Q. I’m wondering if you have any suggestions for removing skin tags. The dermatologist has lopped off some of them, but I’m hoping for a less expensive solution.
A. Several readers have reported success in making their skin tags shrivel up and disappear by keeping them bandaged. This is difficult to do with adhesive bandages, but liquid bandage makes it easier and seems to work better.
One reader wrote: “After reading your column about skin tags and the use of New-Skin Liquid Bandage, I decided to try it. I had dozens of tags, some large but mostly small in my underarm area. I used New-Skin consistently for six months or better and now all of them are gone. Most of them fell off on their own and I saved hundreds of dollars in doctor bills. It takes patience but it worked for me.” Other brands of liquid bandage may be equally useful.
Q. I have noticed quite a few skin tags appearing on my body. I have had one or two of the larger flaps cut off by my doctor.
I was fascinated to read in your column that a reader had success getting rid of skin tags by putting special BandAids on them. I tried this but could never get a bandage to stay on long enough.
I was about to give up when I ran across some liquid bandage in my medicine cabinet. I had a large flap growing on my shoulder and put the New Skin Liquid Bandage on it. Within a week the flap fell off.
I put it on some smaller skin tags and they shriveled and fell off too. Have you heard of this before or have I discovered an alternate way to get rid of these unsightly skin growths?
A. Skin tags are benign fleshy growths that commonly appear in skin folds such as under the arms, in the groin area or on the neck. They can also show up on the face. They are common and not dangerous. Dermatologists can remove them surgically or with an electric needle.
A few years ago a reader suggested applying BandAid Clear Spots tightly over skin tags to get rid of them in a week or two. Your technique sounds a little easier and we will be interested to learn if it works for others.
Q. My mother recently had emergency surgery (two days after planned hip replacement surgery) to repair an ulcer that had left a hole the size of a half dollar in her stomach. She had been taking Mobic prior to her hip surgery.
Please alert your readers to the dangers of NSAIDS. They must be informed about the risks of these drugs, particularly for the elderly.
A. It has been estimated that over 100,000 people are hospitalized each year because of adverse reactions to NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs). More than 15,000 people die, often because of complications caused by bleeding or perforated ulcers. Drugs in this class include ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), diclofenac (Cataflam, Voltaren), meloxicam (Mobic), naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn) and indomethacin (Indocin).
In addition to digestive tract damage, NSAIDs can raise blood pressure, increase the risk of heart attacks and strokes as well as injure kidneys and liver. We offer more information about such medicines and ways to reduce stomach damage and ease joint pain in our Guides to Alternatives for Arthritis and Digestive Disorders. Anyone who would like copies, please send $4 in check or money order with a long (no. 10) stamped (63 cents), self-addressed envelope: Graedons’ People’s Pharmacy, No. AAG-3, P. O. Box 52027, Durham, NC 27717-2027.
Q. Is there a generic for the depression drug Paxil? I have already fallen into the “donut hole” in Part D (Drug Coverage) of Medicare and would like a substitute for Paxil if one is available.
A. When Medicare patients enter the donut hole they must pay 100 percent of their medication bill. Paxil can cost around $100 a month. The generic paroxetine is available for about a third as much.
Q. Are there any effective treatments for age spots on the hands and face?
A. A compound called hydroquinone (Porcelana, Eldoquin, Esoterica, etc) has been used for decades to bleach brown spots (liver spots) caused by aging and sun exposure. The FDA is considering a ban of this ingredient, however, because of animal data suggesting that it may promote cancer.