Usually unsightly, often bothersome, and always difficult to remove, skin tags are more than an annoying skin problem for those unfortunate enough to have them. Especially if you have more than one and if some of them are highly visible, you have probably tried various skin tag removal options that do not involve having to pay a doctor to do it.
Some of the most popular home remedies for skin tags include apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, and literally picking them off (we do not recommend this!). Another common at-home treatment option is toothpaste. Does it work?
How Does Toothpaste Work in Removing Skin Tags?
Effective skin tag removal procedures often involve drying them out. Toothpaste that contains hydrogen peroxide will do just that. It will take many weeks of daily application of toothpaste on your skin tag/s until they completely dry out and fall off.
But read on before you grab your toothpaste from your medicine cabinet and start covering these pesky skin growths with minty goodness.
Do You Need to Use a Specific Kind of Toothpaste?
As you would already know, there are a wide variety of toothpastes, and not all of them will work to effectively remove your skin tag/s.
As mentioned above, it is the hydrogen peroxide in toothpaste that dries out skin tags. Hydrogen peroxide is mostly used in whitening toothpaste. So check the information on the toothpaste tube to make sure that it contains this ingredient.
You should also avoid using toothpaste gel. Many consumers prefer toothpaste gel because they come in a variety of flavors and make brushing a smoother experience. The artificial flavors, however, will attract ants. You might think that the ants can help with skin tag removal, but this would be a bad idea for obvious reasons! Toothpaste gel also do not work as effectively in drying out skin tags. You should only use plain white toothpaste that contains hydrogen peroxide.
Is Toothpaste Safe to Use on Skin?
The hydrogen peroxide in toothpaste will not only dry out your skin tag/s but also the skin surrounding it. And if you use toothpaste daily as a home remedy for skin tag/s, your skin will get damaged over time. You will notice increased oiliness in the area and/or the appearance of wrinkles.
To avoid this, be careful to apply the toothpaste only on the skin tag/s. You can use a cotton bud/swab to dab toothpaste directly on the skin growth/s. You may also want to cover your skin tag/s with a band-aid to prevent the toothpaste from being wiped away, especially if you’re going to work or going to bed.
Ideally, you should leave the toothpaste on the skin tag/s as long as possible to maximize its drying effect. The best time to apply toothpaste is before you go to sleep, so you can leave it on the whole night. You can reapply toothpaste in the morning or any other time during the day; but if you need to go out and wearing a band-aid is not an option (such as when the skin tag is on your face), you can simply wash off the toothpaste with lukewarm water. Just make sure you time the toothpaste application just right so you can leave it on for at least a few hours before you have to wash it off.
When Will Your Skin Tag Fall Off?
This will depend on how often you apply toothpaste on the skin tag/s; the length of time you typically allow for the toothpaste to do its work; and the size of your skin tag. You can expect a small skin tag to completely dry out and fall off after about a week of at least twice-a-day toothpaste application, every day. For better results, you should reapply toothpaste every few hours throughout the day.
You should avoid pulling off your skin tag even when it looks close to falling off. You have to wait for it to fall off on its own to make sure that it is completely “dead.” Otherwise, it may simply regrow. Pulling off the skin by force will also likely result in a scar, or even an infection.
It might take a few weeks for a skin tag to fall off. The toothpaste remedy is not a quick solution and will require patience. And if the skin tag you want removed is in a visible location, such as your face, you will probably be limited to once-a-day application, before bed. This means it will take even longer to completely dry out the skin tag. As previously mentioned, you can use a band-aid to maximize the drying out effect of the toothpaste.
If you have the patience to wait and prefer a relatively natural home remedy for skin tags, you should consider using toothpaste. You will have to be diligent with regular application and it is important that you resist the urge to pull off a semi-dry skin tag. As much as possible, avoid applying toothpaste to the skin immediately around the skin tag. You only want to dry out the blemish, and nothing else.
Alternatively, apple cider vinegar and tea tree oil also work the same way in removing skin tags. They’re also both all-natural products, although their drying effect should only be limited to the skin growths. If you need more guidance and have questions about alternative skin tag solutions, schedule a visit with a dermatologist. And if you’re unsure if what you have is indeed a skin tag, you should definitely consult a doctor first.