Written by Swathi E, December 2, 2021
Skin tags are common and do not cause any medical concern. But, some of us prefer removing them. There are many home remedies available for removing skin tags. One such popular technique is using apple cider vinegar.
In this article, we will discuss how safe and effective apple cider vinegar is for removing skin tags. Keep reading!
Skin tags are small and soft cutaneous growths that hang off the skin. They occur naturally due to factors like friction, trauma, and genetic causes. "They may occur anywhere on the body. Although, they are more common where skin scrapes against flesh or clothes," says Dr. Michael K Newman, a board-certified plastic surgeon. Almost 50-60% of adults develop skin tags in their lifetime (1).
Skin tags don't cause any health issues. However, most people prefer removing them for cosmetic reasons. There are both outpatient procedures as well as home remedies available for the same. The use of apple cider vinegar is one such home remedy.
Can you use apple cider vinegar to remove skin tags? See what an expert has to say about this in the next section.
"Yes, apple cider vinegar treatments for small skin tags can be an effective therapy," says Dr. Alexander Zuriarrain, a board-certified plastic surgeon. However, he adds that this process cannot remove the larger skin tags with long stalks.
Though there is no scientific evidence to back the claim, people have been using apple cider vinegar to remove skin tags for many years.
"In general, apple cider vinegar is safe. However, it can cause skin irritation and redness, which should prompt discontinuing this method of treatment. Yet, it will usually not cause any permanent damage. Its effectiveness is questionable depending on a variety of factors associated with the skin tag," adds Dr. Zuriarrain.
Learn what research has to say about this home remedy in the next section.
There is no scientific evidence to back the usage of apple cider vinegar to remove skin tags. Scattered reports suggest that the topical application of highly concentrated acetic acid solutions alleviates warts (2). Since apple cider vinegar contains 5-6% acetic acid, it might help remove skin tags.
Moreover, some studies show apple cider vinegar may even damage your skin. In one case, the application of apple cider vinegar for mole removal resulted in skin erosion and scarring (3). Another incident reports a chemical burn after applying apple cider vinegar to the knee (4).
However, anecdotal evidence reports positive results of apple cider vinegar usage on skin tags. Read on to learn how to use use it for this purpose.
Step 1: Soak a cotton ball in apple cider vinegar.Step 2: Place it on the skin tag.Step 3: Secure the cotton ball in place with a bandage or surgical tape.Step 4: Leave it on for 30 minutes.Step 5: Wash the area with mild soap and lukewarm water.Step 6: Allow the area to dry.
"Apple cider vinegar can be used twice a day to show results. It can take up to 2 to 3 weeks for the skin tag to be broken down", says Dr. Zuriarrain. He also suggests consulting a doctor for more information on the proven ways to remove a skin tag permanently.
Apart from apple cider vinegar, people also use other home remedies to get rid of skin tags. Read on to learn more.
While there are many home remedies available, there is no scientific data to support their efficacy. Some of them are:
Anecdotal evidence supports the usage of tea tree oil on skin tags. First, soak a cotton ball in tea tree oil and place it on the skin tag. Secure it in place with some surgical tape for 10-15 minutes. Then, take it off and clean it with lukewarm water. It may take a few weeks for the tag to fall off.
People use liquid iodine to remove skin tags, though there is no scientific evidence to back the process. First, apply petroleum jelly to protect the skin surrounding the skin tag. Apply iodine to the skin tag and let it dry. You may repeat this procedure twice a day until the skin tag drops off.
Massage a few drops of vitamin E oil into the skin tag and the surrounding skin. Wait for 10-20 minutes before washing it off. It is said that the skin tag falls off in a couple of days.
Continue reading to learn all the safety precautions you need to follow while using these home remedies for removing skin tags.
Do not use home remedies on skin tags that are:
Seek medical treatment for the skin tags mentioned above.
Do not apply a bandage directly over the skin tag. Instead, always keep a cotton ball on top of it before securing it with a bandage. Conduct a patch test before applying these ingredients to your skin tag. Wait for 24 hours to check for any adverse effects like irritation or burning.
Though there is no scientific evidence to support the efficacy of apple cider vinegar in removing skin tags, it is a popular home remedy around the world. A few case studies also reveal the risks associated with using apple cider vinegar on the skin. However, by taking a few precautions, you can use it at home to remove skin tags. Always consult a doctor before trying any new home remedies.
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