When it comes to bringing a baby into this world, you pretty much unknowingly sign up to sacrifice every square inch of your body, including your skin. Although not everyone experiences them, skin changes such as skin tag growths occur fairly frequently during pregnancy. With many doctors and websites warning never to remove them yourselves due to the risk of infection, many women still choose to and find themselves searching for safe DIY ways to do it.
Skin tags are benign (not harmful) growths of skin that can occur for various reasons, pregnancy being one of them. With the big hormonal shift that occurs during pregnancy and even the fluctuations with breastfeeding after birth, skin tags are a common complaint from new moms and moms-to-be.
When skin tags are small, it's pretty easy to sterilize a pair of tweezers, pinch and pull, but when you don't notice them until they're relatively big, removing them with tweezers may cause more pain and bleeding than you want to endure. If you do decide to go the pinch and pull route, be sure to keep everything sterilized by washing the tweezers in hot water and wiping the skin tag and tweezers with an alcohol wipe. If you manage to pull it off, apply a bandage and change it frequently until it heals over. Depending on its size, it may leave a scar so be sure not to use this method in noticeable places (such as on your face).
For skin tags that are larger, rumor has it that apple cider vinegar works wonders. After taking a toothpick and carefully scratching the skin (not so much so to cause it to bleed), apply a soaked cotton ball to the skin tag, secure it with a bandage, and leave it overnight. Many people report that this method is painless but the vinegar does have the ability to irritate the surrounding skin so try and only place it on the skin tag itself. If you don't have any apple cider vinegar, tea tree oil is said to work as well. Instead of soaking the cotton ball in vinegar, use water and then add a few drops of tea tree oil. Secure it with a bandage, leave it on for a few hours at a time and repeat for a few days.
Although it's always best to see your doctor about skin issues, especially during pregnancy, we know it isn't always realistic for some women. Whichever method you choose, be sure to keep things sterile to avoid infection. Also, if any issues occur during your DIY removal, see your doctor immediately.