Can You Remove Skin Tags With Toothpaste?

Medically Reviewed by Dr. Farhaad Riyaz, MD, FAAD, FACMS
Written by Annie Jangam

You will find multiple hacks on the internet to remove skin tags – one of them is toothpaste. However, is it possible to remove skin tags with toothpaste? Is it a safe process? In reality, there is no evidence that toothpaste application is safe or effective at removing skin tags. It could also do more harm than good. Scroll through this article to understand the safety and risks of using toothpaste for skin tag removal. Read on.

Does Toothpaste Remove Skin Tags?

Even though toothpaste is used in treating numerous skin-related concerns, there is no scientific evidence to suggest that it may help remove skin tags. People sometimes believe that hydrogen peroxide, found in some toothpastes, could dry out the skin tag and make it fall off. In reality, however, this doesn’t appear to work.

If you are thinking about getting your skin tag removed, it is best to consult your dermatologist and discuss the various treatment options. There are various options available to help remove skin tags, from home remedies to in-office treatments. But bear in mind that improperly removing a skin tag may leave a permanent scar on your skin or even lead to an infection. Also, if your skin tag is in or near a joint, removing it may affect the mobility in that area.

We do not recommend you use toothpaste to remove your skin tags. Its use has not been proven, and it may pose some risk too. The same hold true for other home remedies, including tea tree oil, garlic, and apple cider vinegar.

The best option for any skin growth is to consult a dermatologist and opt for one of the following in-office treatments.

In-Office Treatments For Removing Skin Tags

1. Cryotherapy

Cryotherapy is the process of using liquid nitrogen to destroy the skin tag. This is either delivered by a jet sprayed from a bottle or by a cotton-tipped applicator. This procedure should always be done by an experienced healthcare professional.

2. Cutting/Clipping

Cutting or clipping your skin tag may seem like an easy job. However, do not attempt this on your own. Consult your dermatologist to have this done as cutting a skin tag off at home with scissors could lead to an infection or bleeding which cannot be stopped. Keep in mind that this could be a painful procedure where anesthesia may or may not be used. Avoid this procedure if you use blood thinners or have bleeding disorders. Also, avoid this method if you have skin tags around your eyes or genitals.

3. Laser Therapy

Laser therapy is a far easier method to remove skin tags. Here, a thin beam of light is used to remove your skin tags. It is done by healthcare professionals and often requires local anesthesia. The post-removal care and maintenance of the wound is often minimal. It can take 10-14 days after a laser treatment for a skin tag to crumble off of the body.

If you do not find any of these best methods suitable for you, you may opt for the other methods mentioned below.

Other Methods Of Removing Skin Tags

1. Cauterization

In this procedure, your skin tag is essentially burned off. It is a painful process that may have to be carried out multiple times to remove the skin tag. Some doctors may use topical or injectable lidocaine as anesthesia to reduce the discomfort.

2. Ligation

A healthcare professional uses a surgical thread (suture) tied around the base of the skin tag to cut off its blood supply. This makes the skin tag fall off with time.

In addition to these methods, some believe home remedies can also help remove skin tags. However, there is no evidence that these home remedies work. Risks of home treatments include bleeding, scar formation, infection, or even delay of the diagnosis of skin cancer when mistakenly assuming that a growth is a skin tag when it’s actually something else. That said, we have listed certain home remedies that are commonly discussed. These remedies may help soothe the skin or prevent a bacterial infection. Make sure to discuss these with your doctor before starting them. Remember that home remedies will typically take more time to work than a procedural treatment in the office.

Popular Home Remedies For Skin Tags

1. Garlic

Garlic contains allicin, a compound with antibacterial and antifungal properties (1). The compound in garlic may help reduce skin infection and inflammation, reducing the chances of scar formation.

What You Will Need

  • 2 to 3 fresh garlic cloves

What You Have To Do

  1. Crush the garlic.
  2. Apply the crushed garlic on your skin
  3. Leave it on for an hour and wash the area using soap and water.

How Often You Should Do This

Consider starting with twice a week.

2. Ginger

The bioactive compounds in ginger and their antimicrobial properties may help inhibit bacterial growth (2).

What You Will Need

  • 1 ginger slice

What You Have To Do

  1. Take a piece of ginger slice and rub it over your skin tag for a minute.
  2. Wash the area with regular water.

How Often You Should Do This

Do this once a day.

3. Baking soda

Anecdotal evidence suggests that using baking soda and castor oil together may help inhibit bacterial growth on skin. Baking soda can also dry out the skin tag, causing it to shrink slowly over time.

What You Will Need

  • ½ a spoon of baking soda
  • 2 to 3 drops of castor oil

What You Have To Do

  1. Mix ½ a spoon of baking soda and a few drops of castor oil in a bowl.
  2. Apply the mixture to your skin tag.
  3. Leave it on for 2 to 3 hours and wash with soap and water.

How Often You Should Do This

Do this twice a week.

4. Honey

Honey has great antibacterial properties and is known to treat skin infections and ulcers (3). Manuka honey is a variety that restricts the oxygen supply and can help with the removal process in addition to potentially helping the skin heal faster once the tag falls off.

What You Will Need

  • 2 to 3 drops of honey
  • A cotton ball

What You Have To Do

  1. Add 2 to 3 drops of honey to a cotton ball.
  2. Apply the honey to the affected area.
  3. Leave it on for a couple of hours and wash with plain water.

How Often You Should Do This

Do this once every day.

While these remedies may help promote skin health, they are not proven to remove skin tags. Also, no matter which method you opt for, it is also important to consult your doctor.

When To See A Doctor

Consult your doctor even before you try any of the remedies mentioned in this post. It is important to get an expert opinion. You also may consult your doctor again if none of the remedies give you the results you desire.

Visiting a doctor also helps you determine if your growth is a benign skin tag or needs other medical attention. Skin conditions, such as warts and moles, can resemble skin tags to the layperson. Some moles can be cancerous and missed without professional evaluation.

Currently, there is no scientific evidence that proves the efficacy and safety of removing skin tags using toothpaste. Improperly removing skin tags may lead to infection or permanent scarring. If you wish to remove your skin tags properly, consult your dermatologist for the available treatment options. They may suggest going for procedures such as laser therapy, cryotherapy, or ligation for the safe removal of skin tags. You can even opt for home remedies using natural ingredients such as garlic, ginger, or baking soda in skin tag removal. However, consult your doctor before trying any of these home remedies.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do skin tags always grow back?

It is highly unlikely that a skin tag will grow back after complete removal.

Do skin tags mean you have diabetes?

Skin tags may develop due to high levels of insulin in your blood (4).

What kind of oil removes skin tags?

Anecdotal evidence suggests that tea tree oil may help in drying out skin tags. Consult your doctor before using it.

Why am I getting so many skin tags on my neck?

You may develop skin tags on your neck due to constant friction, diabetes, or weight gain (4).

Key Takeaways

  • Many hacks on the internet claim to remove skin tags, but they are ineffective and lack evidence.
  • Getting rid of them without knowing the right way can result in permanent scarring and infections.
  • Consult a dermatologist if you decide to get them removed safely. Treatments like laser therapy, cryotherapy, and clipping can deliver effective results.

Sources

Articles on StyleCraze are backed by verified information from peer-reviewed and academic research papers, reputed organizations, research institutions, and medical associations to ensure accuracy and relevance. Read our editorial policy to learn more.

  1. Antimicrobial properties of allicin from garlic
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/10594976/
  2. Bioactive Compounds and Bioactivities of Ginger (Zingiber officinale Roscoe)
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6616534/
  3. Honey: its medicinal property and antibacterial activity
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3609166/
  4. SKIN TAGS IN TYPE 2 DIABETES MELLITUS: A VALUABLE MARKER
    https://www.researchgate.net/publication/340170105_SKIN_TAGS_IN_TYPE_2_DIABETES_MELLITUS_A_VALUABLE_MARKER
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Dr. Farhaad Riyaz

(MD, FAAD, FACMS)
Dr. Farhaad Riyaz is a US-based dermatologist and an authority on skin cancer, ethnic skin, general dermatology, laser medicine, and... more

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