Tea tree oil is an essential oil derived from the leaves of the Australian tea tree (Melaleuca alternifolia). Although no scientific research has been done on the use of tea tree oil for skin tags, anecdotal reports suggest that it works. People claim that tea tree oil dehydrates skin tags, causing them to dry up and fall off.
Skin tags are painless, flesh-colored growths that hang off the skin. They’re very common, affecting up to half the population. Skin tags are harmless, but they can be unsightly and uncomfortable when they grow in delicate locations such as the eyelids, groin, and armpits.
Tea tree oil has been used for thousands of years by the aboriginal people of Australia. They rely on its antiseptic power to help treat wounds and fight off infections.
Today, tea tree oil is primarily used to treat athlete’s foot, acne, and fungal infections. Due to its fresh scent, tea tree oil is a common ingredient in beauty products, such as soaps, shampoos, and moisturizers. You can find pure tea tree oil anywhere essential oils are found.
Keep reading to learn more about this alternative treatment and how you can try using it at home to get rid of your skin tags.
There’s no scientific evidence to support claims that tea tree oil works for skin tags, but there are theories to support its use.
Dermatologists often treat skin tags by tying a suture around the base of the tag. This cuts off the skin tag’s blood supply, causing it to dry up and fall off.
Tea tree oil could be an alternative to this procedure, but you may be better off tying a piece of dental floss around the base of your tag.
Tea tree oil has powerful antiviral properties.
Tea tree oil has been used as an antiseptic solution for centuries.
Tea tree oil can be used in many different ways. Here are a few examples of how you can use tea tree oil on your skin tags:
Tea tree oil compress
Use a tea tree oil solution:
- Soak a cotton ball in tea tree oil.
- Use a bandage or a piece of tape to secure the cotton ball to your skin tag.
- Let it sit overnight.
- Repeat nightly until the skin tag falls off.
Discontinue if you experience irritation.
Use a combination of 100 percent tea tree oil and apple cider vinegar:
- Soak a cotton ball in the apple cider vinegar.
- Add a few drops of tea tree oil.
- Use tape to secure the cotton ball to your skin tag.
- Leave in place for 10 to 15 minutes.
- Rinse the area with soap and water.
- Repeat up to three times per day.
Never use this vinegar mix near your eyes.
Diluted tea tree oil
- Mix 1 tablespoon of carrier oil with 3 to 4 drops of tea tree oil.
- Apply the mixture to your skin tag at least twice per day until it falls off.
- Add 3 to 4 drops of tea tree oil to 1 cup of clean water.
- Add 1/2 teaspoon of fine sea salt.
- Put the mixture in the microwave for about 1 minute.
- Soak a clean cloth or paper towel in the solution and then hold it on your skin tag for 5 to 10 minutes.
- Repeat 2 to 3 times per day until your tag falls off.
Tea tree oil salt soak
Tea tree oils come in many strengths and some are already diluted. Read the labels carefully — 100 percent tea tree oil can be very irritating to the skin. Don’t take tea tree oil internally.
Some people experience mild skin reactions when applying tea tree oil to their skin.
Before using it to treat your skin tag, perform a patch test:
- Place a small amount of tea tree oil on your arm.
- Wait 24 to 48 hours.
- Watch for any adverse reactions.
If you experience a reaction, don’t use tea tree oil.
Never ingest tea tree oil, it’s toxic. Drinking it can cause a serious reaction, including confusion and loss of muscle coordination.
Don’t use tea tree oil near your eyes.
If your skin tag isn’t going away on its own after a few weeks of treatment, consider talking to a doctor. Doctors have several effective methods that can be completed quickly and easily during an office visit. Your doctor may choose to snip your skin tag off with sterile scissors, remove it with a scalpel, or tie a suture around the base.
Tea tree oil has many medicinal uses, but treating skin tags isn’t a traditional one. There may be better methods available to you for removing a skin tag. Talk to your doctor about in-office procedures to remove skin tags.