If you have skin tags or warts, you already know how difficult it can be to get rid of them. These two conditions are very common and I’ve already written on how to remove skin tags and warts with apple cider vinegar. In this post I am going to cover skin tag and wart removal using hydrogen peroxide.
Skin tags and warts are common: according to the NIH (National Institutes of Health) USA, approximately 46% of people have skin tags, and most people will have at least one common wart at sometime in their lives.
What Are Skin Tags?
Skin tags (also known as acrochordon ) look like small pieces of soft hanging skin that may hang from a stalk. They are benign and generally occur after mid-life. Factors that increase the likelihood of having skin tags are genetics, obesity and diabetes. Skin tags are more common among pregnant women due to hormonal changes.
Skin tags are more commonly found in body folds where skin rubs against skin, such as armpits, groin, under the breast, eyelids and neck, but can appear on any part of the body.
What Are Warts?
A wart is a small solid growth with a rough surface that typically appears on the hands or feet. Warts are caused by viruses, especially HPV type (human papilloma virus) that causes an infection in which the top layer of the skin grows too fast.
A factor that increases the likelihood of developing a wart is broken skin, where the virus can enter the top layer of the skin through scratches or cuts.
The virus that causes warts can be spread to other body parts passed through skin-to-skin contact or contact with towels or shoes. It is therefore best to treat warts as soon as they appear.
You can use over-the-counter products to treat warts, or visit a dermatologist that can perform wart or skin tag treatment and removal techniques, but you can also treat these two with hydrogen peroxide.
An important note is that before you attempt to remove skin growth at home, you need to know that you are removing skin tags or warts – which are benign conditions – and not a mole or any other lesion that can be malignant. Therefore what you are trying to remove should have been previously diagnosed by a health professional as a harmless skin tag and not something else.
The Power of Hydrogen Peroxide
Hydrogen peroxide is a natural astringent and bleaching agent that can be purchased in varying concentrations. It can be used for many purposes, including whitening teeth, treating toenail fungus, and removing difficult stains from surfaces while disinfecting.
Hydrogen peroxide can also be used for removing skin tags and warts.
Skin Tags and Warts – Which Type of Hydrogen Peroxide to Use?
Although weaker solutions can be found in virtually any drug store, to remove skin tags or warts you will need to buy 35% food grade hydrogen peroxide. This is unlikely to be found on drug store shelves, but it can be bought online.
Note: this solution must be stored in a cool place, and in a dark container, as both heat and light can cause hydrogen peroxide to break down more quickly. For a longer product life, store in the freezer.
The higher the percentage, the more cautious you need to be. Make sure the bottle is clearly labeled and keep it away from children and pets as it can be toxic if ingested.
Caution: remember that food grade hydrogen peroxide is a 35% solution, and significantly more caustic than the 3% solution found on store shelves.
How to Remove Warts or Skin Tags With Hydrogen Peroxide
Getting rid of warts and skin tags with peroxide is amazingly simple but requires perseverance. To do so, you will need the following:
- Cotton swabs
- 35% food-grade hydrogen peroxide
- A nail file or pumice (for plantar warts)
Read the precautions below before you start.
If you are treating a plantar wart or verruca, file away the top layer of skin over the wart before using this method.
Soak the cotton end of a swab in a full-strength solution of food-grade hydrogen peroxide, then rub it onto the wart or skin tag carefully. Make sure you don’t hit any healthy, normal skin with the peroxide, as this may sting quite a bit.
Do this 3 to 5 times per day for a week or two.
At first, the skin surrounding the wart or skin tag may become whitish in appearance. This is normal and means the remedy is working. Keep persisting with treatment until the wart blackens and forms into a scab, which will eventually fall off.
You may see this happen after only a few days, or it may take longer to disappear, as Plantar warts are deeper and often require longer treatment.
Hydrogen Peroxide – Precautions
– Don’t use hydrogen peroxide to remove skin tags around the eyelids, as it can harm the eyes.
– Note that hydrogen peroxide 35% is very strong, so if the wart is in a sensitive area, you should dilute with water or as a precaution don’t use this technique at all.
– Apply only to the direct area which is affected, avoiding surrounding skin as much as possible.