Since I got many questions regarding what cheap products work best for removing skin tags, I decided to start writing an in-depth review of one of my favorite treatment options that I recommend on a daily basis to my patients namely TagBand.
Skin tags are benign skin tumors with a high prevalence (they are very common) amongst the general population. According to some studies up to one in three people will develop this type of skin problem at some point during their lives. With predisposing factors like high glucose levels, obesity and the pregnancy there is no wonder so many people get them.
Since they are so common, as a doctor I obviously see a lot of patients that want to get rid of them at my private clinic. The costs of the in-clinic treatment options, considering the size of the problem are quite high as you may guessed. The reasons behind this are varied: the costs of medical equipment used to remove such kind of skin problems are extremely high; for instance a good radiocautery device can reach $15.000, a dermatology laser can cost up to $100.000; the sterilization and other materials that may be needed to safely remove such growths also represent a good part of the treatment fee. Other specific various expenses a private practice has to deal with (I won’t go into detail) are also contributing to the removal costs. On the other hand it is common sense that dermatologists also have to make a living and since many of the doctors that practice this speciality are working in the private sector, the removal fee can go as up as the market demand dictates. All of this would not represent a problem if aesthetic procedures were covered by most insurances (skin tags besides just being unaesthetically unappealing, do not pose any threats, in most cases they do not cause pain, they do not threaten your life nor are they cancerous).
Since many patients are lacking the funds for removing skin tags at the doctor’s office or simply do not want to wait a couple of weeks for an appointment, I will detail below why the TagBand remover is an affordable yet complication-free alternative. Because like any product, the TagBand has some limitations (we’ll also discuss them below) and it is not recommended for all types of skin tags you should pay attention to all aspects before deciding it really suits your needs.
Tagband is a product designed in the United Kingdom by UK InnovationsGP Ltd that you can use to get rid of skin tags ranging in size from 2 up to 6 mm at their widest point without much effort or skin complications. There are actually two variants you can buy depending on the size of your skin polyp therefore it is recommended to use a ruler to measure the lesion and chose the correct product before rushing to Amazon and buying the first option you see.
You can buy the two variants from here
How Does TagBand Work
The reason behind how well TagBand works it that it deprives the skin polyp form its oxygen and nutrient supply (in simple terms its blood flow). This means that it can remove all kinds of skin tags provided they are big enough to be surrounded near their base by a small elastic silicone band.
This procedure resembles older techniques that were used by doctors like tying the skin lesion. But why is TagBand superior? The answer is simple and straightforward: getting the job done by tying a knot using a surgical thread obviously implies the bond will not slip the entire period the blood flow privation needs to kick in and determine tissue necrosis (4-7 days). This translates in follow ups at the doctor’s office in order to make sure everything is into place and appling more tension the the ligation process if needed. Personally I haven’t seen this producere being performed (I am a young dermatologist though) and only noticed it mentioned in my medical textbooks.
Now if you are thinking “Ok but I can tie my skin tag by my own using household threads or dental floss like I’ve seen on so many websites, I can check if there is enough tension, what’s so complicated doc?“, you should be aware that this particular approach results in skin infections in most cases. Firstly household threads are not sterile and represent good environment for bacteria growth and secondly from my experience most people either tie their lesion too tight dissecting it on the spot (the balance between an efficient ligature and sectioning is tricky to achieve) causing an intense hemorrhage they can not usually stop on their own at home (the blood vessels that feed the skin growth need to stay ligated for some time in order to seal) or the reverse result, they simply do not tie the knot tight enough or it slips after some time (common people usually do not know who to tie a secure surgical knot) resulting in the procedure not working at all.
Getting back to TagBand I was very pleased to see that the rubber bands included in the kit that are made of rubber silicone. This is important because as I doctor I know that silicone is not a good growing environment for bacteria and secondly since they are produced by a reputable company; this why I know they are clean and safe to use on human skin.
What’s Included In The Kit?
After receiving your product and opening the box you will notice the following:
- One micro TagBand Cone – made of good quality blue plastic, it is used to hold the silicone rubber band prior to skin application (basically it’s used to stretch the silicone ring opening so it can slide on the skin tag base)
- One Micro TagBand Remover – also blue plastic piece, it is used to slide the silicone ring off the cone onto the skin polyp base. It attaches to the cone resulting in an “U” shaped device.
- Ten Micro TagBands – the ones I described above. They come in different sizes depending on what variant you ordered (the one for small or medium-large skin tags). In case you have multiple lesions or other family members are affected a Deluxe version of the product is also available that includes 20 silicone bands.
- Alcohol cleansing swabs – not much description here except that I recommend degreasing the area with soap and water let it dry then use the swab to disinfect it.
How To Use TagBand
First things first, there are some preparatory steps before going ahead and actually using the device for added comfort and reducing the probability of complications. Like I mentioned before the area that is going to be treated should be washed with shower gel and water then let it dry thus minimising infection risk.
Before going ahead and starting with disinfection with the provided alcohol wipes, although the procedure does not cause pain, depending on your pain threshold (the point beyond any exterior stimulus can cause discomfort or pain) you can consider applying a numbing cream. Again, I am not saying this a painful procedure (not by any means) but from my experience some patients have a low pain threshold and even the slightest stimulus can trigger the feeling of discomfort. In this regard a numbing cream can be applied before using TagBand.
Preparations which include in their formula Lidocaine are the answer as they numb the area in 10-15 minutes, making even the most sensitive patients comfortable with any superficial skin procedure.
Options I tested and you can buy off Amazon Include:
You can now start with the actual ligation process:
- Open the box and located the components. It is best to have everything assembled and ready to use before placing the cone on the skin tag. Take a silicone band and slide it up the rubber cone starting with the sharp end until it reaches half the distance.
- Using one of your hands (ask a family member or friend to help you in case the area is difficult to reach) and cover the skin tag with the cone. Make sure the cone wide end or base is in full contact with the skin by applying sight pressure.
- Attach the SkinTag Remover to the cone and use it to slide the silicone band all the way down onto the base of the skin tag.
- Inspect the zone and make sure the band it is in the right position and that it firmly compresses the root of the skin polyp.
- Do not by any means try to rush the process by moving the lesion or trying to pinch it. After a couple of days (4-7), depending on the time needed to necrosis to kick in (fancy word for tissue death) the skin tag will fall off on its own leaving behind a small erosion surrounded by a varied degree of erythema (redness). Keep in mind that this is not a general rule and for small lesions this may not apply at all.
At this point you managed removing your skin tag using the TagBand Device but what now? Like I mentioned due to the fact that you forced a lesion to dye and fall off by cutting its vascularization a small erosion and redness can be observed at the treatment site. In order for the skin to fully heal, the redness to go away and minimize the risk of scar tissue formation (it also depends on how each person is generally healing) I recommend using a skin repair cream that will accelerate the process and also provide a bad environment for bacteria growth.
Some of the options that I usually recommend my patients to apply where the skin tag was located include:
You can find them both on Amazon and depending on your budget both represent a good pick.
How effective is TagBand?
TagBand as other treatment options I guide my patients for using is very effective and after the lesion is gone there is no risk of it to grow back on the same site. Please keep in mind that in case the predisposing factor is not eliminated more can develop or the preexisting ones will grow in size but this has nothing to do with this home method. TagBand is not superior nor is it inferior to other treatment options we’ll also discuss later on (as a doctor I only recommend products that actually work) but is in fact one of the best suited method for pedunculated skin tags (the ones that hang from the surrounding skin). Hanging skin tags are difficult to remove using topical agents as the product will usually spread also damaging normal skin. Most people won’t experience a great deal of discomfort or complications using it.
Disadvantages And Limitations
The device can not handle small growths or the ones that are not raised enough above the skin plane. The ones that are under 2mm or the ones which are plane require other approaches like:
- The use of a portable cautery pen (yes you can buy it and use it at home)
- Topical agents
After the skin tag detaches from the surrounding skin, a small erosion paired with redness will be present. For the zone to fully heal, another 2 weeks are usually needed. For faster and more aesthetic results see the Aftercare section of this post.
TagBand Skin Tag Remover Kit Cost
At the time of writing this review the cost of one kit ranges between $24 and $28 depending on the variariant. There is a Deluxe version available that contains all you need for 20 skin tags as well as refill packs in case you bought the device and other skin tags develop over time or you decide to also help friends or other family members to get rid of these unaesthetic skin growths. Considering the consultation fee alone at a dermatologist’s office can reach $100 excluding treatment all of which is generally not covered by insurance this represents a good deal in my opinion.
After recommending TagBand to the patients that refused in-clinic treatment I did not get any complaints myself nor did I received calls or emails for further usage instructions. Everything is straightforward. Most of my patients are looking for cheap yet safe alternatives they can use at home for laser or radiocautery ablation and this product meets the demands.
TagBand is a safe and effective if you are searching for a home removal option. The price is good and it does it job very well provided you are willing to wait a couple of days and do not desire an instant result. The skin may take up to 2 weeks to fully heal after usage but certain adjuvant therapy can be considered.