellery or other everyday items. The other most common reason skin tag sufferers choose to remove them is that they can often be located on a prominent place visible every day (such as on the face) or on a sensitive, personal part of the body (such as around the genitals) which can cause the sufferer to feel self-conscious.
There are many different ways to remove skin tags, some of which involve spending hundreds at private skin tag removal clinics and some of which cost just small amounts of cash to buy safe and effective skin tag removal products over the counter to use at home.
However, the cheapest method by far is to cut your skin tags off yourself at home. Don’t worry – this method of skin tag removal is completely safe and it’s usually the preferred method used by medical professionals in skin tag removal clinics. But you don’t need any specialist surgical tools to remove skin tags this way – you can safely and effective cut off your skin tags at home with simple instruments and the right advice.
What you’ll need to cut off skin tags at home
A medical professional at a skin tag removal clinic will use a surgical pair of sharp scissors or a scalpel to remove skin tags. At home, you can use a simple pair of kitchen scissors, hairdressing scissors or a razor blade to cut your skin tags off.
In order to keep the chance of infection down to an absolute minimum, you’ll need to disinfect the scissors or razor blade and the skin around the skin tag. You can use some liquid antibacterial hand soap or some rubbing alcohol paired with some cotton pads to do this.
After you’ve removed the skin tag, you’ll need some antibacterial skin cream to further ward off infection. If your skin tag has a wide stem, there is a chance it will bleed when you remove it, so you might also need a plaster/band aid.
How to cut off skin tags
- Take your preferred removal instrument, scissors or razor blade, and make sure it’s as sharp as possible. If your instrument is even the slightest bit blunt, you’ll need to sharpen it.
- After you’ve sharpened it, you’ll need to disinfect the instrument thoroughly. Pour some rubbing alcohol or antibacterial hand soap onto a cotton pad and use it to cleanse the scissors or razor blade.
- Pour some more cleansing product into another cotton pad and scrupulously clean the skin tag and the area around it.
- Wash your hands using the same cleansing product or put on sterilised gloves.
- Pull the tip of the skin tag away from your body with one hand and use your other hand to cut the bottom of the stem as close to your skin as possible, without cutting your healthy skin.
- Dispose of the skin tag and rub a small amount of antibacterial skin cream on the open cut.
- If the cut isn’t bleeding, you will be able to leave it like this. The air will dry up the cut and it will heal quickly. However, if the cut is bleeding, you’ll need to apply a plaster/band aid to stop the blood.
- Check the cut every day and apply more antibacterial skin cream and plasters/band aids as necessary until the cut has fully healed.
Things you need to know before you cut off skin tags at home
Cutting off skin tags with a pair of scissors or a razor blade at home isn’t the best method of skin tag removal. The best way of removing skin tags at home is to buy a skin tag removal cream, removal oil, freeze treatment or removal device. These removal methods are all safe, effective and affordable.
When you cut skin tags off at home, there will be a small amount of pain or discomfort involved. The larger the skin tag, the more pain you can expect, but it will never hurt so much that it will become unbearable.
If you’ve just got one or two skin tags to remove, the small amount of pain you’ll experience shouldn’t be much of a factor. However, if you have a large number of skin tags to remove, the small doses of pain you’ll experience might mean you’ll be better off choosing an alternative removal method.
Cutting skin tags off at home also leaves a relatively high chance of scarring, compared to the other skin tag removal methods. The smaller the size your skin tag stem is, the smaller the size your scar will be – but however small it is, the chance of scarring is there all the same.
The most dangerous aspect of cutting skin tags off at home is the risk of infection. Even if you disinfect the cutting instrument, your skin tags, the surrounding skin and your hands, there is still a chance that you’ll get an infection. At best, an infection will result in a bit of soreness and redness for a week. But at worst, you’ll have to pay several trips to the doctors, take a course of antibiotics and suffer through weeks of considerable pain.
As with any skin tag removal treatment, although there is a very small chance that a skin tag will grow back in the exact same place you removed it from, removing a skin tag from one place on your body doesn’t decrease the chance of skin tags growing on other parts of your body. The older you get, the more likely you are to develop skin tags. This is why it’s a good idea to find a method of skin tag removal that works for you and keep it handy for future use.