Skin Tags: Major Causes and Natural Support Strategies

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skin tagsSkin Tags: Major Causes and Natural Support Strategies

Skin tags are small pieces of soft hanging skin that you may notice on your eyelids, around your armpits, upper chest, neck, armpits, groins, and under your breast. While they are benign and not dangerous, they may be the sign of some underlying health issues, including insulin resistance and inflammation. By using natural strategies, you can improve your skin health.  

In this article, you will learn everything you need to know about skin tags. You will understand its risk factors and common causes. I will also share my natural strategies to improve your immune and skin health, including a natural topical application you can use to help support skin tags and other blemishes.  

skin tags

What Are Skin Tags

Skin tags are small pieces of soft and hanging skin that may appear anywhere on your body. Skin tags most commonly appear on your eyelids, armpits, groins, upper chest, under the breasts, and neck. They tend to appear in areas where other skin or clothing rubs against your skin.

Skin tags are not dangerous. They are benign, non-cancerous tiny tumors that consist of fibers, ducts, fat cells, and nerve cells, and your epidermis. Many people don’t even notice their skin tags unless they are rubbed or scratched by clothing, jewelry while putting on make-up, or when shaving. 

Skin tags tend to be small between 2 millimeters to a centimeter. In some cases, they may grow up to 5 centimeters. They are flesh-colored or brownish and are smooth or irregular in appearance. In some cases, they fall off or rub off by themselves, in other cases, you may have to use a natural topical treatment to remove them safely (1, 2, 3)

Risk Factors For Skin Tags 

Skin tags can occur on anyone’s body, however, there are certain risk factors that increase your likelihood of getting skin tags. Some of these risk factors include (1):

  • Being female
  • Being overweight or obese
  • Aging
  • Friction
  • Genetics
  • Pregnancy
  • A sex-steroid imbalance that causes changes in progesterone and estrogen levels
  • Certain types of human papillomavirus (HPV)
  • Insulin resistance
  • Diabetes
  • Hypertension
  • High cholesterol
  • High inflammation
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome
  • Birt-Hogg-Dubé Syndrome

skin tags

Major Causes of Skin Tags

It seems that skin tags occur when clusters of collagen and blood vessels get confined inside thicker pieces of certain areas of your skin. While we don’t fully understand why this exactly happens, it seems like there are some common health issues that may cause skin tags. While skin tags are not dangerous, it is important that you pay attention to them, as they may be signs of some underlying health issues.

Insulin Resistance

Insulin resistance occurs when the cells in your fat, muscles, and liver are unable to respond appropriately to insulin and are unable to use your blood glucose for energy. This causes your pancreas to create more insulin and increases your blood sugar levels.

Insulin resistance is an increasingly common health issue that increases your risk of diabetes. Research has shown that insulin resistance and diabetes may cause skin tags. In fact, skin tags may be an early warning sign of insulin resistance and may play an important role in prevention and early treatment (4, 5).

insulin resistance

Chronic Inflammation

Your skin health can tell a lot about the health of your body. Chronic inflammation in your body can lead to various signs on your skin, including skin tags. Skin tags may mean that there is something more going on inside.

Skin tags have fibrovascular cores that cause mild chronic inflammation. Chronic inflammation may also increase your risk of insulin resistance and viral infections that may also lead to skin tags.


High Toxic Load

Toxins are all around us. Air pollution, toxic tap water, non-organic food covered with pesticides, conventional animal products filled with hormones, plastic products, cigarette smoke, and even stress increase your body’s toxic load.

A high toxic load can increase inflammation in your body and increase your risk of blood sugar issues, metabolic disease, hormonal problems, and compromised immunity, which may contribute to skin tags. Your skin tags may be telling you that you need to reduce your toxic load.

Viral Infections and Skin Tags

Viral infections can increase inflammation and related health issues in your body. They may compromise your gut flora balance which may lead to a full body imbalance, health issues, and skin tags. Viral infections may increase your risk of skin tags as well, especially if you have HPV.

Studies have found that certain forms of HPV may increase the risk or increase the growth of skin tags. Skin tags caused by HPV tend to occur on the neck and groin, but in rare cases, they may occur in the genitalia or anus as well (6, 7).


Due to hormonal changes during the menstrual cycle, women may already be at higher risk of getting skin tags. During pregnancy, women go through hormonal changes and experience high levels of growth factors.

Both of these factors may contribute to the development of skin tags. Some women also experience gestational diabetes which may also increase the risk factors of skin tags (1).

skin tags

Conventional Treatments For Skin Tags

Skin tags tend to be harmless, so many people choose not to remove them. Others may get them removed for aesthetic or cosmetic reasons or if it is rubbing against their clothing or skin leading to irritation (1).

Some people may try over-the-counter (OTC) solutions to freeze their skin tags off within 7 to 10 days. A safer alternative is to visit a dermatologist or other skin doctor if you are seeking conventional treatment.

To remove your skin tags your dermatologists may use:

  • Cryosurgery: freezing of the skin tag with liquid nitrogen
  • Cauterization: burning off the skin tag with electrolysis
  • Ligation: interrupting the skin tags blood supply
  • Excision: cutting the skin tag out with a scalpel

If you have a skin tag on your eyelid, you need to seek help from an ophthalmologist. However, you don’t have to turn to conventional and invasive strategies for skin tags. There are natural support strategies you may try instead.

skin tags

Natural Support Strategies for Skin Tags

There are many natural support strategies you can apply to help improve your skin and overall health.  While these strategies are not at this time FDA approved to prevent, mitigate, treat or cure skin tags and should not be confused as such. 

With that said, they can be extremely helpful for addressing the root cause of the skin tag development.  It is important to remember that the development of skin tags is a sign of an underlying physiological dysfunction and so you need a lifestyle-based approach to get things back in balance.  

Anti-Inflammatory Nutrition Plan

Since chronic inflammation is one of the most common causes of skin tags, eating an anti-inflammatory nutrition plan is non-negotiable. An anti-inflammatory diet supports your detoxification pathways, helps cellular repair, lowers the risk of insulin resistance, and supports your overall health.

Start by eliminating all inflammatory foods, including refined sugar, gluten, refined oils, deep-fried and processed foods, conventional dairy, grain-fed meat and eggs, soda and sugary drinks, and foods that you are sensitive or allergic to. Instead, choose an anti-inflammatory nutrient plan that is low in carbohydrates and full of nutrients.

Choose nutrient-dense greens, vegetables, low glycemic index fruits, herbs, spices, fermented foods, healthy fats, grass-fed meat, and wild-caught fish. To learn more about an anti-inflammatory diet, read this article as well (8, 9, 10).

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Getting Into Ketosis

Getting into ketosis and following a ketogenic diet is a fantastic way to reduce your risk of insulin resistance and chronic inflammation, as well as to help your body to recover from infections. This may help you to lower your chances of getting skin tags.

When it comes to ketosis, first your need to know that most people’s body relies on glucose from dietary carbs to create energy. However fasting, your body won’t receive enough glucose because of fasting or a high-fat diet, it will turn to dietary or stored body fat instead for energy.

These fats get turned into ketones and get converted into energy. Besides lowering inflammation and insulin resistance, ketosis may help to support enhanced autophagy, improved mitochondrial biogenesis, and improved brain health. Intermittent fasting and the keto diet are the best ways to experience ketosis.

I recommend practicing both is the best strategy to set yourself up for success. To learn more about ketosis, I recommend reading this article. To learn more about the keto diet, I recommend this one (11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16).

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Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent fasting is one of the easiest ways to experience the benefits of ketosis. This approach to fasting that essentially cycles between not eating (fasting) and eating (feasting) over a certain period of time, generally a day, helps to support insulin sensitivity, inflammation reduction, cellular repair, increased autophagy, immune regulation.

As a result, it may help to lower your risk of skin tags. If you are new to intermittent fasting, start out slow. I recommend a Simple Fast with 12 hours of fasting including your overnight sleep at first. Increase your fasting window gradually.

Most people, including myself, do the best with and love the 16:8 approach involving 16 hours of fasting. To learn more about intermittent fasting and best intermittent fasting practices, I recommend this article (17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23)

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Good Hydration

While good hydration is critical for your overall health, one of the main benefits of good hydration is helping detoxification and cleansing. Good hydration helps your body to remove toxins through urine and sweating and aid recovery from viral infections. It helps to lower your inflammation levels and decrease the risk of disease.

Since we often confuse thirst with hunger, good hydration also helps to reduce cravings and snacking on high-carb junk food, reducing your risk of two common causes of skin tags, insulin resistance and chronic inflammation. I recommend that you start your day with 32 oz of water and continue drinking throughout the day at least 8 to 10 glasses.

Make sure that you drink clean water by avoiding bottled water or regular tap water, investing in a good filtration and purification system, and using glass or stainless-steel bottles instead of plastic.  I recommend systems like Aquatrue or the Berkey system for low-cost filtration.  The best water is the UltraLux Triple Action Hydrogen Water Machine which is what I use at home as it is powered by molecular hydrogen which reduces oxidative stress in the body and improves immune function.  

Add a slice of lime for some extra flavor. Additionally, make sure to eat plenty of hydrating vegetables and low glycemic index fruits, and drink green juices, green smoothies, bone broth, and herbal tea.

skin tags

Movement & Exercise

Regular movement and exercise are critical for detoxification, lowering inflammation, and protecting your body from health issues. I recommend that you move your body daily by going out for walks and that you do some sort of high intensity exercise such as resistance training or cardiovascular training at least two or three times a week for 20 to 30 minutes. 

High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is one of my favorite ways to get my cardio and strength training in within a short yet effective workout. I also love rebounding for its lymphatic support, cardiovascular, and mental health benefits. For cardio, you may try dancing, hiking, swimming, jogging, or biking.

For strength and resistance training, weightlifting, bodyweight workouts, CrossFit, and TRX are great ideas. I recommend that you add some low-impact workouts, such as stretching, pilates, or TaiChi. Stay active throughout the day by taking a stroll at the local park, playing with your kids or pets, taking the stairs, stretching regularly, or dancing to your favorite song.

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Avoid Tight Fitting Clothes in Susceptible Areas

One of the reasons you may develop skin tags is because skin or other clothes are rubbing against your skin. This is also the reason you may develop skin tags in certain areas, such as your armpits, under your breast, or around your chest or neck, then other areas.

I recommend that you avoid tight-fitting clothes in susceptible areas, especially if you are prone to skin tags. This means that your shirt shouldn’t be to tight around your armpits or neck. Women should make sure that their bras are well-fitted and comfortable. Bras without underwire may be a better option.

Make sure that you are wearing comfortable, breathable materials that don’t irritate your skin.  You can also try out the Dr Scholl’s Skin Tag Removal Kit which has a history of getting good results for many people although not everyone.

Try This Topical Application

If you have some skin tags, you can try a natural topical application to improve your skin and immune health.  This is very good to use on skin tags and other skin blemishes.  

What you will need:

  • 20 drops Colloidal Silver or NanoSilver
  • 20 drops of Detoxadine
  • 1 capsule of Selenomethionine 
  • 1 oz. of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small container
  • 1 cotton swab
  • 1 band-aid
  • 1 large baby food jar


  • Mix the contents together with a cotton swab until fully mixed.
  • Apply the paste to the skin tag.
  • Cover with a small band-aid.
  • Do this daily until the skin tag naturally falls off
  • Store unused paste in the baby food jar, or similar container, to keep the solution from drying out.
  • It is very important that you don’t use this method for skin tags on your eyelids or close to your eyes.

Improve Detoxification Pathways

To improve your health and reduce your risk of common causes of skin tags, it is important that you improve your detoxification pathways. Your main detoxification pathways include your skin, lungs, liver, kidneys, and colon.

To support your skin health, I recommend that you practice daily dry brushing, use natural and organic skincare products, and use an infrared sauna daily. To improve your lung function, I recommend that you exercise regularly, spend time in nature, make sure that you have clean, filtered air at your home, and avoid smoking and second-hand smoke.

For kidney and liver support, I recommend that you eat a liver and kidney-supporting diet rich in beets, grapefruit, green tea, garlic, spinach, broccoli, turmeric, citrus, avocado, cabbage, berries, and olive oil. For my recommendation for gut and colon health, read the next section. To learn more about infrared sauna therapy, I recommend this article. To learn more about how to improve air quality at your home, read this article

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Support Gut & Immune Health

Supporting your gut and immune health is critical for lowering your risk of health issues, including skin tags and its common causes. To support your gut, eat an anti-inflammatory diet we discussed earlier. Eat plenty of gut-supporting probiotic foods, such as kimchi, sauerkraut, and kefir, as well as prebiotic foods, such as Jerusalem artichokes, asparagus, and leek.

Take daily probiotics. Try this Gut Healing Protein to support your gastrointestinal function. For immune support, along with an anti-inflammatory immune-supporting diet, try some immune-supporting herbs, including turmeric, ginger, elderberry, and echinacea. ImmunoCharge is a fantastic supplement that I recommend for immune health support.

skin tags

Resveratrol & Quercetin

Resveratrol and quercetin are two powerful support nutrients that can help to reduce inflammation, support your immune system, and lower your risk of common causes of skin tags. Resveratrol is a potent compound found in the skin of grapes and berries, as well as red wine. It has powerful antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and immune protecting properties.

Quercetin is a flavonoid found in certain vegetables and fruits, including leafy greens, broccoli, tomatoes, and berries. It is very high in antioxidants and holds anti-inflammatory and immune-supporting benefits (24, 25).  To experience the benefits of clinically tested, high dose quercetin along with resveratrol, I recommend Resveratrol Power 

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Inflam Defense

To support your immune system, reduce inflammation, and support your overall health, I recommend taking Inflam Defense™. This is one of my favorite supplements I recommend all the time.

It is a combination of anti-inflammatory herbs, such as curcumin, boswellia, ginger, and rosemary extract as well as nutrients from quercetin and rutin, and proteolytic enzymes. Inflam Defense™  helps to downregulate the inflammatory process and deal with the negative impact of acute or chronic inflammatory conditions and may help your body to reduce the common causes of skin tags. 

skin tags

Final Thoughts on Skin Tags

Skin tags are quite common. They are small pieces of soft hanging skin that you may notice on your eyelids, around your armpits, upper chest, neck, armpits, groins, and under your breast.

While they are not dangerous, they may be the sign of some underlying inflammation, insulin resistance, or other health issues.  To improve skin and immune system health, I recommend that you follow my natural strategies for skin tags.

If you want to work with a functional health coach, I recommend this article with tips on how to find a great coach.  Our website team offers long-distance functional health coaching programs. For further support with your brain health and other health goals, just reach out and our fantastic coaches are here to support your journey.

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The Inflammation Crushing Ebundle is designed to help you improve your brain, liver, immune system and discover the healing strategies, foods and recipes to burn fat, reduce inflammation and Thrive in Life!

As a doctor of natural medicine, I have spent the past 20 years studying the best healing strategies and worked with hundreds of coaching clients, helping them overcome chronic health conditions and optimize their overall health.

In our Inflammation Crushing Ebundle, I have put together my very best strategies to reduce inflammation and optimize your healing potential.  Take a look at what you will get inside these valuable guides below!

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  1. Hi Dr. Jockers,
    What would have caused my son to have three on one side and two on the other side of the front part of his ears (like in the picture) when he was born? The doctor cut them all off and put one stitch in each after his birth. He’s 34 now, but I’ve always wondered why. Thank you in advance for your response😊.

  2. Tamanu oil will take skin tags off!!! Chris Kilman on The Real Truth About Health explains. I’v tried it and it works. You’ll find it on Amazon.

  3. I appreciate the time and effort you have expended and the resources and others involved in producing these clear concise documents. And you’re generosity in sharing them

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