Skin tags are soft, colored outgrowths that hang from any part of your body, especially the neck. They are not exactly ugly, but you’ll surely agree with me that your skin would look better without them.
You’ve come to the right place because I will specifically discuss skin tags on the neck, what causes skin tags on the neck, and how to get rid of skin tags on the neck.
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What Causes Skin Tags on the Neck?
The exact cause of skin tags on the neck or around the neck is still not clear, but experts agree that various factors can cause them. Skin tags may be caused by skin friction, as skin rubs against skin or a rough object.
Here are other physiologic and pathological causes of skin tags around the neck.
1. Physiological Causes
What causes skin tags around the neck or face to grow? The skin tags can be caused by factors that have nothing to do with diseases, such as:
- When your neck is repeatedly rubbed against your pillow, whenever you sleep
- Skin friction caused by your towel as you dry off your neck
- Constant rubbing of the rough collar of your shirt or clothing against your neck
Other Physiological Causes:
- Genetics – Having a history of skin tags in your family increases your risk of developing skin tags
- Pregnancy – Because of the hormonal changes occurring in pregnancy, pregnant women have increased risk of growing skin tags as well
2. Pathological Causes
Skin tags around the neck could also be caused by an existing disease or pathological condition in your body. These conditions increase your risk of developing skin tags:
- Uncontrolled Diabetes Mellitus – Although still unclear, people with diabetes mellitus tend to be more susceptible to developing skin tags due to excess sugar in their blood and insulin resistance. This metabolic disease affects most physiological functions of the body.
- Obesity – Excess weight in your body can cause skin folds and skin tags to occur. It could also be due to blood vessels with collagen that accumulate in thick skin.
Also, take note that skin tags can also occur in any part of your body. So the causes of skin tags growing on your face or neck are largely due to physiological causes or pathological causes. Now that we have looked at the causes of skin tags on the neck, let’s look at how to get rid of skin tags on the neck.
How to Get Rid of Skin Tags on Your Neck?
Skin tags are medically known as acrochordon, soft fibroma, or fibroepithelial polyps, among others. Typically, these balloon-like skin growths are non-cancerous. Aside from the neck, they could also grow in the armpit, groin, eyelids, and folds of the buttocks.
The skin tags on your neck can be effectively removed as they are visible and easily accessible for treatment. So, how can you get rid of skin tags on the neck? There are various ways to remove skin tags.
This process involves getting rid of the skin tag by cutting off its blood flow using a sterile surgical thread tied at the base of the skin tag. When the blood is cut off, the skin tag ‘dies’ and eventually falls off.
This process could take a longer time, though, as skin tags are known to exist even when they have dried up already.
This procedure involves the removal of skin tags on the neck using sterile surgical scissors or a scalpel. General anesthesia isn’t required, but a tiny scar or a bit of soreness may occur after the surgery. When the skin tag is big and has multiplied, local anesthesia may be applied.
3. Cryosurgery or Cryotherapy
This procedure utilizes cold nitrogen (-350 degrees Celsius) to freeze off the skin tag. The cold nitrogen is sprayed or applied until the tissue dies and falls off. However, in rare cases, it could take several sessions for bigger skin tags to fall off.
This method uses high-frequency electrical energy to burn off the skin tag. Electrosurgery is similar to cryotherapy. Their only difference is that electrosurgery uses heat instead of cold liquid nitrogen.
How to Remove Skin Tags on the Neck at Home
Although skin tags are harmless on your neck, some skin growths can be dangerous and malignant. These growths tend to bleed and get infected easily. For this reason, it’s always best to consult a doctor or skin specialist before trying any kind of treatment at home.
If the skin growth is indeed a skin tag, and it’s just a small one, then you may use a home skin tag removal kit or apply any of the following to the skin tag: apple cider vinegar, tea tree oil, crushed ginger, crushed garlic cloves, or lemon juice.
Wash the area thoroughly first before applying home remedies. See the below tips to learn more about how to remove skin tags on the neck at home.
1. Compound W Skin Tag Remover
I have recently tried removing a skin tag on my chest, just below my neck, with the Compound W Skin Tag Remover and was pleasantly surprised. It is easy to use and protects the surrounding skin.
2. Apple Cider Vinegar
- Soak a sterile cotton ball into apple cider vinegar and apply it directly to the skin tag.
- Wrap it with a sterile bandage and let it stay for at least 30 minutes. Do this remedy twice a day.
- Another option is to leave the bandage overnight and wash it off with soap and water the next day.
- Just re-apply until the skin tag falls off.
3. Crushed Garlic Cloves
- Wash the affected area thoroughly with soap and warm water.
- Pat the area dry and place the fresh, crushed garlic cloves over the skin tag. Use only sterile and dry materials.
- Wrap it securely with sterile bandage or gauze to keep the garlic cloves in place. Let it stay overnight.
- Make sure that it comes in contact with the skin tag overnight.
- Do this remedy until the skin tag falls off.
You can also prepare garlic paste or fresh garlic juice and apply it in the same manner. Ensure that the garlic is fresh.
4. Crushed Ginger
You can apply crushed ginger in the same manner as the crushed garlic. You could also use a slice of ginger and rub it several times on the skin tag twice daily until it falls off.
5. Tea Tree Oil
Soak a soft, medium-sized cotton ball with tea tree oil and rub it on the skin tag until it’s sufficiently covered. Repeat this tea tree home remedy twice or three times a day until you get rid of the skin tag.
6. Lemon Juice or Pineapple Juice
Apply fresh lemon juice or unsweetened pineapple juice twice daily to eliminate skin tags. Fresh lemon or pineapple fruit is preferable to the commercially prepared ones, as the latter contains high sugar and preservatives.
You can extract the juice from the fruit and use it straight away. Preserve uncontaminated leftovers in the refrigerator at 2 to 4 degrees Celsius. You could use leftovers even after several days.
Wash potatoes first before extracting the juice. Directly apply the juice to the skin tag. You can also use a slice of potato and place it over the skin tag. Keep it there for 30 minutes to 1 hour. Do these remedies twice a day until the skin tag is gone.
Take note that these home treatments have not been extensively tested and not yet approved by the FDA. So, be careful when treating skin tags at home. See a healthcare provider right away, especially if you notice any signs of bleeding, discoloration, and multiple skin growths on your skin.
How to Prevent Skin Tags on Neck
Even though it can be quite a challenge to prevent the growth of skin tags on your neck, don’t worry, as there are prevention tips you can follow to lessen the risk of having multiple ones.
1. Eat Non-fatty Foods
Observing this precaution will also be useful for your overall health, as it decreases your risk of cardiovascular diseases, such as atherosclerosis (increased fat deposits in blood vessels), hypertension, myocardial infarction (heart attack), and cerebrovascular attack (stroke).
2. Avoid Wearing Constrictive Clothing or Rough-edged Neck Accessories
Rough clothing materials can cause friction between the skin of your neck and the clothing’s collar, triggering the formation of skin tags. Rugged necklaces and other neck accessories would have the same effect as well. So, choose clothes with soft collars and accessories that don’t rub aggressively against your skin.
In cases when you have to wear a neck accessory, choose one with a smooth, round surface to avoid unnecessary skin friction.
3. Exercise Regularly to Burn Excess Calories
Obesity is a predisposing factor for the growth of skin tags. Thus, regular exercise can help burn fat and maintain a healthy weight. You can exercise for 30 minutes every day, or 1 hour every other day.
When you don’t have time to go to the gym, jogging in place and walking around your neighborhood are good exercises. You could also buy a stationary bike to save time.
Don’t scrimp when it comes to spending on your health. Having a regular exercise routine is an effective way to prevent skin tags on neck areas.
4. Avoid Activities That Can Cause Unnecessary Skin Friction
Skin friction is one of the leading causes of skin tags, and avoiding any activity that involves some friction would prevent their formation. Examples of these activities are:
- Rubbing your towel against your neck
- Repeated neck scrubbing when taking a bath
- Unconsciously scratching of your neck frequently
5. Manage Your Diabetes Properly
If you have diabetes mellitus, keep your blood glucose at normal levels. Remember that diabetes is a lifelong disease. There’s no lasting cure for the condition, as it is a metabolic disease caused by the insufficiency of insulin. However, you can treat the symptoms with proper diet and medication.
Hyperglycemia (increased blood sugar levels) can be effectively controlled with medications, such as insulin injections or oral medications. Properly managing your diabetes not only decreases your risk of growing skin tags but would also be beneficial for your overall health.
Tips on Treating Skin Tags on Your Neck
- Always use clean and sterile materials to avoid bacterial infection.
- Wash the skin tag carefully, including its surrounding areas with mild soap and lukewarm water before starting treatment.
- Don’t attempt to pop, prick, twist, or cut off the skin tag, as these actions may only cause unnecessary bleeding and possible entry of infective agents into the skin.
- If the skin tag appears suspicious, consult your doctor to check for any cancerous growths.
- Your doctor may request a biopsy (tissue analysis) if he or she suspects a malignant skin growth.
- Treat the skin tag as early as possible to prevent its further growth and spread.
- Maintain good hygiene to prevent any type of skin infection. Keep your environment clean as well.
- When taking a bath, avoid rubbing the skin tag. You can wash it gently using clean fingers.
- Skin tags are not infectious, so others cannot acquire them through direct contact. However, you still have to wash your hands after treating your skin tags.
Conclusion – Skin Tags on Neck: Causes & How to Get Rid of Them
To revisit our initial question: What causes skin tags on the neck? The causes of skin tags on your neck can either be physiological or pathological.
Skin friction is considered the most common cause of skin tags on the neck when the skin rubs against each other or when rough collars of clothing, pieces of neck jewelry, and hard materials are constantly rubbed against the neck.
Other physiological causes of skin tags on the neck are pregnancy and genetics. For its pathological causes, the most common are diabetes and obesity.
How to get rid of skin tags on the neck? Cryosurgery, ligation, surgery, and electrosurgery are effective methods when it comes to getting rid of skin tags around the neck. You can also perform home remedies for the removal of skin tags, provided that the skin tags are small and manageable.
Although some home remedies are convenient, there are also risks involved, especially if the skin growths are malignant and not just harmless skin tags.
Consulting a skin specialist would be the best option, so you can be thoroughly checked along with obtaining an accurate diagnosis and proper treatment.