October 2, 2015


Skin Tags: Another Perk of Aging

By Lisa Batten Kunkleman

Let’s be honest. Sometimes aging is not pretty. There are some body changes we don’t discuss but I think it’s time we should. I’ll start with skin tags. Just what are those tiny pieces of epidermis we call skin tags? Are they more than just fleshy little critters that crop up on aging skin that was smooth just days before? They spring up like mushrooms from soggy ground after a dreary week of rain, making spiky interruptions on necks, underarms, and other unsuspecting areas.

Maybe it’s nature’s way of saying, “Ok people with graying or thinning hair. Listen up. We don’t need you making any more babies so we’re going to ugly you up a little more. It won’t hurt but you’re going to start growing excess skin where you’ve never grown any before.”

I’m producing quite a crop of tiny tags since turning forty a few years ago. I must have been pretty darn beautiful if it takes so much to ugly me up. While looking at my own annoying neck hitchhikers in the mirror recently, I had a brainstorm. Some physicians could offer inexpensive skin tag removal in a travel trailer sort of like the Red Cross uses their Blood Mobile. They could publicize the event and park the trailer in church or business parking lots that cater to middle-aged people. That over forty crowd whose skin has a mind of its own.

A sign could explain the procedure choices. I’m envisioning something like this:

  • Strangulation: Medical personnel will tie a string around the offensive skin tags, pull tight and make a knot. Leave on overnight or for a few days. The tag will turn purple and fall off.
  • Snip and go: Tiny scissors resembling cat nail clippers snip off tags. This method is perfect for regular tag growers. Harvest time is by the minute so the snipping is very quick. Expect a stinging sensation in the shower for a day or so.
  • Freezing: Medical personnel touch tags with dry ice pens and hold onto each tag. There is a stinging cold sensation but little pain afterward. A second treatment may be required for tough leathery sunbaked skin. (Another good reason to use that sunscreen)
  • Chapstickization: An expert will apply prescription-grade chapstick liberally on all tags. You continue the treatment at home each night. Tags do not like being suffocated in wax so they release their hold on skin and fall off. (Warning: beware of tags falling off in public. Find a nearby restroom with a mirror if you need to finish disconnecting the tag with your tweezers.)

Skin tags are a serious condition that negatively affects both the skin and psyche of millions of older adults leading to depression and isolation. Caring physicians could remedy this situation. Doctors could indeed follow the Blood Mobile example and take relief directly to the people who need it most.

I know of a retired physician who is doing his part by bartering services with his gardener. The gardener pulls the doctors weeds and in return, the doctor uses the snip and go method of tag removal on this man who has battled massive tag crops for many years. That is almost like Doctors Without Borders thinking. See a need, roll up your sleeves and do what you can to improve that situation. Tag Removal: It’s not just for dermatologists anymore.IMG_4282

Disclaimer: These ideas are not those of medical professionals and are made up by the author. Don’t try this at home.

11 thoughts on “Skin Tags: Another Perk of Aging

  1. Thinking outside the (clinic) box. Remember the Bookmobile? Creative & original as always!

    • I certainly do remember the bookmobile. I loved it. Thanks Dan.

      • I loved the bookmobile too, Lisa! One of my favorite childhood memories. Perhaps we can try duct tape to smother the tags. Dr. Oz says that’s what his family uses for warts. Stay safe this weekend!

        • Hey Jill. Great to hear from you with your whirlwind of work. Congratulations again. The duct tape is a good remedy for all kinds of warts. Even those tough Plantars Warts. We learned that the hard way on one of our sons. Ouch. That was a huge ugly thing. The body does create some interesting fodder for writing if the audience doesn’t get so grossed out they run away and never look back. I suppose you are hearing all this rain and are prepared for whatever. The news sure makes it sound scary. We cancelled plans to drive to WCU for a ballgame and weekend in the mountains. Too wet. Hope you have a productive and delightful weekend. You and your frog.

          • Thanks, Lisa! Sorry to hear you had to cancel your plans, but it was probably a smart move, as the forecast for the mountains sounds worse. I had a productive day today…slow and painful, but productive. Enjoy your weekend in spite of the weather.

  2. This is hilarious! You crack me up. Wonder what you’ll think of next???

  3. “Some physicians could offer inexpensive skin tag removal in a travel trailer sort of like the Red Cross uses their Blood Mobile.”

    This is such a good idea! The only problem I fear is high cost of entry. Physicians, travel trailers… it all sounds so expensive.

    There has got to be a cheaper model. I am thinking along the lines of those volley ball team fundraisers where kids wash cars in strip mall parking lots… It would be good for our wallets and great for the kids… it would give them a glimpse into their futures. They desperately need that.

    • I’m all for reality checks for teenagers. Our kids get to hear frequently how they look just like their mom or dad used to which means they get reality checks whenever they look at us. Sometimes reality checks can be scary things.

  4. You can get rid of skin tags using a simple home remedy I learned from the NPR show, “the People’s Pharmacy”.

    Take castor oil (yes, the laxative pharmaceutical grade castor oil you can find at drug stores) and rub it liberally on to the skin tags once or twice a day. Be patient and continue for as long as needed.

    My (at the time) 5 – year old daughter had developed a skin tag on her neck which embarrassed her in a huge way. Within a week of rubbing castor oil on it twice a day, it dried up and sheared away painlessly. My daughter is 7 now and the skin tag has not come back.

    My daughter’s experience impressed me so much, that I decided to try it on several skin tags I had in my armpits for years. These took longer, but after a month of the castor oil treatment, my armpit skin tags had shrunk dramatically. They were completely gone after 3 months.

    The People’s Pharmacy speculates that castor oil works because it contains anti viral properties (castor bean plants need to fight off plant viruses too) and most skin tags are caused by a harmless skin virus.

    Try it- it can’t hurt and the worse thing that could happen will be you will have some well moisturized skin around the tags .

    • Well thank you so much Graham. That’s the best advice I’ve had in quite a while. The Chapstick advice actually did come from a dermatologist but it was about getting rid of keratosis or what I call barnacles but I’ll save that for another blog. I’m really glad it worked for your child.

  5. Very informative post! I used dental floss method to remove a few skin tags on my neck. Worked really well. Skin tags fall off after a couple days.

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