Skin tags are annoying, unsightly, and destructive to some people’s self-esteem. But many doctors do not want to remove them because they are basically harmless. For the same reason, medical insurers do not want to pay to have them removed. But is cutting off skin tags a viable solution at home?
If you have tried over-the-counter solutions that have failed, and you have decided that your only solution is to cut it off, you are not alone. Many people get to this point.
Follow the instructions below carefully:
- It is not advisable to cut off skin tags at home. The moment you cut, it creates an open wound that bleeds a lot because you cut through the blood vessels that run into the tag.
- Never cut off large skin tags at home, especially not from parts of your body where you would mind having scars. The larger the tag, the larger the wound on your skin when you cut it.
- Ask someone else to do the cutting, especially if the tag is in your armpit, on your face, on your neck, or anywhere else you cannot see or use both hands properly.
- Use an over-the-counter skin numbing cream, of which LMX 5 (five percent lidocaine) is the best. Alternatively, Numb Master and Topicain will work too. LMX 5 suppresses the nerve endings in your skin, and it is essential that you apply it about an hour before you remove the tag. Apply two layers of the LMX 5. For other creams, follow the usage instructions on the packaging; they are hard drugs, and incorrect use has killed people.
- As brutal as this sounds, cut with the thinnest, sharpest blade you have. Kitchen knives are usually too blunt and thick. The more you struggle to cut through it, the worse the pain and scarring will be. Buy a scalpel if you can.
- Put the blade in a strong antiseptic solution before you use it to ensure it is clean. 15 mL of Savlon or Dettol in half a liter of hot water will kill all bacteria on it.
- Cut as close as possible to your skin so you leave none of it behind.
- When you are done, it will bleed a lot. Wipe it gently with an antiseptic solution of 30 mL of Savlon or Dettol in half a liter of water and cover it with a gauze bandage. Avoid the use of plasters; the wound needs to be open to the air so that it stays dry. Rather just dab it gently and frequently with a cloth dipped in the antiseptic solution until the bleeding stops.
- Apply an antibiotic cream like Neosporin to the area for a few days to prevent an infection.