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Will Apple Cider Vinegar Make Skin Tags Disappear?

Many people would prefer to avoid a visit to the dermatologist's office but still want to make their skin tags disappear.
Will Apple Cider Vinegar Make Skin Tags Disappear?
Large brown skin tag attached to a man’s hairy armpit held on by a small section of the tag. Selective focus with space for text.

Skin tags are tiny (or sometimes not-so-small) growths on the skin. Although they are not dangerous in themselves, doctors regard them as potential markers for metabolic problems like diabetes (Clinical Dermatology, Jan-Feb. 2018). Although dermatologists have several techniques that work to remove skin tags (surgery, freezing, shaving, electrodesiccation), many people would prefer to get rid of them without medical intervention. Can you make skin tags disappear?

Apple Cider Vinegar to Make Skin Tags Disappear at Home:

Q. You recently responded to a reader’s inquiry on skin tag removal. I use apple cider vinegar. The acidity breaks down the tissue surrounding the tag, causing it to fall off.

  1. Soak a cotton ball in apple cider vinegar.
  2. Secure the cotton ball to your skin tag with a bandage.
  3. Remove it after 10 to 15 minutes.
  4. Wash the area with soap and warm water.
  5. Allow the area to dry.
  6. Repeat daily for two weeks or until the tag falls off.

A. Thank you for sharing your step-by-step instructions. It sounds safer than some methods for skin tag removal.

Although some readers recommend tying off the skin tag with dental floss or thread, one reader shared this cautionary tale:

“As to tying string around a tag, it sounds good. But when I tried it, the tag got sore, then got infected. I had to go to the doctor to get it removed surgically. It was under my armpit. Ouch!”

Physicians have investigated vinegar for treating swimmers’ ear (otitis externa) and a few other skin conditions (American Family Physician, Dec. 1, 2012). However, we could not find any published studies of apple cider vinegar to help skin tags disappear. 

Other Home Remedies:

People have used some other approaches to make skin tags disappear. Some have applied adhesive bandages. 

Others like to use liquid bandage:

“I have used liquid bandage on skin tags with good success. Brush on twice a day. They will fall off within 7 to 10 days.”

Certain individuals have substituted household instant glue for the liquid bandage, while a few prefer clear nail polish. It does make sense to have a doctor check your skin tag, just to make sure it is not something more serious. 

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About the Author
Terry Graedon, PhD, is a medical anthropologist and co-host of The People’s Pharmacy radio show, co-author of The People’s Pharmacy syndicated newspaper columns and numerous books, and co-founder of The People’s Pharmacy website. Terry taught in the Duke University School of Nursing and was an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology. She is a Fellow of the Society of Applied Anthropology. Terry is one of the country's leading authorities on the science behind folk remedies. .
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  • Uzuncakmak TK et al, "Cutaneous manifestations of obesity and the metabolic syndrome." Clinical Dermatology, Jan-Feb. 2018. DOI: 10.1016/j.clindermatol.2017.09.014
  • Schaeffer P & Baugh RF, "Acute otitis externa: An update." American Family Physician, Dec. 1, 2012.
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