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How Do I Get Rid of Armpit Skin Tags?

Judith Smith Sullivan
Judith Smith Sullivan

There are basically two ways to get rid of skin tags: cut them off or apply a topical ointment to dry them up. Skin tags are basically harmless, benign tumors that occur most commonly on areas of the body which experience friction on a regular basis. Unless the skin tag is irritating or shows signs of infection, there is no medical reason to remove it. It is recommended that you have a skin tag verified as such by a physician before attempting any treatment.

The most accepted method of removing armpit skin tags is to seek the help of a medical professional. He or she may cut the tag off or use a topical treatment like a wart remover to freeze or dry up the tags. There is also a process known as electrical cautrery which literally burns the skin tags away. Most are minor procedures which do not require anesthesia. Even so, there is always the risk of infection in surgerical removal.

It is possible to cut off skin tags at home. This is dangerous, can lead to infection, and you might harm yourself. It is also painful, and most individuals are too squeamish to perform this task on themselves.

Topical treatments may be used to remove skin tags.
Topical treatments may be used to remove skin tags.

Many individuals have used at-home methods that do not require slicing off skin to successfully rid themselves of armpit skin tags. Using an over-the-counter wart remover is one method. Follow the instructions that come with the product. You may have to repeat the process as it does not always work with the first application.

Another method of removing armpit skin tags is to tie a thin piece of twine, like dental floss, around the base of the tag, at the stem. This actually strangles the flesh, causing it to dry up and fall off. If you attempt this method, be sure to clean the area thoroughly first, and to avoid touching it for at least a week after tying it off. If the tag does not dry up after a week, the twine may not be tight enough or the tag may be too large for this method.

Skin tags may be cut off at home, but there is always a risk of infection.
Skin tags may be cut off at home, but there is always a risk of infection.

Apple cider vinegar is a topical at-home remedy which, theoretically, dries up the skin tag with acid. To use this method, soak a cotton ball in apple cider vinegar and place on the armpit skin tags for 15 minutes. Repeat in the morning and at night. The skin tag usually darkens, dries up and falls off within a week.

Discussion Comments


Just pinched and pulled two of them off in my armpit. It didn't hurt much and bled a little.


Skin tags can be unsightly and annoying. I would first try a topical treatment and see how that goes. I have heard of people cutting them off themselves but would only consider this if they were really small.


Toenail clippers work wonders, as gross as that may sound.

You just have to get it around it and at the base and work up the guts to just squeeze. It will bleed, so be prepared to put something on it to stop the bleeding.

It really isn't that painful; it is more mental than actual physical pain. It can be very difficult to do it to yourself, but I have done it three times now using the toenail clippers and have had good results.

If you don't get a good squeeze, you may not get it all, which may make you more squeamish and such. I highly suggest that if you have insurance and/or the money to get it surgically removed, I would do it that way.

Remember: It really is more mentally weird/painful than it is physically painful.


I had mine removed because it was swollen and infected. My doctor injected lidocaine and snipped it right off. It is now on the way to the lab to make sure it is not cancer. She said skin tags form because of friction, but she said the little ones we can try to remove with fish line or dental floss around it, but I think first I will try the apple cider vinegar.


I had never had a skin tag in my life but a couple of years ago I got three of them. I'm 43 and I'm a paraplegic. I don't know what causes them but I've noticed on other people they're mostly in areas that have folds of skin.

I'm paralyzed just above my stomach muscles and even though I'm not fat, since I don't have stomach muscles, my stomach appears to have a small 'beer gut' and I got the skin tags in between my chest and my stomach, directly in that 'fold' area. I could feel one easily, one was in the area where I start losing feeling, it's a tingly area and the third I couldn't feel at all.

I included all that so you know the differences between your body and mine and why it may have worked for me. I took three very fine threads and I tied 1 string around each skin tag. I made a slip knot, slipped it over the skin tag and cinched it down tight and then tied a square knot in it to prevent the slip knot from loosening up. I tied the strings very tight and like I said, I used a square knot as the knot.

After a few days, I tied another loop around them trying to do it closer to my body, if possible. I can't remember how many days it took or how many times I had to tie new loops, but it wasn't longer than a week. I think I tied one new loop every other day or so.

Finally, they scabbed -- or whatever it was they did. They were kind of rough and dry like a scab but they came off shortly after that. The one that took an extra day or two was the one I could fully feel so it may take a little longer for you. I think it was because I couldn't tighten it down as much on that one or maybe the blood flow was better. I'm not really sure of the reason.

My whole reasong for doing this was to cut off the blood to them, even though I didn't know if skin tags had any blood supply or not. Paralyzed or not, I'd have a hard time cutting them off with scissors. Like I said, I could feel two of them and they hurt when I pulled on them or pinched them with my fingernails so I think cutting them would hurt like hell. I was up North hunting at the time and I had some strings that came out of something. I can't remember what it was but I think very fine fishing line would work best. It will have to be strong enough so you can lynch it down tight but fine enough to cut into the skin. The threads I used didn't cut into the skin but I think it would have worked even faster if I had used fishing line that was very fine, two-pound test at least but strong enough to lynch the knot down tight.

Anyway, if you try this method, I hope it works for you. I'm certain it will if you can get the string tight enough to either cut the circulation -- if there IS a circulation to skin tags, or just cut into the tag itself to "kill" it. Good luck and good health!


@Saraq90 - Ow. I am sure the skin around his mouth was particularly sensitive too!

As far as around the lip skin tags, yeah I have not heard of too many of those, but your neck, eyelids, and underarms are all areas that I have read are common places for skin tags.

I think if I had a skin tag I would have to go the apple cider vinegar route!


My poor friend had a skin tag on his face on the right side of his lip. I can't remember how long he had before he just could not take it anymore and he removed it himself.

I am not sure how he removed it, and after reading the descriptions in the article like the dental floss removal, I am glad he did not mention what his method for removal was.

I do know that he tried early on to take it off and it hurt too much which is why he waited for a while before he removed it for good, so I know this much - it hurt when he took it off!

So I am assuming from this article that skin tags in your armpit are more common than ones on your face...


Wow! I would never be brave enough to try to remove a skin tag on my own by cutting it off! Even the dental floss idea kind of grosses me out.

I think if you need a skin tag removed, just go to the doctor. I had a wart on my hand frozen off many years ago, and it didn't really hurt. I imagine having a skin tag frozen off would be about the same.


@popcorn - As far as I am concerned diet can indeed have an impact on whether or not you get skin tags on your body. It has been proven that blood sugar levels can impact how prone people are to skin tags, so if you knock out processed sugars from your diet you will more than likely see an improvement in your appearance.

As far as other things you can do, add more fruits and vegetables to your diet and try to eat more natural fats that are good for you. Also, if you can, try and add some probiotics to your diet to help with your digestion.


Does anyone know if it is true that diet can have an impact on whether or not you get skin tags?

I have been doing a lot of reading about skin tags because I have started to get them in my armpits and on my back. It seems to me that people with diabetes and those that are overweight are more prone to developing skin tags.

As both overweight individuals and those with diabetes have problematic diets, it makes sense to me that if I changed my eating I might be able to avoid future skin tags, even if I am going to have to get my current ones removed by a doctor.


I know of two essential oils that can be effective at removing skin tags naturally. One of them is tea tree oil and the other one is frankincense oil.

The tea tree oil is not as expensive as the frankincense, so might be the best way to start. All you do is apply some of the essential oil directly on the skin tag. It works best if you do this 2-3 times a day. Sometimes it might take a week, but the skin tag should dry up and eventually fall off.

I have also had good results using some castor oil. This can be bought at a health food store just like the essential oils. When I use castor oil, I mix it will a little bit of baking soda and make a paste to apply to the skin tag. This also needs to be applied more than once over a period of days.

One reason I like to try natural methods before going to a doctor is because I feel like I have nothing to lose. Because there is no cutting involved, you also have less chance of getting an infection.


When I went to a dermatologist to have a cyst removed from my back, I also asked them to remove a few skin tags that were under my arms.

These were small and weren't bothering me, but I just wanted to have them removed. This process was so quick and painless that I am glad I had it done.

That was several years ago and they have not returned. I don't know if I would have tried to do this myself at home. Since I was already at the doctor, I felt confident about having it done in his office and haven't worried about it since.


My brother cuts of skin tags on his own. He's already removed two or three by himself using nail clippers or a small scissors. I still can't believe that he did it but I guess he was good at it because they never came back and it never bled.

He said that it didn't hurt either, but I'm not sure that would be the case with everyone. Plus, the skin underneath the arms is pretty thin and sensitive. I could never cut an armpit skin tag like that. The dental floss technique sounds a bit easier, but it still doesn't seem too hygienic to me.

I guess for those who have the courage to take care of this little problem themselves, go for it. But knowing my luck with self-treatments, I think I would probably make it worse and cause an infection or something.


@burcinc-- I had to had my skin tag removed. It was pretty big and long and hurt every time my shirt rubbed against my armpit. I think it's okay to have it removed if it makes you uncomfortable or just conscious about having it and it doesn't hurt at all. My dermatologist used some kind of laser technology on mine that only took a few minutes. It healed up really quickly, and never hurt or bled. I'm so glad I had it done.


I don't think it's a good idea to remove a skin tag unless it's getting in the way or getting cut when removing underarm hair or something. I do have a tiny skin tag on my armpit. It's so small that it has never been a problem and has never gotten in the way.

I don't know too much about why skin tags form in the first place, but I think that our body doesn't do something for no reason whatsoever. Skin tags must also have some sort of a purpose that we don't know about. I don't think it's a good idea to have it removed for no good reason and it's definitely not a good idea to try to do it ourselves.

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      By: Winai Tepsuttinun
      Topical treatments may be used to remove skin tags.
    • Skin tags may be cut off at home, but there is always a risk of infection.
      By: Sergii Figurnyi
      Skin tags may be cut off at home, but there is always a risk of infection.
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      By: Steve Morvay
      Dental floss may be used in the removal of skin tags.
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      Apple cider vinegar may be applied to skin tags to aid in their removal.
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