Everything To Know About Skin Tag Removal
Skin tag/lesion cryotherapy removes unwanted skin growths to help you achieve smoother, blemish-free skin.
What is a skin tag?
Skin tags are small, soft, benign growths that often appear on your skin’s surface. While they are usually painless and harmless, you may want to remove them because of their unsightly appearance or if they are in an area that experiences frequent friction.
What causes skin tags?
The cause of skin tags is largely unknown, but they are more likely to occur when the skin rubs together or against clothing. Individuals may have a genetic predisposition to develop frequent skin tags and sometimes they may appear for no apparent reason.
Some studies indicate that pregnancy, body weight, diabetes, and hormonal imbalances contribute to skin tag growth. Skin tags are not contagious and are generally harmless, but if you have concerns about abnormal skin growths you should reach out to your doctor.
What is cryosurgery?
Skin tag removal (or lesion cryosurgery) is a quick, effective procedure that safely removes skin tags. Using a Freezpen device, an extremely precise flow of nitrous oxide is applied directly to the area, damaging the skin tag’s cellular structure. This is a quick and virtually painless treatment that requires no downtime. In the coming days or weeks, your skin tag may gradually darken in colour, eventually falling off or absorbing into the body.
It is the superior treatment for skin tag removal as it allows for controlled destruction of unwanted tissue only, unlike other over-the-counter or at-home treatments. Plus, there is no anesthesia involved and we see far fewer problems with scars and depigmentation compared to other techniques.
The exact number of treatments needed to remove skin tags varies, so we recommend you book a free consultation with our medical aesthetician, Sara, who completed her Freezpen training at the Esthetic Institute.
We also recommend you have your doctor, dermatologist, or plastic surgeon review your skin tag/lesion beforehand to ensure there are no concerns with the area. Whether you’re considering cryotherapy for cosmetic or comfort reasons, our Essentials experts will work with you to get you feeling confident in your skin.
How much does skin tag removal cost?
Treatments for skin tag removal start at $50 but will vary depending on the size and number of lesions. Booking a consultation allows us to properly assess your skin so we can better estimate how many treatments you require and provide a quote for treatment costs.
Book your consultation now!
What to expect from skin tag removal
Before skin tag removal
Review the skin tag/lesion with your family doctor, a dermatologist, or a plastic surgeon to ensure it is not concerning. This consult is important because some lesions can be cancerous. If it is of concern, then an excision is the better course of treatment, as this cryotherapy treatment will not produce pathology (lab) results.
Clear your schedule of any special events. It is possible your lesion may appear darker, scabbed, or lighter for 3 or more weeks.
14 days before, avoid anything that causes skin irritation (i.e.. chemical peels, microdermabrasion, laser treatments, etc.) Reschedule if you feel unwell including a fever, cold sore, rash, etc (from a vaccine or common viruses).
Avoid sun exposure, sunless tanning lotions and/or tanning beds for at least 7 days prior to treatment.
During skin tag removal
Lesions are treated by our doctor, medical aestheticians, or nurses by applying an extremely precise flow of nitrous oxide directly to the area. This is a cosmetic treatment which comes with a fee.
You will feel a rapid drop of temperature (thermal shock) to the lesion lasting about 3-45 seconds. Generally there is no discomfort during these first few seconds.
After this first freezing cycle, we wait 30 seconds, then follow with a second freezing cycle.
Once the freezing effect reaches the deepest part of the lesion, there may be a slight sting and you may feel that for a few hours after the treatment.
A blister will often form, raise, and become itchy – this is normal and a sign of a successful treatment.
After skin tag removal
Although cryotherapy is a relatively low-risk procedure, some side effects include, but are not limited to, permanent changes to pigmentation including hyperpigmentation (darkening) or hypopigmentation (lightening) that may last a few months or longer, blistering (for 1-2 days), discomfort, pain, redness, swelling, bleeding, infection, cartilage defect (nose/ear), conjunctival ectopy (eyelid), milia, depressed or raised scars.
Rare but more serious side effects include sensory impairment to nerves, particularly in areas where nerves are closer to the surface of the skin (fingers/wrist/behind ear) and these effects disappear usually within several months, or hair loss – hair follicles are easily damaged by cryosurgery and permanent hair loss to an area treated is not uncommon.
Before leaving the clinic, book a 3-week follow-up and set up your next appointment for 2nd treatment (if necessary).
Avoid picking, touching, or washing the area for the rest of the treatment day. Do not apply makeup, lotions, deodorants, etc. over the area until the lesion has scabbed and sloughed (or risk infection).
If you must put something on to soothe it, then aloe is recommended.
Band-Aids may be applied in areas of irritation (where your clothes are rubbing the treated area), but do not choose Band-Aids with adhesive all the way around. We want it to dry up, so try and let it breathe!
For 1-2 days after the treatment, avoid strenuous exercise if it may cause friction to the area, exposure to sun or any UV radiation, high heat environments (e.g., sauna, steam room, tanning beds, hot showers) or risk worsening swelling and discomfort.
You MUST wear sunscreen until the scab or dry area has sloughed off. As always, we recommend you continue to wear sunscreen daily to protect your investment and prevent sun damage.
Call us with any questions or concerns you may have.