Medically, you can call them by a host of names: acrochordon, cutaneous papilloma, cutaneous tag, fibroepithelial polyp, fibroma molluscum, fibroma pendulum, papilloma colli, soft fibroma. You likely know them simply as “skin tags.”
Even if not by that name, you certainly know them: those (usually) tiny, roundish flaps you find here and there on the body, protruding above skin level. Common locales: armpits, neck, shoulders, crook of the elbow or knee, though they can occur just about anywhere, especially where skin rubs on skin. They look like little extra bits of skin, often dangling on a small stalk.
The tag itself is comprised of a core of fibers, ducts, nerve cells, and fat cells, all under a covering of skin. Benign—if indeed they are correctly recognized as skin tags—but they can be annoying and unsightly.
Who is Prone to Getting Skin Tags?
Who gets them? Everyone. No one’s immune. But, as we’ll find out, some get them much more commonly than others, and there are routines you can follow to minimize their occurrence.
Candidates for big-time skin-tag occurrence include the over-forty crowd, the overweight, diabetics, and pregnant women. There also appears to be a genetic predisposition to skin tags. What’s more, they seem to be the product of a bundle of causes, some of which may be unknown.
One of the things you can always do about skin tags is: nothing. There’s no need to remove them unless they’re often subject to irritation or they present a cosmetic concern. Your dermatologist can remove skin tags by cauterizing them, freezing them (cryosurgery), or via minor in-office surgery.
Homeopathic medicine takes a different approach. These practitioners see skin tags as a manifestation of sychotic (not ‘psychotic’!) miasm—a tendency to excess, overgrowth, “too much.” Another way to look at it: As pollution is to the environment, so the miasm is to the body. Cysts, warts, tumors, polyps, obesity, vaginal discharge, eye ducts oozing, excess mucus and the like can all be viewed the same way.
Thuja and silica are the two main homeopathic remedies for skin tags. However, in homeopathy as in mainstream medicine, you’ll want to see an appropriately qualified professional for the appropriate remedy.
Herbal extracts are common remedies for skin tags, with tea tree oil and castor oil especially. Tea tree oil’s antiseptic and antibacterial properties make it a fine choice for treating skin tags. Apply the oil two or three times a day for a few days or weeks, as required. You can also combine castor oil and baking soda in a thick paste. Apply two or three times daily till the tag dries and falls away.
Another classic, often effective home remedy: Wet a cotton ball with apple cider vinegar and rub on the tag for a few minutes twice daily until the tag disappears or falls off. You can use iodine the same way. Or dot a mashed garlic clove over the skin tag. But be careful with this method, though—garlic can irritate and burn. Mix garlic with Vitamin E oil to aid in avoiding side effects.
On one internet forum I consulted, someone advised treating skin tags with Itworkspaste, a natural cream-like paste you put on a skin tag. Within 20 minutes, it’s claimed, the tag is naturally cauterized.
There are also some reports that Tag Away brand topical homeopathic remedy with Thuja as an active ingredient could be helpful: http://www.trytagaway.com/
One of my readers wrote in this testimonial: “Hi Tonya, due to my skin type I have lots of this kind of tags and most of them come to my face. The only thing that helps me is Manuka Honey. It reduces and dries the tags. I usually put the honey at night and a plaster [bandaid] on top, so the honey does not go to my pillow. It is very effective. Kind regards.” -Rosa.
What About Prevention?
You know where I’m going to start: fruits and vegetables. Goodbye doughnuts and pizza…hello healthy raw-veggie foods. There’s a specific reason for this, however. Sugar, especially refined sugar, is closely connected with issues like acne and skin tags. Cut out sugar, and you’ll head off most of your potential skin tag trouble. Raw foodists have reported lower incidence of new skin tags and some have had tags already present fall away after going raw.
If skin tags bother you, cosmetically, you now know what to do. But whether or not you have cosmetic issues, consider: You now recognize the skin tag as an index of your state of health. Knowledge, always, is the key. What issues do you see when you look at yourself in the mirror? And what are you going to do about them?
To learn more about the raw food diet and how to prepare delicious raw vegan meals, check out my first two books: