Skin tags are harmless growths and do not cause an issue. However, they can be a cosmetic concern if they are on the face and neck. While several treatments are available to remove them, many prefer essential oils for skin tags. So the question is, can essential oils remove skin tags effectively?
Empirical evidence is lacking to prove the efficacy of essential oils for skin tags. The claims are largely based on anecdotal evidence. If you want to try them, this article can guide you. Scroll down to understand what skin tags are, how essential oils may help you get rid of them, and associated risks.
In This Article
Skin tags are harmless, benign growths that usually appear on the neck, upper eyelids, chest, and armpits. These soft protrusions are generally 1-2 mm in diameter. They consist of blood vessels and collagen surrounding the outer layer of skin.
Skin tags can occur in both men and women, and the exact causes of their development are still unclear. Friction can be one possible reason behind the occurrence of skin tags. A study also found an association between low-risk human papillomavirus and skin tags (1).
Several other conditions are also associated with the presence of skin tags. They are:
- Type 2 diabetes: Skin tags are a marker of type 2 diabetes (1).
- Obesity: The relation between obesity and skin tags is controversial. However, skin tags are prevalent in obese people (1).
- Pregnancy: You may observe skin tags during pregnancy. They may occur due to hormonal imbalance and weight gain during this period.
- Genetics: You are at risk of developing skin tags if it runs in your family.
Skin tags are typically the same color as your skin. However, in some cases, they might be darker due to hyperpigmentation. Skin tags generally appear in places where your skin folds, such as:
- Area under your breasts
Skin tags are harmless. However, they may rub against your skin or clothes and may cause inconvenience. That is one reason most people prefer getting rid of them. In some cases, thin skin tags may rub off or go away on their own in a couple of months or even years. If not, you may need to get rid of them – either naturally or otherwise. Many people suggest using essential oils for skin tag removal. But do they work? Let’s find out.
There is not enough research to conclusively prove the efficacy of essential oils for removing skin tags. However, anecdotal evidence claims that they might work. Let’s take a look at the best essential oils that you can use to remove skin tags.
1. Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil acts as a natural antiseptic. It has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties and is effective against human papillomavirus to reduce warts (2). Although there are no studies that prove its efficacy against skin tags, many people found it beneficial in removing skin tags.
2. Oregano Essential Oil
Also referred to as ’Nature’s antibiotic,’ oregano oil has antiviral properties. It contains carvacrol, which is effective against viruses affecting animals and humans (3). While there is no proof if it works against human papillomavirus or can remove skin tags, proponents of oregano oil claim that it can remove skin tags.
3. Frankincense Essential Oil
Frankincense oil is known for its antimicrobial activities, wound healing, and anti-inflammatory effects in soothing skin issues (4). Frankincense finds a place in traditional healing methods and is believed to remove skin tags.
4. Lavender Essential Oil
The lavender essential oil is widely used in traditional Chinese medicine and is known for its antifungal and antibacterial properties (5). Many people use it for skin healing, skin tag removal, and preventing new ones from occurring.
5. Lemon Essential Oil
The lemon essential oil is a potent antiseptic and antioxidant. It is used for antiaging benefits (6). Anecdotal evidence claims that lemon oil can help get rid of skin tags quickly and effectively.
Essential oils are extremely potent and should not be used undiluted. Here is the correct way to use essential oils for removing skin tags.
- Mix 2-3 drops of the essential oil with a tablespoon of any carrier oil.
- Use avocado, olive, jojoba, almond, and coconut oils for dilution.
- Dip a cotton swab into the mixture and apply it to the skin tag.
- Cover with a band-aid.
- Repeat every night until you see a difference in the size of the tag.
Always do a patch test to avoid allergic reactions. You can even prepare an oil blend and store it in a cool dark place. Here is an easy recipe.
You Will Need
- 2 drops of tea tree essential oil
- 2 drops of oregano oil
- 1 drop of frankincense essential oil
- 1 drop of lavender essential oil
- 1 drop of peppermint oil
- 4 tablespoons of carrier oil
- Mix all the oils and pour the blend into a glass jar.
- Store it in a cool and dark place.
- Use as required.
In the next section, we have discussed some handy tips to prevent skin tags and keep your skin healthy.
- Wear loose-fitting clothes to prevent excessive friction, especially on the body folds.
- Use a sharp razor for shaving. A dull razor blade can cause repeated friction and may damage your skin.
- Keep the skin folds moisturized. This prevents friction and keeps the skin hydrated. Focus on areas like the underarms and under breasts.
Here are a few more measures you can follow to prevent skin tags.
Precautionary Measures To Consider
- Get your skin tag examined by a doctor before you try any home remedies or treat it yourself.
- If it does not seem to go away or keeps regrowing, you may consider cosmetic removal.
- If the skin tag bleeds, itches, or changes color, consult with your dermatologist immediately.
- Anecdotal evidence suggests using certain essential oils could remove skin tags.
- Tea tree, oregano, frankincense, lavender, and lemon essential oils are commonly used to remove skin tags.
- When using essential oils, remember to dilute them with a carrier oil.
- If your skin tag changes color, bleeds, itches, or simply doesn’t go away, consult a doctor before trying any home remedies.
Skin tags are small and harmless growths that commonly occur on the face, neck, thighs, and armpits. While the exact cause behind skin tags is unknown, several factors such as type 2 diabetes, genetics, and pregnancy have been associated with skin tags. Even though current evidence does not prove the effectiveness of essential oils for skin tags, you can use tea tree oil or lavender essential oil to reduce the size of skin tags. You can take simple measures such as wearing loose clothes and keeping your skin fold moisturized to prevent the formation of skin tags. Consult your doctor if your skin tag itches or bleeds.
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- A CLINICAL EVALUATION OF SKIN TAGS IN RELATION TO OBESITY, TYPE 2 DIABETES MELLITUS, AGE, AND SEX
- Tea Tree Oil (Melaleuca alternifolia)-An Efficient Treatment for Warts: Two Case Reports
- Antiviral activity of the Lippia graveolens (Mexican oregano) essential oil and its main compound carvacrol against human and animal viruses
- Volatile composition and antimicrobial activity of twenty commercial frankincense essential oil samples
- Antifungal Effect of Lavender Essential Oil (Lavandula angustifolia) and Clotrimazole on Candida albicans: An In Vitro Study
- Biochemical studies on a novel antioxidant from lemon oil and its biotechnological application in cosmetic dermatology