Small growths on the penis (penile shaft or foreskin) can occur due to various reasons. They can make you worried and uncomfortable especially during intimacy.
They can present as small growths, but in some cases, they continue growing especially if proper treatment and care is not applied.
What are skin tags?
Skin tags are pieces of flesh that appear attached to the skin on various parts of the body. They can be found on the eyelids, the lips, the fingers and toes, and the genitals as well.
No matter where they occur, skin tags are benign and will thus cause you no further problems beyond their uncommonly look.
It may be a bit problematic when they appear on the penis or other private part given the effect they will have on your looks down there. You may thus wonder how you will get rid of them in them first place.
Causes of skin tags on penis
The causes of skin tags on the shaft and foreskin are different as far as your lifestyle is concerned. While most of them are harmless and do not require anything on your end, others could get inflamed, irritated and even infected if they stay around for too long.
Their removal is a whole different story which shall be dealt with later in this article. Before that, however, here are the most likely causes of skin tags on your penis:
Herpes is a sexually transmitted infection that can lead to various visible symptoms chief among them the appearance of skin tags on the penis (and other parts of the body). The warts caused by this disease often go away on their own.
At times, they may turn into blisters which burst to cause a lot of pain.
Other symptoms of a herpes infection are:
- Tingling and itching around the anus or genitals.
- Red, cracked and raw areas around the genitals and anus. The areas may be inactive or itchy.
- Pain during urination.
- Symptoms similar to those of flu such as swollen lymph nodes, fatigue and fever.
If you notice any one or a combination of these signs, see your doctor immediately.
2. Hormonal changes
Changes in the hormones of the body can often lead to physical results among them the growth of skin tags on the body.
Cases such as hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism often lead to such cases.
The use of steroids is another cause of skin tags on the skin. If you are using these to boost your physical output and then develop skin tags, for example, you should stop them and ask your doctor about it before they develop into more serious issues.
3. HPV virus
The HPV virus often causes genital warts in patients. At times, however, the same virus can lead to bumps which appear as skin tags. These bumps may appear anywhere on the body and need to be checked by the doctor as soon as you notice their presence.
Besides the skin tags, the other symptoms of the HPV virus include:
- Most people do not have any symptoms as far as the HPV virus goes.
If your family has skin tags on parts of the body such as the face, there are high chances that you will have them on other parts such as the penis.
This genetic cause of skin tags is common especially when you grow older. The tags usually increase in number and become more pronounced as you grow older.
5. Cysts and warts
The warts, cysts and tags you may have on your skin can also have an unexplained cause. In some people, they simply appear without reason. Whatever the case, have them checked to make sure you are not incubating a serious issue such as a type of cancer.
Friction on the penis can be caused by many different things among them:
- Skin to cloth friction such as when you have tight underwear.
- Skin to skin friction against your thighs or when having unprotected sex without enough lubrication.
- External objects bruising the penis.
All these conditions are likely to cause skin tags to appear. You can prevent them in the following ways respectively:
- Have loose underwear to reduce friction.
- Use enough lubrication during sex or a condom as it offers a layer of protection against sexually transmitted diseases.
- Be careful with the groin area. It is quite delicate.
This way, you can avoid the skin tags easily.
Pictures of skin tags
Here are pictures to help with identification.
Removing skin tags
As a word of caution, make sure you know the cause of your type of skin tags before trying to have them removed. As soon as you notice them, let the doctor know about them.
Most people have these tags on the skin without an issue. After all, they are not in a public place on the body. In fact, as long as your partner is okay with them and they are not causing any health issue at all, you need not remove them.
Also, never try to pick them off the skin with a razor or tweezers. The groin area is highly ratified with blood vessels and may cause a lot of bleeding with a little prick.
If you really want them removed for one reason or the other, here are the options at your disposal:
The first place you should start with when thinking of removing a skin tags on the penile shaft or foreskin (after knowing its cause) is the use of home remedies. You need to know a few aspects about home remedies before using them.
First, make sure you don’t have any allergic reactions to the product you intend to use. Also, make sure it does not affect you in any other negative way.
Secondly, home remedies usually require a lot of patience on your end. While medical procedures may take a few seconds to remove the tags, a typical home remedy may require at least a month to see the skin tag fall off or dry up.
Thirdly, home remedies are favored over other solutions since they do not have chemicals that may lead to other complications in the body.
The remedies include:
Castor oil and baking soda
Castor oil has many benefits to your skin including detoxification and the removal of age spots. On its part, baking soda kills any bacteria and other microorganisms that may try to infect the area when undertaking the procedure. Baking soda is also used as a scrubbing agent thus very beneficial to the skin.
Follow these steps to use this remedy to get rid of skin tags on the foreskin and shaft:
- Mix equal parts of baking soda and castor oil to make a thick paste.
- Apply the paste to the skin tag with focus on the stalk (the peduncle).
- Use a band aid over the area you applied the paste to keep it on the tag.
- After a few hours (3 to 4 hours), wash off the paste with lukewarm water.
Repeat the process at least three times a day till the skin tag dies and falls off.
Tea tree oil
Tea tree oil has antibacterial properties which contribute immensely to the removal of skin blemishes such as the tags in question. Using it is as simple as following the following prompts:
- Clean the area around the tag with clean water and soap then dry it up.
- Using a piece of cotton, apply the tea tree oil to the whole skin tag while being careful to avoid the area around it.
- If you apply the tea tree oil on the skin around the skin tags by mistake, wash it off carefully.
- Apply a bandaid on the area so that it can be absorbed into the skin well.
- After a while, wash it off and pat the area dry.
This procedure should be carried out several times a day for the best results. 2 or 3 times a day is enough.
The anti-inflammatory properties of frankincense oil makes it one of the best home remedies for skin blemishes. Using it for the removal of skin tags requires following the steps shown here:
- Clean the skin tag and the area around it then dry it off.
- Apply the oil with special focus on the root of the tag.
- Wait for a few hours then wash it off.
This should be done at least twice a day for the best results.
Apple cider vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is used to remove various skin blemishes and to even treat some infections at the skin level. It’s many benefits ensure that it works well on most skin issues.
To use it for the purpose at hand, you need only to follow these steps:
- Clean the area with the skin tag(s) with warm water and soap then pat it dry with a clean piece of cloth.
- With a lot of care, remove the top dry part of the skin of the tag. Be careful not to draw blood with the process as it can get really painful and dangerous.
- Dab a small size of clean cotton wool in organic apple cider vinegar then apply it to the area you removed the piece of skin.
- Apply a bandaid to hold it in place until the next application.
- When you remove the previous piece, discard it then start over by washing the area again.
This should be done at least twice each day until the tag dries up.
Over the counter solutions
There are products that you can buy and apply to the tags to remove them. TagBand is a group of tiny rubber bands which are to be tied around the base of the skin tag. They cut off the circulation of blood to the head of the tag thus killing it off slowly.
You can also find solutions that require freezing off the tag off the skin.
Both groups of products require a lot of care in using them to avoid unnecessary injuries to the body.
There is a long list of medical procedures which can be used to remove skin tags anywhere on the body. These methods involve some form of surgery hence you should be aware of what to expect from them. Keep in mind that there are noninvasive ways you can remove the tags hence removal at the doctor’s office should not be your first option.
Medical procedures to remove skin tags include:
Cryogenics refers to the freezing of the skin tags using highly frozen liquid nitrogen. This procedure is noninvasive and takes about half a minute to be completed. You will not likely feel any pain unless the skin tags are large in size. In the latter case, you will require localized anesthesia.
Cutting them off
The doctor may choose to simply cut them off with a surgical blade. Given that the tags have small bases connecting them to the body, they can be easily removed.
Only a doctor is skilled enough to perform this procedure. If any issue occurs such as too much bleeding, the doctor will take care of it with ease.
Trying them off
Rather than freezing or cutting off the skin tags, the doctor may choose to tie their bases such that they die off slowly and then fall off. It is a procedure that may take a while to see its fruits but it works quite well. You may not even notice that the tag has fallen off until you decide to check.
Cauterization is simply burning off the skin tags at their roots. They quickly fall off after the procedure leaving the skin without any blemishes. The procedure should be done carefully to avoid charring the rest of the skin.
These and many other procedures can be used to remove the skin tags.