Skin tags may be small, but they can be irritating in big ways. Health-wise, they are relatively harmless. But if a single skin tag grows too big; if skin tags appear in a cluster; or, worse, if they occur on the face or neck, they can make a person want to scratch them out with their bare hands. Sometimes, they can snag on clothing or accessories; or they can get exposed to too much friction that they become irritated and even painful.
Fortunately, skin tags can be easily treated with certain types of oils. Castor oil, in particular, is a popular remedy for a variety of skin conditions, including skin tags. How does it work? Is it as safe and effective to use as other alternative skin tag treatments? Read on to learn more.
What is castor oil?
Castor oil comes from castor beans and is classified as a vegetable oil. Derived from Ricinus communis through pressing, castor oil has a smoky and woody scent. Some describe the scent as pungent, and not everybody likes how it smells.
Castor oil has always been a popular folk remedy for a range of conditions. It is also a common ingredient in a variety of modern products, including:
- Body lotions
- Hair care products
- Wax and polish
- Lubricants and hydraulic fluids
How does castor oil work on skin tags?
Castor oil works the same way as essential oils in treating skin tags – by drying out the skin growth. Regular application to the skin tag will gradually dry out the growth until it dies and falls off.
For skin tag removal, castor oil will have to be applied at least twice a day, every day, until the skin tag falls off on its own. The treatment can take months of continuous application. It is important that the treatment period is not disrupted so as not to counteract the effects of the oil.
Some people are turned off by the smell of castor oil. This can be a problem when it has to be applied to the skin every day. One trick that works, though, is mixing it with a scented essential oil to make the smell more pleasant.
Because castor oil works by drying out a skin tag, it will also dry out the surrounding skin. It’s important that application of the oil is only limited to the growth itself. Months of twice-a-da, daily use will cause extreme skin dryness if any of it gets on healthy skin just as frequently. Limiting skin exposure can be tricky considering the consistency of the oil.
How to use castor oil for skin tag removal
Follow these guidelines on the proper use of castor oil for skin tag removal.
- For every application, mix equal amounts of castor oil and baking soda to form a paste. This will improve the consistency of the oil. The baking soda is also a natural exfoliator and will facilitate faster drying of the skin tag. Only make enough paste for one use. You will have to make a new mixture for each treatment.
- Use a cotton swab to apply the paste directly onto the skin tag. Wait for the paste to dry; this allows sufficient time for absorption. You can cover the area with a band-aid if you have to get dressed immediately, for example, and the area will come in contact with the fabric.
- Apply the paste to the skin twice a day, preferably in the morning and evening.
- Continue the treatment until the skin tag completely dries out and falls off on its own.
As your treatment progresses, the skin tag will shrivel and become smaller and darker. This is how you’ll know that the oil is doing its work. Do not pull off the skin tag at any stage during the treatment period, even if it looks like it’s already completely dried out and ready to fall off. It has to fall off naturally. While it’s still attached to the skin, it’s not yet dead.
How effective is castor oil?
Castor oil takes longer than other alternative methods in removing skin tags, but it is reasonably effective. Effective treatment requires diligent and consistent application of the oil for several months; the treatment period will depend on the size of the skin tag.
There are quicker and more effective ways of removing skin tags, but using castor oil is a good option if you’re not in a hurry and are looking for a low-cost option.
Alternative skin tag removal treatments
Because skin tags are, more often than not, only a cosmetic issue, you can try alternative removal methods at home. These are safe and effective, but you might have to do some trial and error until you find one that works best for you.
Tea Tree Oil. This essential oil works far better than castor oil, but good quality tea tree oil can be a bit pricey. Tea tree oil offers a number of other benefits, however, namely antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal properties.
Over-the-counter cream such as Pristine Wart Mole Vanish.
- JUST ONE 20-MINUTE SINGLE APPLICATION – Pristine Herbal Touch Wart & Mole Vanish removes 2-5 large growths or 5-25 smaller growths with one kit. Read the instructions fully and start the removal process with our one, 20-minute application process.
- FAST & EFFECTIVE MOLE AND SKIN TAG REMOVAL – One, 20-minute application is normal in most circumstances. No daily application of creams, oils or acids! Check out our before and after photos to see examples of real people who have removed unwanted moles, warts, and skin tags.
Ligation by using a TagBand device. This is the traditional way of removing skin tags – by tying off the stalk at its base to cut off blood circulation to the skin tag. You can do this by using a piece of floss or cotton string (sterilized, of course). Or you can purchase a ligation band specifically made for skin tag removal.
- TagBand works by stopping the skin tags blood supply and results can be seen within days
- The TagBand cone is placed over the skin tag with the removal device pushing off the band
Cryotherapy, of flash-freezing the skin tag is one of the most commonly recommended methods by dermatologists. Fortunately, there are not freeze sprays available so you can safely perform the procedure at home. This method works by killing the skin tag tissue by freezing it.
Cautery works by burning off the skin tag through the direct application of heat, which is delivered with a cautery pen. Cautery pens and cauterizing creams are available for purchase online.
Excision. This involves cutting off the skin tag at the base of the stalk with a sterilized (usually by heating) blade or scalpel. This method, however, carries a higher risk of bleeding, infection, and scarring. It is best to leave surgical excision to a professional.
Using castor oil for skin tag removal is a good option, if you want to give it a try. There are far better methods that you can also try, but if you follow the guide provided above, then you can still benefit from castor oil treatment.