Laser Skin Tag Removal: Procedure, Cost, Effectiveness, & Aftercare
Wondering if laser skin tag removal works? Will it cause any pain? What’s the cost? How long will it take? If so, you’re definitely not on your own in wanting to know the answers to these questions.
Skin tags can be different in a variety of ways. Some will experience a few during your lifetime, while others are more ‘prone’ to them. You’ll also find that the color can vary from everything from skin-colored to black (when they’re about to fall off).
Skin tags are just folds of flesh that hang loosely from the skin. They’re benign tumors and totally harmless. Contrary to what you may have heard or read online, they aren’t a sign of cancer. If they’ve been diagnosed correctly by a doctor, there’s no need to worry.
There’s no proven cause of skin tags and no studies that prove that some people are more genetically susceptible to them. The common theory is that they are caused by friction, from skin rubbing against skin, or clothing, or even jewelry. This is why they appear in places like under the arms, the neck area, buttocks, genitals, and around the eyes. They can literally appear anywhere, even on or inside the nose.
There are plenty of treatments, some of which are more invasive than others. They are more of a cosmetic concern that you can take care of on your own, but more people are turning to laser skin tag removal.
Laser removal is an effective way to get rid of skin tags and isn’t as invasive as you might think. If you’ve never heard of laser treatment for skin tags, you should keep the following information in mind. This will ensure that you feel completely comfortable with the process.
Table of Contents:
- 1 How Does Laser Skin Tag Removal Work?
- 1.1 Is Laser Treatment the Best Option?
- 1.2 What Is the Healing Process Like?
- 1.3 How Effective Is Laser Skin Tag Removal?
- 1.4 How Much Does Laser Skin Tag Removal Cost?
- 1.5 Aftercare Advice Once You’ve Been Treated
- 1.6 Is Laser Treatment the Right Option for You?
How Does Laser Skin Tag Removal Work?
Most removals can now be done in an outpatient facility. Doctors will use a mild anesthetic or numbing agent on your skin to keep the treatment from being at all painful. The lasers will work to burn skin tags off your body. It doesn’t sound pleasant, but it’s not nearly as bad as it sounds.
Discomfort is Only Minimal
Most patients say they experience only a mild discomfort. Facilities will use a type of radiofrequency laser that leaves no scarring behind. Since it’s an outpatient service, you can expect very little pain, even after the treatment is completed.
Removal Takes Under 20 Minutes
Depending on where your skin tags are located, and how many you have, treatments will take just 15 to 20 minutes. You’ll be alert the whole time, without having to endure the actual effects of the laser on your skin.
People often consider laser treatment when the skin tag has a small stalk. It’s the ‘go-to’ option for skin tags that are harder to treat, or in places that can feel impossible to remove. Because the laser also helps to cauterize the area, you won’t experience any bleeding.
Only One Treatment Is Usually Required
It’s an individualized experience for everyone. Some people may require two treatment sessions, but it’s rare. Very few people need additional treatments after choosing laser skin tag removal.
Is Laser Treatment the Best Option?
There is no single ‘best treatment’ when it comes to skin tags. Everyone’s experience is likely to be a bit different. For the most part, it will end up being a matter of personal preference, or how the body responds.
Identifying the Right Removal Method
There are also over-the-counter skin tag products, some of which are effective. Ultimately, the choice ends up being a completely individual one. It’s based on your specific needs and wants, how quickly you want the skin tags to be gone.
Cosmetic & Not a Medical Issue
Some people would rather remove skin tags with a tried-and-tested treatment at home. Others struggle with the unsightly look and want them gone as fast as possible. If you’re looking for convenience and quick removal, it laser removal might be your best choice.
What Is the Healing Process Like?
For the most part, healing after laser skin tag removal is quick, easy, and relatively painless. Everyone heals a little differently based on how quickly your skin usually bounces back from things. Most people can expect to be fully healed in about 3-5 days after treatment.
Recovery Plan Following Treatment
It’s likely that your doctor will give you some type of antibiotic cream to apply to the affected areas. You’ll also get some post-treatment instructions on keeping your skin safe for the next several days. This will typically include things like wearing looser clothing, staying out of the sun, and keeping the treated areas dry.
Redness Will Fade & No Scarring
Other than that, the ‘negative’ effects of your treatment should wear off relatively quickly, and treatment won’t leave any scarring. You’ll notice some redness or irritation in the treated areas for about 24 hours after treatment, which is perfectly normal. But, if it doesn’t go away in a few days, you should speak to your doctor or a dermatologist. This won’t usually be a problem.
How Effective Is Laser Skin Tag Removal?
Are There Better Alternatives?
Freezing involves using a type of skin-safe liquid nitrogen to immediately freeze them solid. At that point, they will either fall off on their own. There isn’t usually any kind of numbing agent or anesthetic needed for this procedure.
‘Cutting’ the skin tags off might sound a bit more invasive. However, it’s a procedure by which a scalpel makes an incision at the stalk of the skin tag, and removes it painlessly. There’s typically a numbing agent that goes along with this method. While it’s relatively painless and quick, some people steer away from it. That’s because they don’t like the idea of something actually being ‘cut’ from the body.
Most of the time, making the decision as to what type of treatment to get is completely up to the patient. That’s because getting a skin tag removed is a cosmetic procedure, and not necessarily a medical one.
Skin Tags Don’t Grow Back Again
The overall effectiveness of laser skin tag removal is high. Thanks to advancements in technology, the lasers used by dermatologists are able to be extremely precise.
Once it has been removed, that skin tag will not grow back or regenerate itself. However, you can develop new ones.
It works on the surface, removing skin tags (with or without a stalk) from the surface of your skin. It does not kill underlying skin cells. Whether you choose laser treatment or any other treatment, there is no way to completely eliminate the underlying cause of skin tags.
Some people are just more prone to this benign skin condition than others. Skin tags typically like to grow together in small clusters. So, even after a laser removes a skin tag completely, there’s always a possibility that a new one appears nearby.
How Much Does Laser Skin Tag Removal Cost?
The good news is that this type of treatment for skin tags is relatively inexpensive, considering the value behind it. Most facilities will charge around 150 bucks for the removal of either one skin tag, or a small cluster next to each other. The price usually goes up from there, based on the amount of that need to be removed.
Costs Vary Based on the Clinic You Use
If you’re interested in more information about specific costs, it’s a good idea to talk to your doctor or whatever facility you might be considering to remove them. If you’re either prone to this condition or have many all over your body, you will want to obtain a price estimate ahead of time, so there are no surprises after your procedure.
However, as far as any type of cosmetic procedure goes, laser skin tag removal is fairly cost-effective, for what you’re having done. Add in the fact that it’s a quick and painless treatment, and most people would likely say it’s absolutely worth the cost.
Not Covered by Insurance Companies
The bad news, however, is because removal of any kind (laser or otherwise) is technically a cosmetic procedure, insurance companies won’t cover the costs at all. It will have to be paid for entirely out of pocket, which makes the fact that the treatment doesn’t reach into thousands of dollars an even better feeling.
Ask About Payment Plans
Many facilities will typically offer some kind of financing or repayment option if your treatment procedure exceeds a certain amount, so asking for any special offers or options is always a great idea if you need to take your budget into consideration.
Aftercare Advice Once You’ve Been Treated
The unfortunate truth is that new skin tags can grow in close proximity. Keep in mind that it won’t be the ‘same’ skin tag, necessarily, but one can grow back in the same spot, or anywhere around at any time. Some people are just more prone to them than others, and while there is no concrete genetic evidence yet to exactly pinpoint ‘why’ that is, you’ll likely know if you’re one of those people, and if you get skin tags more often than others.
Skin Tags Can’t Always Be Prevented
Another unfortunate truth is that skin tags aren’t always preventable. Again, the reason behind them is a strong theory but hasn’t been proven scientifically as fact. Until it has, doctors and scientists alike won’t be able to give a concrete answer as to how to prevent skin tags altogether. However, as strong as the theory of friction causing skin tags is, there are also several strong suggestions you can keep in mind for preventing them in the future after you’ve completed your treatment.
Health & Lifestyle Modifications
One thing to consider as a part of your general aftercare is a lifestyle change. Your overall health can be related to the amount of them that you get, and how frequently you might get them. If you have a diet high in saturated fats, sugars, etc., there has been a direct correlation found between the two. It’s important to have a varied diet full of vitamin-rich fruits, vegetables, lean meats, and whole grains – that might sound like the ‘standard’ for any healthy diet, and while it is, it’s also the perfect food pyramid for preventing skin tags from growing.
Your chance of getting them can also be reduced by limiting the amount of friction that can cause them. This can be done by losing weight, so there isn’t as much skin-to-skin contact on your body. A healthy, active lifestyle is always the best preventative step for just about any condition, and skin tags are no different.
Wear Loose-Fitting Clothing
You can also consider clothing as a preventative measure to future tags, especially if you’re prone to them, and have had to have several removed. Clothing and jewelry can be just as much of a ‘friction’ culprit as skin-to-skin contact.
You can help to reduce the risk of skin tags by wearing loose-fitting clothing, made from more breathable materials. We don’t often think of something as simple as clothes as a possible culprit for a skin condition, but it can’t be ruled out.
As mentioned before, your doctor or dermatologist will probably give you an antibiotic topical cream to use after treatment, and you should continue to use it until it’s completely gone, to ensure there will be no scarring. From that point, you can look at using things like medicated powders. These powders can be used just about anywhere on the body and will remove moisture from the areas, and protect your skin from rubbing together.
Is Laser Treatment the Right Option for You?
It’s been covered a few times already in this article, and you’re likely to hear it when it comes to any treatment option, but getting rid of skin tags is just that: an option. Fast laser skin tag removal is fast, effective, and virtually pain-free with little recovery time. Some people are uncomfortable with the idea of any type of ‘laser treatment’ on their body, but others simply want to get the issue fixed as quickly as possible.
If you’re considering skin tag laser treatment, the best thing you can do is contact a doctor, dermatologist, or a skin specialist. Not only can they help you with any questions or concerns you might have, but they’ll be able to walk you through the process in a very safe and detailed manner.
Take your own opinions and reservations into consideration before deciding on a treatment. That means weighing up the pros and cons, considering cost, recovery, your own personal feelings toward the procedure, etc. Yes, it’s a safe treatment, but it is still a treatment that requires a doctor to administer, and for some people, that means thinking a bit more about the process.
Take your time, and if you decide if it is right for you, you’ll be rid of those pesky skin tags and enjoying smooth, healthy skin in no time at all.