Skin tags are small non-cancerous growths that can form when the body procedures extra skin cells in areas where the skin naturally folds and rubs against itself, such as your neck or between the thighs. A dermatologist can remove skin tags during an in-office procedure that typically costs $150 out-of-pocket, as health insurance plans usually do not cover cosmetic procedures. Over-the-counter treatments and at-home remedies for skin tags usually cost up to $30.
Where can I go to get a Skin Tag removed?
If you think you might have developed a skin tag, it's best to seek out care from your primary care physician or dermatologist. No matter which healthcare provider is your first call, they should be able to diagnose your skin tag after a brief evaluation and exam. The in-office evaluation will rule out any other conditions that might look like skin tags, such as moles, warts, skin cancer, and skin disease.
Although there is no official test to confirm skin tag diagnosis, your healthcare provider might take a sample or biopsy and send it for lab testing if they suspect something else. Furthermore, if your initial visit is with your primary care physician, they may refer you to a dermatologist for treatment and consultation on removal options.
There are several treatment options to remove skin tags: going to a doctor, using over-the-counter medications, and using at-home remedies. It's important to note that since skin tags are not dangerous to your health, clinical treatment to remove them will likely not be covered by insurance, as skin tag removal is considered a cosmetic or elective procedure.
Additionally, if the appearance of the skin tag does not bother or hurt you, you may not need treatment, as most skin tags will eventually fall off on their own. However, if the appearance of the skin tag bothers you or if the tag bleeds easily, it is best to seek out options for skin tag removal.
What is the cost of surgical procedures for Skin Tag removal?
Surgical removal procedures are the most common method of skin tag removal and can be completed in an outpatient setting. Most procedures take about 30 minutes to complete and have minimal post-procedure downtime. After numbing the skin tag area with a local anesthetic, your doctor may perform one of the following procedures based on the location and size of the skin tag.
Below is a list of the top methods for skin tag removal:
- Cauterization: heat is applied to burn or dissolve the skin tag tissue.
- Cryosurgery: a small amount of liquid nitrogen is sprayed over the area, which freezes off the skin tag.
- Electrocautery: electric current used to burn off the skin tag.
- Ligation: cutting off the blood flow of the skin tag using surgical thread until it essentially “dies”.
- Surgery: involves the doctor snipping off the skin tag. Depending on the size and location of the skin tag, you might need bandages or stitches.
On average, it costs $150 to get a skin tag removed by a doctor. Below is a chart that illustrates the average cost of each surgical skin tag removal procedure. Keep in mind that the cost can vary based on your location, treatments required, and office visit fee. It is always important to speak to your doctor regarding which type of procedure is best for you.
Cost of In-Office Skin Tag Treatments Without Insurance
|Type of Procedure||Cost|
|Surgery||$150 - 300|
Cost of Over-The-Counter (OTC) and At-Home Remedies for Skin Tag Removal
Since skin tags don't necessarily require medical attention or a trip to your doctor, you might choose to remove the skin tag with over-the-counter (OTC) products or home remedies using common products you might already have in your medicine cabinet.
The goal of OTC and home remedies treatment is to dry the skin tag out until it shrinks and falls off. However, it's important to note that home remedies and OTC treatments can take longer to produce results and can put you at risk for infection and bleeding.
OTC Treatments to Remove Skin Tags
There are several OTC options available at grocery and drug stores that can be used to remove a skin tag safely. Most options use methods that are similar to ligation and cryotherapy, but on a less-invasive scale.
Below are the top picks for OTC skin tag treatment, how they work, and the average cost of these producits.
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Cost of OTC Skin Tag Treatments
|Name||How it Works||Average Cost|
|TagBand||Pen-like applicator places a transparent rubber band around the skin tag base and reduces its blood supply.||$29|
|Compound W||Liquid that is applied to skin tag to freeze it off.||$23|
|Ulensy||Complete kit and applicator to apply rubber band around the skin tag and cut off its blood supply.||$23|
|Samsali||Medicated Bandage pad applied directly to the skin tag.||$23|
|ProVent||The liquid is made from plant extracts and essential oils and placed directly on the skin tag.||$8|
At-Home Remedies To Remove Skin Tags
Below are some common at-home remedies that use ingredients such as apple cider vinegar and vitamin E to remove skin tags.
At-Home Remedies for Skin Tag Removal
|Type of Ingredient||Benefits||How-To-Use|
|Tea Tree Oil||Has antiviral and antifungal properties.||Apply to a cotton swab and place bandage over the skin nightly.|
|Banana Peel||Helps to hydrate the skin and provides antioxidants.||Place a piece of a banana peel on the skin tag and cover it with a bandage nightly.|
|Apple Cider Vinegar||Acidity of apple cider vinegar works to break down the tissue surrounding the skin tag.||Place cotton swab soaked in apple cider vinegar over skin tag in a bandage for 15-30 minutes. Remove and wash the area.|
|Vitamin E||Antioxidant that helps fight wrinkles and keeps the skin healthy.||Massage oil over the tag and surrounding skin until it falls off.|
|Garlic||Improves the appearance of the skin by reducing inflammation.||Apply crushed garlic over the tag and cover the area at night. Wash off in the morning.|
What Causes Skin Tags?
Skin tags or acrochordons are small non-cancerous growths that are typically the same color as your skin and often look like a cluster of your skin extending away from your body. Most skin tags are between 1-6 mm but can grow to a few centimeters. Skin tags are very common, with about half of the adult population having at least one skin tag in their lifetime. They are more prevalent in older adults, people who are overweight, and people with diabetes.
Skin tags occur when your body produces extra cells of the skin's top layer. They tend to form in skin folds and areas with movement that causes the skin to rub against itself. Some of the most common areas for skin tag growth include:
- Groin or Thighs
- Under the breast
- Upper Chest
Risk Factors for Skin Tags
Although all adults are susceptible to developing a skin tag at some point in their life, there are a few risk factors that can increase the likelihood of developing skin tags. Knowing what risk factors apply to you and if you're more likely to have skin tags is excellent information to tell your provider early on.
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Skin Tags are more common in people who:
- Are overweight and obese
- Are diabetic
- Are pregnant
- Are diagnosed with HPV
- Have hormone imbalance (changes in estrogen or progesterone levels, especially with birth control)
- Have family history of skin tags
- Have high cholesterol levels
- Hypertesnive or have high blood pressure
Skin Tag Removal Frequently Asked Questions (FAQS)
Below are some commonly asked questions about skin tags, costs, and removal procedures.
Are there cases when skin tag removal is covered by insurance?
There are some circumstances where skin tag removal can be covered by your health insurance. For example, if the growth is bleeding or directly hindering your well-being through irritation or restricting your daily activities, your insurance plan might cover the cost of removal. Furthermore, if your provider recommends the growth be sent out for testing, your insurance plan may cover some or all of the associated costs.
How effective are OTC skin tag treatments?
OTC remedies for skin tag removal are generally less effective than in-clinical removal, as the surgical procedures provide immediate results. However, with proper application and consistency, most OTC remedies can cause the skin tag to fall after 7 to 10 days.
What should I do after the skin tag is removed?
The number one recommendation is to follow any instructions that your doctor provides you with after your procedure. Infections and complicatons post-skin tag removal are not common. However, you may develop a scar that will disappear over time. After a clinic procedure, your provider might instruct you to keep the wound dry for at least 48 hours and then gently wash the area with soap and water.
Following at-home or OTC removal, you should apply a topical antibiotic ointment and keep it covered with a bandage to lower the risk of infection. If you find the area not healing or experiencing bleeding, you should seek medical attention.
Although skin-tags are not detrimental to your health, the appearance or irritation may lead you to seek out drugstore removal options or care from your dermatologist. If you would like to get a skin tag removed, it is essential to know your options and the associated cost of care. Before utilizing at-home remedies and OTC treatments, consult with your physician or dermatologist for a proper diagnosis.
As some in-clinic procedures are not covered by insurance, saving money on other aspects of your healthcare is crucial. With Mira, you are able to consult with physicians and receive recommendations for dermatologists conveniently. For $45 a month, a Mira membership gives you access to low-cost urgent care, doctor's visits, lab testing, and discounted prescription medications at your fingertips. Sign up today!
But Dr. Ng suggests leaving skin tag removal to the professionals. She says that some home remedies can lead to skin irritation and even skin ulcers from the application of home remedies like apple cider vinegar. And if you try to cut one off, it will only lead to bleeding and possibly, an infection.Is skin tag removal painful? ›
He or she can remove skin tags quickly and with very little discomfort right in the office. Your doctor might snip the tag off with sharp, sterile scissors or freeze or burn it with a special solution. If the tag is small enough, you'll feel no more than a pinprick.Are skin tags worth removing? ›
Skin tags do not have to be removed. They are not harmful, and will not become so over time. However, some people find them unsightly and choose to have to have them removed.Can I cut off a skin tag with nail clippers? ›
As skin tags have blood vessels, you will want to avoid using nail clippers, scissors or any other methods that could cause uncontrollable bleeding. Please do not try to take treatment of skin tags by excision into your own hands.Can I remove a skin tag myself? ›
Removing a skin tag at home is not normally recommended due to a risk of bleeding and possible infection. Some simple solutions can be used at home, for example, tying a piece of dental floss around a very small skin tag that is not in a sensitive area. This deprives the tag of blood, so that it falls off.Does apple cider vinegar get rid of skin tags? ›
There's no scientific evidence that apple cider vinegar removes skin tags. In fact, recent studies suggest it may actually damage your skin.Do skin tags grow back once removed? ›
6. Will Skin Tags Grow Back After Being Removed? Skin tags do not grow back after removal. If you develop other skin tags in the same place after removal, you may just be prone to having them in that area.Why am I getting skin tags all of a sudden? ›
Skin tags occur when extra cells grow in the top layers of the skin. They tend to develop when the skin rubs against itself, so are more common in people who are overweight and therefore have folds of skin. They grow both in men and women and are more common in older people and people living with type 2 diabetes.How long does skin tag removal surgery take? ›
Skin tag removal is a straightforward procedure that can be carried out while you are awake. Skin tag removal takes only 15 to 30 minutes.Is it better to freeze or cut off skin tags? ›
Small skin tags have a minor effect on your appearance and can be less irritating. They are usually removed simply and painlessly by freezing or burning the growth. Larger skin tags will require physical removal with scissors or a scalpel due to their larger stem connecting to the skin.
Snipping and freezing are the best options. Over the counter liquid products may simply irritate the skin and not lead to the resolution of tags, as can do-it-yourself "strangulation" at home with dental floss or string.Who should remove a skin tag? ›
If you want to remove a mole, skin tag, or other growth from your skin, here are five benefits of seeing a dermatologist for this treatment: Find and treat skin cancer. Skin cancer can appear on your skin in many ways. It can look like a changing mole, new growth, or scar.Can you use dental floss to remove skin tag? ›
If your skin tag is small with a narrow base, your GP may suggest that you try to remove it yourself. For example, they may suggest tying off the base of the skin tag with dental floss or cotton to cut off its blood supply and make it drop off (ligation).Will clear nail polish remove a skin tag? ›
Clear nail polish is a home remedy that some people say can remove skin tags. Clear nail polish might work to get rid of skin tags by essentially suffocating the skin cells. If you want to get rid of a skin tag or mole for cosmetic reasons, clear nail polish might be effective — but that doesn't mean that it's safe.Is Vaseline good for skin tags? ›
If you have a skin tag removed, clean the area with soap and water two times a day unless your doctor gives you different instructions. Don't use hydrogen peroxide or alcohol, which can slow healing. You may cover the wound with a thin layer of petroleum jelly, such as Vaseline, and a non-stick bandage.Does a skin tag have roots? ›
Keratoses are usually very superficial with no underlying “roots,” almost like warts. Some keratoses are caused by sun damage and they are considered pre-cancers. Skin tags (“acrochordons”) are usually small, but can grow steadily and tend to occur in skin folds.How does dermatologist remove skin tag? ›
Dermatologists have several simple methods to remove skin tags. Cryotherapy can be used to freeze them off, skin tags may be removed with scissors or a scalpel, or an electric needle can burn them off. This last procedure is known as electrodessication. Your dermatologist can determine the best method for removal.Does witch hazel shrink skin tags? ›
Witch hazel can be used for cleansing the affected site and for removing trapped fecal matter. While these nonsurgical methods can help in managing the discomfort from hemorrhoid skin tags, they will not cause them to disappear.How long does it take for a skin tag to fall off using vinegar? ›
Apple cider vinegar
Place a bandage over the cotton ball to keep it in place for 15-30 minutes. Remove and wash the area. Do this daily until the skin tag falls off. It may take a couple weeks for the acid in the vinegar to break down the skin tag tissue.
Cryotherapy involves freezing the skin tag with liquid nitrogen, which causes it to fall off, usually within about 10 days. The liquid nitrogen may cause a brief burning sensation.
Skin tags. Many people have skin tags—skin growths that hang from a stalk. While harmless, having numerous skin tags may be a sign that you have too much insulin in your blood or type 2 diabetes.How do you avoid getting skin tags? ›
- Maintaining a healthy weight.
- Getting regular exercise.
- Avoiding jewelry and clothing that may rub against your skin.
Often used in skin care, you can dab a bit of vitamin E on the skin tag and the surrounding area. Sometimes, this can cause the skin tag to fall off after several days.What disorder causes skin tags? ›
Birt-Hogg-Dubé (BHD) syndrome is a rare genetic condition characterized by skin tumors, including multiple fibrofolliculomas, trichodiscomas, and acrochordon, or skin tags. Carcinomas, or cancerous tumors, may also develop in the kidneys and colon.When should you get a skin tag checked? ›
It's also possible (when self-diagnosing) to misdiagnose a skin tag. As a rule of thumb, see a dermatologist if you develop any unusual growths on your skin. The situation may be more urgent if a skin growth dramatically increases in size or changes its shape and color in a short amount of time.What disease are skin tags associated with? ›
- Abnormal lipid profile.
- Type 2 diabetes.
- Cardiovascular disease.
- Genetic factors.
Your dermatologist can very quickly and efficiently remove a skin tag using one of two main methods: Cryotherapy or freezing the tag off with liquid nitrogen.Do skin tags get bigger? ›
Skin tags are small growths of tissue on the skin's surface. They are usually benign and painless and do not grow or change. They can be found most anywhere on the body but are usually located on the neck, armpits, trunk, and body folds.How long is recovery after skin tag removal? ›
After the skin tag removal treatment has been done, the fresh wound generally takes around 5-10 days to stop causing any discomfort, and then around 2 to 3 weeks to heal completely.Do skin tags bleed when pulled off? ›
Third, skin tags can, and do, bleed if you try removing them at home. With your skin opened up, you put yourself at risk for infection, making the original skin tag a problem you wish you still had.
What happens if you accidentally pull off a skin tag? If a skin tag accidently gets pulled off, it's usually not a problem. If it bleeds, apply firm pressure for a few minutes until the bleeding stops. Look for signs of infection as it heals, including pain that lasts, spreading redness, or any drainage.What do cancerous skin tags look like? ›
They may have areas with different colors and may spread quickly. Basal cell carcinoma: The most common form of skin cancer, appears as raised translucent, shiny, pink, red, or pearly bumps, and may have blue, black, or brown areas.How long does it take for a skin tag to fall off with band? ›
Treatment takes seconds. Quick results: most skin tags vanish within 2 weeks after just one application. More cost effective and convenient than visiting a clinic (each product can be used to remove up to 12 skin tags)What is the safest way to remove a skin tag at home? ›
Soak a cotton swab in apple cider vinegar and place the cotton swab over the skin tag. Wrap the section in a bandage for 15 to 30 minutes, and then wash the skin. Repeat daily for a couple of weeks. The acidity of apple cider vinegar breaks down the tissue surrounding the skin tag, causing it to fall off.How do you get rid of skin tags at home overnight? ›
After washing the area affected by skin tags thoroughly, carefully spread some tea tree oil on the swollen parts, using a cotton swab. Cover it with a clean cloth and leave it on overnight. The intrinsic antibacterial and antifungal properties of tea tree oil help to promptly remove skin tags.What causes skin tags to suddenly appear? ›
Skin tags occur when extra cells grow in the top layers of the skin. They tend to develop when the skin rubs against itself, so are more common in people who are overweight and therefore have folds of skin. They grow both in men and women and are more common in older people and people living with type 2 diabetes.Do skin tags grow back? ›
6. Will Skin Tags Grow Back After Being Removed? Skin tags do not grow back after removal. If you develop other skin tags in the same place after removal, you may just be prone to having them in that area.What does a cancerous skin tag look like? ›
A malignant mole usually appears brown or black, but may appear pink, tan, or white. They may have areas with different colors and may spread quickly. Basal cell carcinoma: The most common form of skin cancer, appears as raised translucent, shiny, pink, red, or pearly bumps, and may have blue, black, or brown areas.Is there anything inside a skin tag? ›
Skin tags, or acrochordons, are noncancerous lesions that can grow in folds of skin, such as your underarms, groin area, or neck. They're usually made up of a combination of skin cells, collagen fibers, nerve cells, fat, and blood vessels.How does a dermatologist remove a skin tag? ›
Dermatologists have several simple methods to remove skin tags. Cryotherapy can be used to freeze them off, skin tags may be removed with scissors or a scalpel, or an electric needle can burn them off. This last procedure is known as electrodessication. Your dermatologist can determine the best method for removal.