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.

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  1. dcr
    Reply

    I have been bothered by skin tags for years, found myself altering my wardrobe in order to hide them. Starting October 2013, I eliminated from my diet, gluten, sugar, corn, soy, peanuts, dairy and eggs. I had already knew I had trouble with sugar, corn, gluten, and soy and had already eliminated those foods or greatly reduced the amount I eat.. After 21 days, I reintroduced corn, bad reaction so that is totally out my diet.
    A week so so later, I tried eggs, so problem although I do use eggs produced by chickens that have had a healthy diet. After another seven or more days, I tried dairy. In the meantime, I have learned to enjoy milk substitutes, I prefer almond, coconut, nut milks, or blends of these. I can enjoy cheese aged for more than a year or greek yogurt but use once a week.
    Purpose of this entry: my skins tags are disappearing without any other treatment. To take care of the remaining tags, I plan to start using liquid bandage again, that helped in the past. I feel better in general and have lost 25 pounds. Wish I had know about this possible approach years ago.

  2. cybersal
    Reply

    Regarding shingles: Get the vaccine. Not cheap but well worth the cost.

  3. dsr
    Reply

    I am really glad to hear about the benefits of liquid band aid. I have been afraid of shingles because of pinched nerve pain I already suffer from, and I was looking for a cure for skin tags when I found the bonus info, thanks!

  4. AK
    Reply

    New Skin liquid bandage is great for shingles. A coating painted on as they are breaking out will protect any open sores from infection and help it heal faster. In my case (a scientific study of one person : ) ) I painted it on just as red spots appeared at the beginning of a shingles outbreak. The spot disappeared in less than 24 hours and never progressed to the usual skin ulcer. It does seem to have anti-viral properties. I am amazed by this stuff.

  5. john
    Reply

    For so many years I have been suffering the problem of skin tags, and many times not having medical insurance is hard to treat this problem the right way, my question is; is there any remedy or medicine that could be obtained to get rid of skin tags under the arms, please help.

  6. rp
    Reply

    I think the ingredients in liquid bandage are the same as super glue. Probably it would work as well, though I have no experience with using super glue for skin tags. I do know that super glue works very well for cracks in fingers that occur after excessive handwashing – I am an endoscopy RN….

  7. amy b
    Reply

    You had one reader ask about generic paxil, as they had to pay out-of-pocket for medications. Both WalMart and Target have lists of generic medications available for $4, whether you have insurance or not, and paroxetine is on both stores’ lists. You can see the list of generics available through their programs if you search for “$4 medications target walmart” on any search engine. Very helpful for people paying out-of-pocket. Amy

  8. Richard
    Reply

    How do you cure the cracks on the ends of fingers, especially on thumbs? The cracks are deep and hurt and appear quickly.

  9. J O
    Reply

    One summer my naturopath said my skin tags indicated I was eating too much sugar. I usually do not use sugar, but I had been eating a lot of fruit. When I cut back, the skin tags shrank and eventually disappeared.
    I find the appearance of skin tags useful when I get careless. They always go away.

  10. LLD
    Reply

    I have a question about your skin tag remedy and an old remedy from my N.C. family lore.
    If skin tag is relatively fleshy and the pedicle is a bit thicker, then do you ‘flatten’ the tag with the bandage or push it sideways with the bandage? Or, does it matter [since the liquid bandage would not flatten it at all]?
    Old family remedy for these [dating back to the mid-eighteen hundreds at least] was to tightly tie a SILK thread around the pedicle and the tag would drop off in a few days. I have done that successfully on smaller ones but my grandson has one with a thicker pedicle–on his back where a chair back would push it–and I question pinching nerves in the thicker base.

  11. Barbara
    Reply

    I had read in one of Edgar Cayce’s books that Castor Oil will remove moles and skin tags. I put some on a bandaid, and covered the tag with it. In a few days it fell off. It hasn’t gotten rid of all I treated, but I have removed several in this way. I’ll try the other suggestions, too!

  12. Cindy
    Reply

    After my mother told me about your note, I applied “New Skin Liquid Bandage” to a skin tag on my neck. I reapplied daily for about two weeks, and noticed one afternoon that the liquid bandage was still on my neck, but the skin tag was gone!

  13. Louise
    Reply

    skin tags: Five days ago I found a small skin tag under my right breast lined up with the bottom strap of my bra.With constant rubbing it caused the skin tag to be irritated, red and sore. I went looking for information and a solution when I came onto your site. Looking around for temporary relief until I was able to purchase the product mentioned, I found our bandages with silver fibers by FORMEDICA. I wore it for five days. On removing it yesterday, I saw that the tag had shriveled and as I touched it, it fell into my hand. You made a believer out of me. Thank you for posting the testimony. I would have never thought that a simple band-aid could do the same job that others say can only be done painfully and costly.

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