How Do Doctors Remove Skin Tags & What Do They Charge?
Dr. Angel Rivera
Many people have skin tags, and most of us prefer to treat them at home. Some people understandably feel safer when they have a doctor, or dermatologist, remove them at a local surgery. How do doctors remove skin tags? How much does it cost? More on those questions shortly.
Skin tags are just benign pieces of skin. Many times they grow in the folds of the skin, commonly appearing on the neck, armpits, and around the eyes. Some people get anal skin tags, and they can even appear on their testicles or nipples.
Having skin tags on these sensitive or highly visible areas of the face or body is what leads people to go the doctors to have them removed. We all want to look good and feel confident, right?
Skin tags range in size and can be different colors – not always the same color as your skin. Some people only have one or two, and others have a lot of them. They appear more frequently in older and overweight people, primarily because they have more folds of skin. Genetics and health factors, such as diabetes, are also believed to play a part.
In this article, we will talk more about how doctors remove skin tags. We will tell you the different procedures that they use, as well as recommend a product that you can use to remove them at home.
There are a few different ways that they can do this. Of course, it is a decision that is made by the both of you, depending on your personal preference.
Freezing Skin Tags Off
One way that dermatologists remove skin tags is with liquid nitrogen to freeze a skin tag. In medical terms, this is called Cryotherapy. Depending on the size, they will apply liquid nitrogen to tweezers and apply some mild pressure.
There is a little pain involved, only a slight stinging sensation when it’s applied. The skin tag won’t fall off immediately, but it will do in about a week or two. Before it does, you should expect to see it change to a darker color, but it will heal quickly.
There is an OTC product that you can buy and use at home, called Compound W Freeze Off. It is safe to use, and many people have used it to remove skin tags quickly. Click on the link above to read our full review and learn more about how it works.
Cutting Skin Tags Off
If you have a larger skin tag, the doctor may decide to cut it off. When done by a doctor, they will numb the area first. Then they slice it off with a scalpel. Bleeding is minimal, but this will depend on the size of the skin tag that is being removed. Some skin tags are large.
Some people use scissors or nail clippers to remove them at home. This isn’t recommended, though, as it will cause bleeding, infection, pain, and scarring. Other methods of removal work just as well, if not better, without the negatives.
If there are concerns over the type of tumor, a doctor may perform a medical biopsy. They’ll then send it to a lab for extensive testing.
Burning Skin Tags Off
Dermatologists may cauterize skin tags. This is done with the use of an electric current. It passes through a wire, making it extremely hot, burning off the layers of skin. This procedure will leave a scab. This will drop off, and the skin shade will fade over time.
Laser treatment is also popular, especially as there’s minimal risk of scarring. A growing number of clinics are offering this state-of-the-art procedure with encouraging results.
Tying Off Skin Tags
Also called ligation, dermatologists can also remove a skin tag by cutting the blood circulation to it, causing it to die and fall off. This procedure takes about 7 to 10 days to work, so it’s extremely effective.
Some people do this at home, by using a thin string or dental floss. If you do it yourself, due care and attention are needed as it can lead to an infection. Most people will find that it’s a relatively painless procedure and easy to perform.
You also have to check the knot frequently, so that it doesn’t come loose. If that happens, the blood will be able to reach the skin tag, and you will have to start the process over again.
There is a product that you can buy and use it at home. It is effective and involves no pain. The TagBand comes with flexible bands that you put around the base of the skin tag with a cleverly-designed tool. The band will slide into place, and your work is done. The band will drop off on its own when it’s ready.
Most people find that the skin tag will fall off after about a week. It typically turns black, so don’t be alarmed. Over the next few weeks, the skin will return to its normal color. You do have to be careful not to disturb the skin tag during the ligation or healing process.
Going to a dermatologist is going to be more expensive than removing them yourself. You’re getting support from a highly trained medical doctor with years of professional experience. You’ll pay ‘about’ $100 per skin tag, plus a consultation fee. But, you may find that getting a small cluster removed isn’t much more expensive than removing just 1 or 2.
Savings will usually be found if several skin tags are removed in one session, thus bringing down the average cost per removal. Our research revealed that charges vary considerably, so you are advised to check pricing with different local practices.
Only in extreme cases (if you have an infection, for example) will health insurances cover the cost, so it will be up to you to pay for it. If you are afraid that it may be cancerous, of course, you should see a doctor. This is exceedingly rare, though.
There are different ways that dermatologists use to remove skin tags. We hope this article answered your question of ‘How do doctors remove skin tags?’, and has helped you to choose the best way to remove them.
If your skin tags are inflamed or infected, seeking professional advice from a doctor is recommended. This is also preferred if you aren’t 100% certain that what you have is a skin tag. Your health is always the priority.