How to Safely Cauterize a Skin Tag
Dr. Angel Rivera
Cauterizing skin tags is removal technique that works immediately. Skin tags are harmless, but, they don’t look good, and they can be a nuisance. Whatever your reason(s) for wanting to remove skin tags, there are some proven ways to do it.
The cauterization process involves using a small tool to burn away the cells that make up the skin tag. It’ll fall off once those cells are dead, so cauterizing a skin tag is quick. You can have just one procedure, and your skin tags will be gone.
Because it’s an untried at-home treatment option, you may now know that much about the process. Advancements in technology have made it possible to perform skin tag cauterization at home with a cautery pen. We strongly recommend getting a doctor to perform the procedure, but we’ll explain how it can be performed.
We’ll now take a closer look at the procedure. You’ll find information on how it works, aftercare, and it’s effectiveness. We’ll also look at a few of the alternative methods so that you can be 100% sure that you’ve opted for the most appropriate type of treatment.
How to Cauterize a Skin Tag at Home
People want the benefits of cauterization without having to go to a doctor’s office. Because other ways to remove skin tags are so simple, it was decided that at-home cauterization needed to be just as quick and easy.
The most common places that people burn off skin tags include the armpits and around the neck. Alternative treatments are preferred for removing skin tags on the eyelids, labia, and the groin area. Vulnerable and sensitive parts of the body should be avoided.
One of the most popular treatment options is the at-home cautery pen. It is slightly different to the experience you might have at your doctor’s office. You need to feel comfortable about self-treating and know how to perform the procedure in full.
Using a Cautery Pen
Using a cautery pen at home can make you feel like your own surgeon. But, these simple medical devices have been designed to cauterize even the smallest skin tags so that it can be a good option. Typically, doctors will want to perform a biopsy if you have large skin tags.
A cautery pen heats up quickly, with just the touch of a button. They are the same size as a standard writing pen, so you should feel comfortable when working with it. You can buy disposable models or rechargeable, battery-powered models.If you’re worried about any
If you’re worried about pain, you can apply a topical agent to numb the area. You should apply it to your skin before using the pen. In most cases, you won’t normally feel anything more than a slight sting.
- Safety tip: Never use alcohol to sterilize the area before using a cautery pen because it’s a flammable substance. You can kill germs and bacteria with alcohol after you’ve finished the procedure.
Skin Tag Cauterization Healing Time
The area will feel tender when you’re done. Make sure that the area is clean and sterile.
It will take a week or two for the skin tag removal area to heal. Obviously, this will depend on the size of the skin tag that’s been removed and your level of precision.
You’ll get a small scab that will gradually heal and fall off. You need to be careful not disturb the scab as this could lead to scarring.
Tips for Faster Healing
Using these options will expedite the healing process:
Apply an antibiotic cream after the procedure has been completed. This will help to prevent an infection.
No matter how clean and sterile you might try to make things, germs are everywhere. Follow the antibiotic cream instructions. This involves applying a topical cream once or twice daily for at least a week. It will help reduce any redness or inflammation if you have sensitive skin.
Tea Tree Oil
Essential oils help moisturize the skin and promote healing. But, one of the best is tea tree oil. It has antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral properties.
It has long been used by surgeons as an antiseptic. This keeps wounds clean and encourages the growth of new, healthy skin cells.
If you want an easy way to heal your skin tag faster, apply a dab of Vaseline. While Vaseline doesn’t have any healing properties, it can help to lock in moisture. When your skin is properly moisturized, it will naturally heal faster.
Pros & Cons of Cauterizing Skin Tags
As with any treatment, there are advantages and disadvantages to cauterization. Most of them come from individual scenarios, and what would work best for your particular situation. Let’s take a closer look:
Advantages of Cauterization
- Cauterizing is quick. Most cauterization sessions take just a few minutes, and your skin tags will be gone for good.
- It’s an affordable option. This is important because insurance does NOT cover skin tag removal. If you choose to do it at home, you’re saving more money if you use a rechargeable, reusable cauterizing pen.
- It requires just one treatment. You don’t need to apply oils or creams for months. Although you’ll have to wait to heal, results are instant.
- There is a choice of options. You can either perform the process at home or get it done by a doctor at his/her surgery.
Disadvantages of Cauterization
- Invasive procedure. When you think about it, it’s a tool that burns your skin. While doctors know what they’re doing, and there is little to no pain involved, the idea alone can make people uncomfortable.
- Larger skin tags. If you have big skin tags, it’s not a good option. It can cause a lot of bleeding, and you may need a biopsy.
- Sensitive areas. Think twice about cauterizing skin tags on sensitive parts of the body, such as on the eyelids.
- Can’t reach the area. You may need some assistance from a third party. For example, if you have skin tags on the back of your neck.
- Could cause scarring. If you remove the scab before you’re healed, it could result in a scar. Consider covering the area with a band-aid.
How Does a Doctor Cauterize a Skin Tag?
It wasn’t long ago that skin tags were only cauterized by a medical professional. The instruments used were too expensive and complicated for anyone to use at home.
Plus, it was believed that it could be dangerous for people to do on their own. While that mindset has changed, doctors perform most skin tag removal treatments.
If you choose to have a doctor cauterize skin tags, it’s an outpatient service. There’s no heavy anesthetic involved, and no hospital stay. The procedure takes just minutes.
The process is a relatively simple one. But, if you’re considering cauterization by a medical professional, knowing the steps your doctor will take will give you peace of mind.
Cleaning and Numbing the Area
The first thing doctors do is thoroughly clean the area where skin tags are being removed. Those areas are then numbed with a local anesthetic. This is an optional step.
If you do choose to use an anesthetic, your doctor will either apply it topically or with an injection into the skin. If you’re nervous or have a lower tolerance for pain, an anesthetic may be a good option to consider.
Preparing the Tools
Your doctor will prepare the cauterizing tool by heating it up. The amount of heat used will be a direct response to the size of your skin tag(s). The doctor can adjust the amount of energy flowing to the needle at any time. This is done with a foot pedal or an adjustment button on the tool itself.
Though this is a quick procedure, it can sometimes be unnerving to see a hot needle coming toward your skin. So, by knowing the steps as they’re happening, your doctor can increase your comfort level.
Removing the Skin Tags
Cauterization involves the targeting the stalk of the skin tag. That’s the part that is connecting it your body. They will likely use a pair of tweezers to isolate the skin tag and tug it slightly away from the stalk so that they have a better view. Then, they can use the heated needle to cauterize the stalk.
Best Alternatives to Skin Tag Cauterization
- Freezing with liquid nitrogen
- Laser removal treatment
- Tying off method
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Is Cauterizing a Skin Tag a Good Option?
It’s now one of the safest and least invasive medical options. Plus, the addition of at-home cauterizing pens has made it easier than ever to do, but we recommend that you get this procedure performed by a doctor. This is particularly important on sensitive and visible body parts.
Much of the cauterizing process is a matter of preference. Ask your dermatologist any questions you might have about how to cauterize a skin tag.