avoid skin tags

People often want to know how to make skin tags go away. These fleshy growths often appear near skin folds and in areas such as the eyelids, armpits, neck or groin. They are not dangerous, but having a dermatologist remove them surgically can be costly. We’ve heard from plenty of readers who have other ideas about getting rid of them. Recently, however, one reader suggested a way to avoid skin tags.

How Can You Avoid Skin Tags?

Q. You recently wrote about using castor oil to get rid of skin tags. I discovered my skin tags appeared after I had eaten too many sweets. Reduced sugars equaled no skin tags.

Lowering Sugar as a Way to Avoid Skin Tags:

A. Thanks for the observation. Physicians have noticed that skin tags appear to be more common in people who are overweight and at risk for metabolic syndrome (Wali & Wali, Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research, Jan. 2016).  It appears that elevated levels of insulin resulting from insulin resistance are associated with multiple skin tags and a condition called acanthosis nigricans (Gonzalez-Saldivar et al, Dermatology and Therapy, March 2017). In this condition, the skin in folds such as the groin and around the neck become darker and velvety in texture. While certain drugs may bring it on, it is commonly associated with insulin resistance or occasionally hormonal disturbances.

People with increasing numbers of skin tags or who notice their skin darkening around the neck and in armpits or groin folds should check with their doctors. Although these skin changes are not risky in and of themselves, they could signal insulin resistance and an increased risk of type 2 diabetes. Some simple blood tests might determine whether a person was on the brink of pre-diabetes or even diabetes.

Your approach of eliminating sweets might help restore a more normal metabolism, lowering blood sugar and insulin. Many nutrition experts would suggest that sweets are not the only foods that could disrupt insulin, however. Consequently, people who find themselves in this situation might need to consider cutting back on all foods with a high glycemic index, including cereal, bread, crackers and pizza. Foods with a low glycemic index are less likely to boost insulin levels and contribute to insulin resistance.

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  1. Patty

    I used regular bleach, applied with a Q-tip daily for a couple of weeks and the skin tag fell off. I now have a new tag and will try the clear fingernail polish. Thanks for this wonderful tips.

  2. Crystal

    My daughter got a ton of tags around her neck and chest while pregnant. Eliminated them quickly. Got a new pair of half-jaw cuticle nippers, sterilized in alcohol x 10 min. Got some ice cubes and held them against her skin for a little bit until the tag turned pale.

    Snipped off the tag and put the ice right back on. Maybe a spot of blood but was quickly stopped with the ice. Could use a styptic pencil as well. Removed probably 40-50 tags with no consequences. None have returned.

  3. Sharon

    At 61 years old, I have been thin and I have been heavy and everything “in between” through the years….I once even lost almost 50 lbs. I do have Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome and there is a connection between that and diabetes. However, I do NOT have diabetes by medical testing…A1c is around 5.8.

    I have had skin tags since my late 30s….I believe they are more a “product of aging” rather than diet or diabetes. I think some people are just more “prone” to them. Diet is important but I disagree that most are caused by diabetes. I may try a castor oil “solution” I read about recently that causes them to “suffocate” from the oil and drop off in time. We’ll see!

    • Tawny K.

      I had developed a skin tag on my eyelid approximately one year ago, and it continued to grow until my husband and I switched to a mainly whole foods plant-based diet four months ago. We switched to avoid the need for cholesterol-lowering drugs. Prior to switching our diet consisted of fruits, vegetables, oats, grains, meat, dairy, cheese, olive oil and coconut oil.

      We have experienced many positive changes but the one that surprised me was that my skin tag has almost disappeared! At this rate it should be 100% gone over the next month. If enough people switch to a whole foods plant-based diet and have positive results then I would have to think yes, diet does affect skin tags.

  4. Patricia

    This is interesting, but would not apply to me. Since I have hypoglycemia, I have avoided sugar in all it’s various names (and limit anything with Splenda) since 1985.

    I am definitely not overweight. So have no idea what is causing my skin tags. I don’t get them in folds, just wide open places. Some have grown and changed colors, so doctor has removed them and sent to lab.

    So far, all have been clear and I just live with the small ones, assuming they will grow a little and change color so will then be cut off. I see the dermatologist every seven months for check up.

  5. Victoria

    My mother had several skin tags on her neck many years ago and I had one 6 or 7 years ago. It drops off within a few days by tying thread tightly around the base of the tag, thus closing off the blood supply.

    In fewer days than you would expect, the problem is solved. The skin tag dries up and falls off, absolutely no harm done.

  6. Brandy
    Denton, Texas

    No question in my mind that change in my diet eliminated my skin tags which were multiple under my arm, under my bra line and bumps on the back of my upper arms.

    Running your hand over my upper arm felt like sand paper. They were so bad I did get dermatologist to remove the biggest one time, but they grew back.

    With a whole foods, plant based diet, with limited sugar and virtually no processed foods they have virtually disappeared and my upper arms are now totally smooth.

    Don’t know what specific eliminated item made the change, I think it was the entire healthy change impacted them in a positive way.

  7. Nora K.

    A coat of clear nail polish applied daily makes mine gone in a week.

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