Skin tags are pieces of protruding skin tissue that form and hang off the skin surface. Common around the neck, with age more skin tags may begin to appear. The quickest and safest way to remove skin tags is with a freezing treatment, in much the same way warts are removed. You can use store-bought wart treatments to effectively remove skin tags, or freeze them off directly with liquid nitrogen.
Things you need
Over-the-counter wart-freezing treatment
Obtain an over-the-counter freezing treatment. Wart removal systems such as Compound W will work well in freezing off skin tags. Various treatment methods are available, ranging from gels and pads to freezing "pens" that directly treat the affected area.
Apply the freezing treatment as instructed on the packaging labels. You may need to repeat the treatment process for up to two weeks to fully and effectively remove the skin tag (see reference 2).
Alternatively, you can perform a similar treatment to that of a dermatologist at home by obtaining liquid nitrogen.
Dip the tip of a pair of tweezers into the liquid nitrogen, then use the tweezers to grasp the skin tag near its base for 10 seconds. Place a piece of gauze over the skin tag. Wear gloves to protect hands from the cold temperatures of liquid nitrogen and avoid touching the skin surrounding the skin tag with the tweezers. The liquid nitrogen will freeze and kill the skin tag cells, and the tag should fall off in a few days (See reference 1).
If over-the-counter treatments do not work, and you do not have access to liquid nitrogen or feel uncomfortable performing the procedure, consult a dermatologist to schedule an appointment for freeze-removal of skin tags. It is a quick outpatient procedure that requires no anesthetic.
- Have someone help when attempting the liquid nitrogen procedure to insure your own safety and to reach skin tags in awkward areas such as the back of the neck.
- Liquid nitrogen can cause frostbite and injury to skin. Just as it kills the cells of the skin tag to remove it, it will also kill or damage any other skin cells it comes in contact with. Be extremely careful.
Things you need
- Over-the-counter wart-freezing treatment
- Liquid nitrogen