Skin tags are small non-cancerous growths that can form when the body procedures extra skin cells in areas where the skin naturally folds and rubs against itself, such as your neck or between the thighs. A dermatologist can remove skin tags during an in-office procedure that typically costs $150 out-of-pocket, as health insurance plans usually do not cover cosmetic procedures. Over-the-counter treatments and at-home remedies for skin tags usually cost up to $30.
Where can I go to get a Skin Tag removed?
If you think you might have developed a skin tag, it's best to seek out care from your primary care physician or dermatologist. No matter which healthcare provider is your first call, they should be able to diagnose your skin tag after a brief evaluation and exam. The in-office evaluation will rule out any other conditions that might look like skin tags, such as moles, warts, skin cancer, and skin disease.
Although there is no official test to confirm skin tag diagnosis, your healthcare provider might take a sample or biopsy and send it for lab testing if they suspect something else. Furthermore, if your initial visit is with your primary care physician, they may refer you to a dermatologist for treatment and consultation on removal options.
There are several treatment options to remove skin tags: going to a doctor, using over-the-counter medications, and using at-home remedies. It's important to note that since skin tags are not dangerous to your health, clinical treatment to remove them will likely not be covered by insurance, as skin tag removal is considered a cosmetic or elective procedure.
Additionally, if the appearance of the skin tag does not bother or hurt you, you may not need treatment, as most skin tags will eventually fall off on their own. However, if the appearance of the skin tag bothers you or if the tag bleeds easily, it is best to seek out options for skin tag removal.
What is the cost of surgical procedures for Skin Tag removal?
Surgical removal procedures are the most common method of skin tag removal and can be completed in an outpatient setting. Most procedures take about 30 minutes to complete and have minimal post-procedure downtime. After numbing the skin tag area with a local anesthetic, your doctor may perform one of the following procedures based on the location and size of the skin tag.
Below is a list of the top methods for skin tag removal:
- Cauterization: heat is applied to burn or dissolve the skin tag tissue.
- Cryosurgery: a small amount of liquid nitrogen is sprayed over the area, which freezes off the skin tag.
- Electrocautery: electric current used to burn off the skin tag.
- Ligation: cutting off the blood flow of the skin tag using surgical thread until it essentially “dies”.
- Surgery: involves the doctor snipping off the skin tag. Depending on the size and location of the skin tag, you might need bandages or stitches.
On average, it costs $150 to get a skin tag removed by a doctor. Below is a chart that illustrates the average cost of each surgical skin tag removal procedure. Keep in mind that the cost can vary based on your location, treatments required, and office visit fee. It is always important to speak to your doctor regarding which type of procedure is best for you.
Cost of In-Office Skin Tag Treatments Without Insurance
|Type of Procedure||Cost|
|Surgery||$150 - 300|
Cost of Over-The-Counter (OTC) and At-Home Remedies for Skin Tag Removal
Since skin tags don't necessarily require medical attention or a trip to your doctor, you might choose to remove the skin tag with over-the-counter (OTC) products or home remedies using common products you might already have in your medicine cabinet.
The goal of OTC and home remedies treatment is to dry the skin tag out until it shrinks and falls off. However, it's important to note that home remedies and OTC treatments can take longer to produce results and can put you at risk for infection and bleeding.
OTC Treatments to Remove Skin Tags
There are several OTC options available at grocery and drug stores that can be used to remove a skin tag safely. Most options use methods that are similar to ligation and cryotherapy, but on a less-invasive scale.
Below are the top picks for OTC skin tag treatment, how they work, and the average cost of these producits.
Get Mira - Health Benefits You Can Afford.
Get doctor visits, lab tests, prescription, and more. Affordable copays. Available in 45+ states. Only $45/month on average.
Cost of OTC Skin Tag Treatments
|Name||How it Works||Average Cost|
|TagBand||Pen-like applicator places a transparent rubber band around the skin tag base and reduces its blood supply.||$29|
|Compound W||Liquid that is applied to skin tag to freeze it off.||$23|
|Ulensy||Complete kit and applicator to apply rubber band around the skin tag and cut off its blood supply.||$23|
|Samsali||Medicated Bandage pad applied directly to the skin tag.||$23|
|ProVent||The liquid is made from plant extracts and essential oils and placed directly on the skin tag.||$8|
At-Home Remedies To Remove Skin Tags
Below are some common at-home remedies that use ingredients such as apple cider vinegar and vitamin E to remove skin tags.
At-Home Remedies for Skin Tag Removal
|Type of Ingredient||Benefits||How-To-Use|
|Tea Tree Oil||Has antiviral and antifungal properties.||Apply to a cotton swab and place bandage over the skin nightly.|
|Banana Peel||Helps to hydrate the skin and provides antioxidants.||Place a piece of a banana peel on the skin tag and cover it with a bandage nightly.|
|Apple Cider Vinegar||Acidity of apple cider vinegar works to break down the tissue surrounding the skin tag.||Place cotton swab soaked in apple cider vinegar over skin tag in a bandage for 15-30 minutes. Remove and wash the area.|
|Vitamin E||Antioxidant that helps fight wrinkles and keeps the skin healthy.||Massage oil over the tag and surrounding skin until it falls off.|
|Garlic||Improves the appearance of the skin by reducing inflammation.||Apply crushed garlic over the tag and cover the area at night. Wash off in the morning.|
What Causes Skin Tags?
Skin tags or acrochordons are small non-cancerous growths that are typically the same color as your skin and often look like a cluster of your skin extending away from your body. Most skin tags are between 1-6 mm but can grow to a few centimeters. Skin tags are very common, with about half of the adult population having at least one skin tag in their lifetime. They are more prevalent in older adults, people who are overweight, and people with diabetes.
Skin tags occur when your body produces extra cells of the skin's top layer. They tend to form in skin folds and areas with movement that causes the skin to rub against itself. Some of the most common areas for skin tag growth include:
- Groin or Thighs
- Under the breast
- Upper Chest
Risk Factors for Skin Tags
Although all adults are susceptible to developing a skin tag at some point in their life, there are a few risk factors that can increase the likelihood of developing skin tags. Knowing what risk factors apply to you and if you're more likely to have skin tags is excellent information to tell your provider early on.
Virtual care for only $25 per visit
Virtual primary care, urgent care, and behavioral health visits are only $25 with a Mira membership.
Skin Tags are more common in people who:
- Are overweight and obese
- Are diabetic
- Are pregnant
- Are diagnosed with HPV
- Have hormone imbalance (changes in estrogen or progesterone levels, especially with birth control)
- Have family history of skin tags
- Have high cholesterol levels
- Hypertesnive or have high blood pressure
Skin Tag Removal Frequently Asked Questions (FAQS)
Below are some commonly asked questions about skin tags, costs, and removal procedures.
Are there cases when skin tag removal is covered by insurance?
There are some circumstances where skin tag removal can be covered by your health insurance. For example, if the growth is bleeding or directly hindering your well-being through irritation or restricting your daily activities, your insurance plan might cover the cost of removal. Furthermore, if your provider recommends the growth be sent out for testing, your insurance plan may cover some or all of the associated costs.
How effective are OTC skin tag treatments?
OTC remedies for skin tag removal are generally less effective than in-clinical removal, as the surgical procedures provide immediate results. However, with proper application and consistency, most OTC remedies can cause the skin tag to fall after 7 to 10 days.
What should I do after the skin tag is removed?
The number one recommendation is to follow any instructions that your doctor provides you with after your procedure. Infections and complicatons post-skin tag removal are not common. However, you may develop a scar that will disappear over time. After a clinic procedure, your provider might instruct you to keep the wound dry for at least 48 hours and then gently wash the area with soap and water.
Following at-home or OTC removal, you should apply a topical antibiotic ointment and keep it covered with a bandage to lower the risk of infection. If you find the area not healing or experiencing bleeding, you should seek medical attention.
Although skin-tags are not detrimental to your health, the appearance or irritation may lead you to seek out drugstore removal options or care from your dermatologist. If you would like to get a skin tag removed, it is essential to know your options and the associated cost of care. Before utilizing at-home remedies and OTC treatments, consult with your physician or dermatologist for a proper diagnosis.
As some in-clinic procedures are not covered by insurance, saving money on other aspects of your healthcare is crucial. With Mira, you are able to consult with physicians and receive recommendations for dermatologists conveniently. For $45 a month, a Mira membership gives you access to low-cost urgent care, doctor's visits, lab testing, and discounted prescription medications at your fingertips. Sign up today!
Originally from Houston, Texas, Alexandra is currently getting her Master's in Public Health with a health policy certificate at Columbia University. One of her life goals is to own her own art gallery!