Removing Skin Tags With Nail Polish: Safety Concerns And Risks

Written by Reevan Vishwas Rego , Certified Skin Care Coach

Removing skin tags with nail polish is a common hack to get rid of fleshy, wart-like growths. However, this home remedy is extremely dangerous and may cause negative side effects. Keep reading to understand why you should not try this remedy at home and other ways to remove skin tags. Read on.

What Is A Skin Tag?

Skin tags are harmless growths that appear on your skin. The medical term for them is acrochordons. They are brown or beige in color and appear on your eyes, neck, face, armpits, and genitals. They occur in almost 25% of the adult population (1).

  • What Are The Symptoms Of Skin Tags?

Skin tags if left alone aren’t bothersome, but, if you twist or pick them, they may bleed or infect the surrounding skin tissues.
Some of the symptoms of skin tags are as follows.

  • They look like a tiny bump on the skin that is soft to touch.
  • Over time, they turn into a flesh-colored piece of skin attached to the surface of the skin by a stalk.
  • You can develop blood clots if you twist the stalk of the skin tag and it may become painful (2).
  • What Are The Causes For Skin Tags?

There is no clear-cut reason for skin tags to appear. Some researchers suggest that they appear due to clusters of collagen and blood getting trapped inside a piece of skin. It is common to see them form in areas where your skin folds, like your armpits, under your neck, and genital areas (2).

Friction caused by clothes or pieces of jewelry rubbing against your skin may cause skin tags to appear. Some studies suggest that obesity and genetic disorders may also be a cause for skin tags (3),(4).

Skin tags are generally harmless, however, some people may want to remove them for personal reasons. Skin tags near the genital areas may at times interfere during sexual intercourse.

In the next section let us discuss some of the safety concerns of using nail polish to remove skin tags.

Safety And Effectiveness of Using Nail Polish On Skin Tags

Nail polish is a toxic substance that is not safe for your skin. Studies suggest that nail polish contains harmful chemicals like toluene sulfonamide-formaldehyde resin and methacrylates that may cause dermatitis. The study also suggests that these compounds can become airborne and may cause asthma and neurocognitive changes (5).

Some people claim that using nail polish to remove skin tags is an effective technique for them. However, dermatologists do not recommend this process.

If you still want to try this process for yourself and see if it bears results, you have to be cautious.

Cautions To Be Followed When Removing Skin Tags With Nail Polish

  • Do not try using nail polish to remove skin tags if you have a pre-existing skin condition.
  • Do not try this process to remove skin tags on your genitals and genital areas such as the groin and anus.
  • Don’t try this if you are diabetic.
  • Do not try this if your skin tag is bleeding or is oozing pus.

Using home remedies such as this may not always give you successful results, and you may instead end up causing harm and aggravating the issue. It is always better to consult a doctor for things like this.

The most effective way to remove skin tags is through a simple cosmetic procedure. Apart from cosmetic procedures, there are a few other home remedies that people use to remove skin tags. The next section discusses these options.

What Are The Other Ways To Remove Skin Tags?

There are cosmetic procedures that give you good results and there are home remedies that have mixed results. Based on your convenience you are free to choose your most viable option.

There are 4 cosmetic procedures that can remove skin tags.

1. Cryotherapy

In this procedure, the dermatologist uses liquid nitrogen to freeze the skin tag. Within a week or so you can expect the skin tag to fall off.

2. Cauterization

The dermatologist burns the skin tag and it falls off after the doctor repeats the treatment a couple of times.

3. Ligation

The skin tag is tied with the surgical thread to cut off the blood supply, causing it to gradually fall off.

4. Excision

The doctor applies a local anesthetic to the skin tag and then it is removed with a surgical knife.

If cosmetic procedures are your choice, you may want to try these home remedies. However, these have not been studied to prove their efficacy.

  • Banana Peel

Anecdotal evidence suggests that a banana peel may be effective in removing warts, a condition similar to skin tags (7). Wrapping a banana peel around the skin tag and leaving it overnight to dry the skin tag. Repeat this process till the tag falls off.

  • Garlic

Studies suggest the topical application of garlic on corns and other skin lesions may help alleviate them (8). However further research is required to determine its efficacy. Rub crushed garlic on the skin tag and wrap it with a bandage and leave it overnight. Wash the area in the morning and repeat till the tag falls off.

In conclusion, using nail polish to remove skin tags is a home remedy that you must not experiment with. The safest and most recommended way to remove skin tags is with the help of simple cosmetic procedures. Doctors and dermatologists do not recommend you use nail polish to remove skin tags as they may cause more harm than good.

Expert’s Answers For Readers’ Questions

Does lemon juice remove skin tags?

It may help, but there is no scientific evidence to back this method.

Does hydrogen peroxide remove skin tags?

No, it does not remove skin tags. You are more likely to burn your skin if you use hydrogen peroxide.

How long does it take for the skin tag to fall off with floss?

There is no definite time period. It depends on the size of the skin tag. It can range from a few days to a few weeks. Medical experts do not recommend this.

What happens if you accidentally pull off a skin tag?

Do not do this. You will feel immense pain and notice bleeding from the area where the tag was pulled.

Can you cut a skin tag off with nail clippers?

Yes, you can. However, it is recommended that you don’t do this. Please seek medical advice if you want to get rid of your skin tag.

What’s the fastest way to get rid of a skin tag?

A quick and simple cosmetic procedure like cryotherapy, ligation, excision, or cauterization should do the job.

Do skin tags grow back once removed?

No, they do not grow back once removed.

Why am I getting skin tags all of a sudden?

There are no clear-cut reasons as to why they appear. It could be because you are suffering from obesity or are resistant to insulin. It could also be a genetic condition or clothes rubbing against your skin (2), (4), (6).


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  1. Just a Pinch
  2. Skin Tags (Acrochordon)
  3. \’A Clinical Evaluation of Skin Tags in Relation to Obesity\’ Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus
  4. Skin Tags
  5. Safety and Efficacy of Nail Products
  6. Association Between Skin Tags and Insulin Resistance
  7. RCTS in General Practice: Consider The Influence of Patient Expectation on Your Recruitment Strategy
  8. Garlic in Dermatology
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