Does Garlic Really Work To Remove Skin Tags?

Skin tags are soft growths of skin tissue that are usually formed in the armpits, neck, groin, and other places where skin touches other skin (via NHS). They are noncancerous and harmless, but many people don't like the way they look and would like to know if there are natural at-home remedies to remove them safely. Several different websites list garlic as one possible treatment that may be able to remove skin tags. But does it really work?

According to a 2011 review of studies published in the journal Dermatology Reports, garlic does have many different medicinal applications when it comes to skincare. The researchers looked at all of the available clinical studies and concluded that the use of garlic topically, or right on the skin, is potentially effective in the treatment of a number of different skin conditions. While the study did not look at skin tags specifically, these results do show some promise.

Is there any evidence that garlic removes skin tags?

There are no studies that show that garlic removes skin tags, and so the treatment remains a hypothetical possibility. Garlic does contain some unique properties and characteristics that might help explain why it could be used to treat skin tags. According to the Cleveland Clinic, for example, using garlic topically is a way to help clear up acne. The antibacterial and antioxidant properties of the common kitchen condiment are what are responsible for this action, although they also warn that using garlic on the skin may cause burning.

While the Cleveland Clinic does acknowledge that many people try to remove skin tags at home with garlic or even with things like banana peels or apple cider vinegar, they also warn that there are risks involved with these DIY procedures and advise people to seek out a doctor or dermatologist for professional removal.