Skin tags (scientific name: acrochordons) are skin growths that look a bit like warts, though miniature in size and flesh-colored. They are commonly found on the face including eyelids, groin, armpits, neck and on other body folds. They hang off the body and so the name skin ‘tag’.
While skin tags are harmless and benign, they mar a flawless appearance especially when they attack the eyelids or crook of nose.
A traditional treatment that works in a relatively shorter time than other home remedies is tea tree oil, which can be safely and effectively used to remove any pesky little skin tag. Check out what makes tea tree oil a good treatment for skin tags below:
What Makes Tea Tree Oil Good for Skin Tags
Tea tree oil is extracted from the leaves of Melaleuca Alternifolia, a species of trees native to Australia.
✓ All Natural – The essential oil of tea tree is obtained through a special process known as steam distillation, which preserves the medicinal and therapeutic properties in an extremely concentrated and pure form. This makes it highly superior to commercial skin tag creams because it contains no additives or chemical preservatives that are known to cause side effects some of which are downright dangerous, for example a type of preservative called parabens are said to cause cancer! Meanwhile, tea tree oil gives no side effects and can be used safely as it is an all- natural substance.
✓ Disinfectant – When it comes to essential oils, tea tree oil is the most potent disinfectant. It can be used to disinfect and purify irritated skin tags. For example, if you’ve tried rashly removing the skin tag by cutting it off and you were left with a bleeding and stinging wound, tea tree oil can be diluted in aloe vera gel and applied to the skin tag to prevent infection.
✓ Powerful Antimicrobial – Tea tree oil is also a powerful antimicrobial. One study (1) noted that it has a broad spectrum of antimicrobial activity. These properties help eliminate the skin tag by destroying any microbes, bacteria and germs it harbors.
✓ Astringent Properties – A natural astringent, tea tree oil helps get rid of skin tags by gradually drying up the area, making the skin tag shrivel and fall off. During this process, your skin tag will also turn dark or black because the skin cells will have their oxygen & blood supply cut off as the tag dries up.
✓ Anti-inflammatory Agent – A study (2) conducted to find the various medicinal properties of tea tree oil confirmed the anecdotal evidence attributing to the anti-inflammatory effect of tea tree oil. It helps reduce inflammation and redness in irritated skin tags. Because of this, tea tree oil is immensely helpful in healing skin tag wounds caused by bad removal techniques.
3 Terrific Tea Tree Treatments for Skin Tags
Note: Be extremely careful when using tea tree oil for skin tags on the eyelids or sensitive areas because it’s known to cause severe burning sensations. Make sure not to let the tea tree oil enter mucous membranes such as the eyes, nose, mouth, groin and other areas as this will lead to irritation.
Below are a few ways to use it: remember consistency is the key so use these treatments everyday to see fast results:
» Cotton Ball Application
First rub a little Vaseline or coconut oil around the skin tag to protect the healthy skin from tea tree which can burn. Then place 1-2 drops (depending on the size of your skin tag) on a clean cotton ball and press it to your skin tag. Stick a band-aid on it and leave it on overnight or at least an hour. Do this every night without fail. If you find that the tea tree alone is too harsh for your skin, place a few drops of olive oil with the tea tree before applying the cotton ball.
» Spot Treatment
Mix 1 tbsp shea butter and 10 drops of tea tree oil in a small container. Using your clean index finger or a q-tip, scoop out a tiny amount and apply it to your skin tag. Do this 3 times a day.
» Skin Tag Mask
Mix a pinch of baking soda with a drop of tea tree and ½ tsp castor oil (another good home remedy for skin tags). Apply it on the skin tag and leave it on for 15 minutes then rinse off with warm water. You can triple or quadruple the amount of ingredients to make a larger batch and store it in a clean container in your bathroom cabinet. Just don’t introduce water to the mixture as it will spoil fast.
Where to Find High Quality Tea Tree Oil
As usual, please ensure to buy the right kind of tea tree oil for skin tags or any other purpose. Look for 100% pure high quality therapeutic tea tree essential oil and avoid the synthetic stuff.
- Always use patch tests before applying essential oils on your body. To do a patch test, simply dilute 1 drop of essential oil in one drop of a pure vegetable oil like olive oil and rub it on your inner elbow. Watch for any negative reactions on that area for 1-2 hours. If no skin irritation is seen/felt, the oil is safe to use on your body.
- Do not ingest essential oils.
- Do not apply large amounts of essential oil on your skin. A little goes a long way with essential oils. Only a few drops are needed to produce tremendous results. Using more drops won’t give better results – it’ll just leave you with nasty burns and severe skin damage. An ideal dilution would be 1-3 drops of essential oil in 1 tsp of carrier oil or base ingredient.
- If suffering from chronic/severe health conditions such as hypertension, epilepsy, asthma, etc, please consult your doctor before using essential oils.
- Most essential oils should be avoided during pregnancy. Please refer to Is it Safe to Use Essential Oils While Pregnant? and What Essential Oils are Good for Pregnancy? for more details.