Warts and skin tags are both harmless and extremely common conditions. I’m sure most of us have a few skin tags that we aren’t even aware of. However they can be unsightly and cause embarrassment for some sufferers.
Warts are the more bothersome of the two – I remember the ugly bumps on my fingers from my childhood and my own two youngsters get them occasionally as well. I’m anxious to treat them as soon as I notice as they can spread to other parts of the body (and family!).
There’s no need to worry, however, as there are plenty of ways to remove skin tags and warts naturally at home. Most of these use ingredients you probably already have in your cupboards.
Skin tags are harmless, soft skin growths that almost all of us will experience at some point in our lives. What do they look like? You’ll see a small hanging piece of flesh-coloured skin, usually between 2 – 5mm in diameter. They occur most commonly on the eyelids, neck, armpits and body folds (source).
Skin tags can occur at any age, however they most often appear during middle age. Being overweight or pregnant increases the likelihood of a skin tag appearing. They are not contagious and usually painless. Although they sometimes fall off spontaneously, they will usually persist unless treated.
Unlike skin tags, warts are caused by a viral infection – specifically the human papilloma virus (HPV). This means that they are very contagious. Warts are particularly common during childhood – 1 in 5 children have a wart and they spread easily in the playground through skin contact (source).
What do they look like? There are many different types, but the most common is a raised bump with a rough surface between 1-10mm in size. Warts appear most commonly on the hands, feet, knees and face and can be single or in clusters. On the feet they take the form of a veruca which is a flattened, rough lump. They can be itchy and uncomfortable.
Skin tags are completely harmless and healthcare professionals don’t usually remove them unless the patient requests it. They can be unsightly and, depending on the location, get caught on things like jewellery causing bleeding, pain and risk of infection. These are good reasons to remove your skin tags.
Warts require more urgent attention, although there are no serious health implications, they spread easily if not treated. Although they will resolve of their own accord with time, it can take months or even years for this to happen. Wart removal procedures can take effect much more quickly, usually days to weeks.
Medical treatments for warts and skin tags are quite similar. Your doctor will most likely use “cryotherapy”, i.e. freezing the tag or wart using liquid nitrogen.
This kills the affected area and it falls off shortly after treatment. Skin tags can also be cut or burned off using a sterile technique in your GP’s office (source).
You may want to try to remove skin tags and warts naturally however, as the above options can be pricey and painful.
If you are not a fan of using harsh chemicals, you’re in luck – there are plenty of natural options which I’m going to share below.
Before you start treating your skin tag or wart naturally at home, there are a few important precautions to consider. First of all, you must make sure what you are removing is in fact a skin tag or wart.
Your GP will be able to diagnose this and rule out something more serious such as a malignant growth or mole.
Do not try to cut your skin tag or wart off at home. The tools at the doctor’s office are sterile but at home you are at high risk of infection once you break the skin.
You may read successful reports of this type of thing online but it’s just not worth the risk in my opinion. You’ll end up paying more for antibiotics or in the worst case – hospitalization.
Many of the substances recommended below, although natural, can cause irritation to the skin. Do not apply close to the eyes or other sensitive areas. If irritation develops, cease treatment immediately.
Always cleanse the area before any of these methods. Using soap and warm water or an alcohol wipe is ideal and will help prevent infection.
How does it work?
This method constricts blood flow and oxygen supply to the skin tag, eventually killing it.
What to do:
Tie a string around the root of the skin tag. Tighten the string daily until the skin tag darkens in colour and falls off (source).
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