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Q I wonder if a new at-home treatment to freeze off skin tags is a good option?
A Consultant dermatologist Dr Nick Lowe of the Cranley Clinic in London (drnicklowe.com) has concerns about cryotherapy freezing technology used as self-treatment, because ‘it is difficult to get the level of freezing just right. You need enough to remove the problem,’ he says. ‘But if the level is too high, you risk permanent lightening or temporary – sometimes long-term – darkening of the surrounding skin, particularly in Asian or olive skin tones.’
Also, the instructions for such devices say to hold up the skin tag (presumably with tweezers) and freeze the stalk, but Dr Lowe says there is often little or no stalk.
Instead, he suggests consulting your GP or dermatologist who may use much more targeted methods, eg, needle electrocautery or CO2 laser.
After successful treatment, Dr Lowe recommends gently exfoliating the area (usually the neck, the underarms and under the breasts in women) twice weekly, which may help to prevent new tags forming.
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