Old 06-16-2011, 11:41 AM
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Skin tag removal

I have skin tags, especially on places where clothing rubs my skin, such as on the collar area of my neck. I've heard of several ways to get rid of them, including teatree oil (the smell is disgusting) and nail clippers (ouch, and may I repeat, ouch). Anyone know any other way to remove them? Has anyone ever had one or more removed by a doctor? Is it costly?
Old 06-16-2011, 11:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kapri View Post
I have skin tags, especially on places where clothing rubs my skin, such as on the collar area of my neck. I've heard of several ways to get rid of them, including teatree oil (the smell is disgusting) and nail clippers (ouch, and may I repeat, ouch). Anyone know any other way to remove them? Has anyone ever had one or more removed by a doctor? Is it costly?
I get these removed by a doctor all the time. Price varies a lot based on your insurance or lack of same, but I think it's about $100/ group of up to about 15 tags. There are a bunch of different methods, and the cooler they sound ("cryogenic? really?") the worse they seem to work on me. I suggest just scalpel removal -- it's relatively painless for the small ones and they'll use lidocaine for the big ones.

If you're pre-disposed to skin tags, by the way, be aware that they'll often come back, and you'll be repeating the exercise every couple of years. I've stopped worrying about the small ones and only get rid of the ones that are unsightly or uncomfortable for some reason.
Old 06-16-2011, 11:47 AM
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Back when I had really good medical coverage, I had two removed in a dermatologist's office with some local anesthesia and cautery. No pain whatsoever. No charge either.

My gf removed one with nail-clippers and couldn't believe how bad it hurt!
Old 06-16-2011, 11:49 AM
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This really shouldn't be a do-it-yourself endeavor.
Old 06-16-2011, 11:58 AM
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There are several techniques that can be used, depending on the size and placement of the skin tag. Sometimes they can be frozen off with liquid nitrogen (that's my favorite - the stuff is so cool!). Sometimes they can just touch it with an electric cauterization needle (not really a "needle", more like a soldering tool). If they're really big, they may use a scalpel to nip it off and cauterize or put a stitch in to stop the bleeding.

Most of 'em don't hurt much. They can put numbing gel on it first, or use a small injection of lidocaine to numb it. They may not even do that for small ones.

It hurts way more if you try to do it yourself.
Old 06-16-2011, 12:36 PM
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This is easy. Tie dental floss or thread around the base of the skin tag tightly. It will turn black and fall off in a couple of days. The problem is it has to grow long enough to tie the floss around. They are often caused by skin irritation, so the collar line is a common place to have them show up. I find rough scrubbing of my collar line with a washcloth gets rid of them as they start to appear. But other ones would show up randomly on my torso, and I use the dental floss technique successfully.

If you see a dermatologist, make sure to mention that they get irritated and inflamed from contact with clothing. That may qualify you for insurance coverage of removal. Insurance usually doesn't cover removal for cosmetic purposes.
Old 06-16-2011, 12:42 PM
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I use a really, really, really sharp hunting knife. Effective but nevertheless crude, you may want to consider those other options.
Old 06-16-2011, 12:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kapri View Post
I have skin tags, especially on places where clothing rubs my skin, such as on the collar area of my neck. I've heard of several ways to get rid of them, including teatree oil (the smell is disgusting) and nail clippers (ouch, and may I repeat, ouch). Anyone know any other way to remove them? Has anyone ever had one or more removed by a doctor? Is it costly?
I've done a number of things, and I've only had something like 4 in my life.

I took nail clippers to one, no pain at all. It was a small one and I put alcohol on the 'site' and the nail clippers before hand. There was no blood either.

I tied off (with dental floss) 2, one of which withered and came off in my clothes. The other I (apparently) didn't tie tight enough and swelled a bit. When it didn't fall off on the second day (third?) I went to the doctors, who clipped it with scissors. She also took care of another one (which was not tied off), on the back of my leg. It was rather large (say about the size of a pencil eraser). She gave me a shot and then clipped it. It bled a bit.

It didn't cost me anything outside of a 20 dollar copay for the visit.
Old 06-16-2011, 01:24 PM
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I had a doctor remove about 20 of them, including some of them that were moles, mostly around my neck and my inner thighs. It was fairly quick.......about 30 minutes total. He would shoot a numbing agent just under the tag/mole and burn it off with a cauterizer. It's been about 5 years, and none of them have returned. I highly endorse this method.
Old 06-16-2011, 01:31 PM
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Razor-sharp scissors made for making fishing flies. I'll put an ice-cube on it for a few minutes first if its "fresh" (basically the same color as my skin) or not if its ripe (turning brown).
Old 06-16-2011, 01:34 PM
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I had several removed by my doctor. I had a couple in my armpit, and a few very small ones at the base of my neck, right above the collar bone. Those were so small I didn't know they were even there, but the doc said that since he was at it, he might as well get them as well. He used a scalpel and tweezers to remove them. It didn't really hurt at all, as I remember. Then after they were off, he put a dab of some antibiotic on it. THAT stung!

He told me later that they could come back, and if I wanted to get rid of them, I could just as easily do it myself with nail clippers or a sharp pair of tiny scissors. I've never had any more skin tags big enough to worry about, so I've never tried that.
Old 06-16-2011, 02:07 PM
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Originally Posted by TriPolar View Post
If you see a dermatologist, make sure to mention that they get irritated and inflamed from contact with clothing. That may qualify you for insurance coverage of removal. Insurance usually doesn't cover removal for cosmetic purposes.
The same applies when getting them removed under the NHS. Bonus points if they are prone to bleeding
Old 06-16-2011, 02:15 PM
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I get skin tags all the time. I can't bring myself to cut, pull, or tie them though. Just the thought of doing that makes me light-headed and queasy. I've had my doctor remove one that was just too big and annoying, but he was kind of a jerk about it because he couldn't believe that I wouldn't just cut the damn things off on my own. I think I'd pass out if I tried and probably stab myself with the scissors. The $150 charge did make determined to figure out some other way though.

So, I'm watching this thread with interest...although it is making me a little nauseated. Blech. It's SKIN! I can't cut it...urgh...

Maybe if I have my husband cut them with sharp scissors...ACK!
Old 06-16-2011, 02:22 PM
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I take mine off myself with new, super sharp cuticle clippers and it hasn't been any more painful than a shot of xylocaine would be. But then, I do love some home surgery. I've quit now that I have things that can be taken from me for such infractions (nursing license, malpractice insurance)but a little home removal or I&D is my idea of a good time.
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Old 06-16-2011, 02:41 PM
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I've used sharp embroidery scissors in the past. It didn't hurt. I was more afraid of infection, but that didn't happen either. I don't get them any more, and that's a good thing.
Old 06-16-2011, 02:47 PM
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*ahem*

There are multiple over the counter products (that work) to remove skin tags. Ask your Pharmacist or use internet to discover best choices. The wart/mole removers work the fastest. (and cost the most). If any skin problem gets worse or reacts badly, see your Doctor right away.

And don't trust the internet for medical advice.
Old 06-16-2011, 03:05 PM
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i had three removed from my neck just above the collarbone - those bled like crazy but didn't hurt at all - and ten years later had another four removed at the bra line where the breast tissue meets the chest. both breasts, btw. those removals hurt like the dickens but didn't bleed much at all.

the neck ones have never come back. we'll see how the bra line ones do over time.
Old 06-16-2011, 03:11 PM
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I have had a couple removed at various points by professionals. One doctor used ice and a pair of scissors (he thought it was no big deal, so I went with it.) I had a dermatologist who used liquid nitrogen, which was way cool, but took a couple of weeks to heal and looked sort of funky until then.
Old 06-16-2011, 03:40 PM
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The secret ingredient is ice. Hold ice on the tag for 10-15 minutes, then cut it off with nail clippers. No pain, though probably some blood.
Old 06-16-2011, 04:26 PM
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I have trimmed them previously but they alway came back unless I got the root/whole thing. The last ones I just dry iced them myself. They swelled up for a day or two, shriveled to black and fell off about a week and half later. Would definitely just do that method again.
Old 06-16-2011, 05:07 PM
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Home surgery not advised

I've tried unsuccessfully to remove them by cutting. It's very painful and they came back. A doctor could do his quickly and near painlessly.
Old 06-16-2011, 05:27 PM
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I had one larger one taken off at the doctor (freezing - it was painless and off instantly). The smaller ones I just scratch off at home - just pick at them until they finally come off.
Old 06-16-2011, 05:40 PM
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First, you pick at it for days, weeks or months. Then, while it's completely irritated and slightly infected, you pour alcohol on it until it burns and won't stop. Then you try to cut it off with a dull pen knife, going back and forth, breaking the skin more, and then putting more alcohol on it. If you have some table salt, soak the freshly broken skin tag with some salt, then toss a bottle of thumbtacks on the floor and roll around in them. Once your skin is fully riddled with holes, pour more alcohol over your body. Now try pulling the skin tag until only shear force begins to tear if from your skin. As it tears away, like a thread on a cheap suit, the skin will just unravel until you're forced to snip it with a common household scissors. Pour alcohol and salt on the open wound.

I hate when that happens.
Old 06-16-2011, 08:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Philster View Post
First, you pick at it for days, weeks or months. Then, while it's completely irritated and slightly infected, you pour alcohol on it until it burns and won't stop. Then you try to cut it off with a dull pen knife, going back and forth, breaking the skin more, and then putting more alcohol on it. If you have some table salt, soak the freshly broken skin tag with some salt, then toss a bottle of thumbtacks on the floor and roll around in them. Once your skin is fully riddled with holes, pour more alcohol over your body. Now try pulling the skin tag until only shear force begins to tear if from your skin. As it tears away, like a thread on a cheap suit, the skin will just unravel until you're forced to snip it with a common household scissors. Pour alcohol and salt on the open wound.

I hate when that happens.
Thanks for my one and only laugh today. Too funny.
Old 06-16-2011, 11:51 PM
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I have what might be a skin tag, what might be just a big mole, on my neck in the front; I never considered having it removed because...well...I just figured it would be expensive/complicated.
I'm not going to try removing THAT one myself, but I do have insurance, so...thanks for the question and the answers I have a couple of hard-to-reach skintags that I'll bring up at the docs as well, and maybe he can just do them all at the same time.
Old 06-16-2011, 11:59 PM
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My post from an earlier thread http://boards.academicpursuits.us/sdmb/...d.php?t=472557
Quote:
I've had a number of tags over the years.

As a kid, one on my upper eyelid, electrocauterized by the doctor.

A few on my body, which yielded after a few days of pinching between fingernails and twisting.

A couple of years ago, another on my upper eyelid. This one I tried tying off with a thread. It was painful for a few days, and I was afraid the eyelid might become infected, but the tag finally came off and the eyelid was fine. However, next time I'll let the doctor do it, and I recommend others do the same.
There's one I forgot. It was between my big toe and the next toe. I was in high school and had access to silver nitrate, so I used a droplet on the tag (I do NOT recommend this). Even though the AgNO3 did burn the tag, it did not eliminate it. I've forgotten what did work. It may have repeated applications of Vitamin E, or it may have just disappeared spontaneously.
Old 06-17-2011, 03:37 PM
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Originally Posted by TriPolar View Post
This is easy. Tie dental floss or thread around the base of the skin tag tightly. It will turn black and fall off in a couple of days. The problem is it has to grow long enough to tie the floss around. They are often caused by skin irritation, so the collar line is a common place to have them show up. I find rough scrubbing of my collar line with a washcloth gets rid of them as they start to appear. But other ones would show up randomly on my torso, and I use the dental floss technique successfully.
Seconded. This works perfectly for me.

Joe
Old 06-17-2011, 07:06 PM
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I sliced one off of my neck using a Swiss army knife. Darn useful tool, those Swiss army knives! It serves as my keychain too.

I don't know that I would actually recommend this method to anyone else, but it's nice to see that I'm not the only doper willing to engage in a little DIY home surgery.
Old 06-17-2011, 07:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Taomist View Post
I have what might be a skin tag, what might be just a big mole, on my neck in the front; I never considered having it removed because...well...I just figured it would be expensive/complicated.
I'm not going to try removing THAT one myself, but I do have insurance, so...thanks for the question and the answers I have a couple of hard-to-reach skintags that I'll bring up at the docs as well, and maybe he can just do them all at the same time.
If you can explain that your skin tags cause you discomfort (the ones that are always agitated by chaffing shirt collars or pants or when one body part rubs on another body part (thighs, groin area and armpits especially), or where you shave (face and neck area)), then it is viewed more as a medical issue rather than a cosmetic issue, and you would only be subject to the co-pay. Get as many tags/moles removed as you can handle in one visit and you'll feel a whole lot better and it wouldn't cost a huge amount of money.

Last edited by Yeticus Rex; 06-17-2011 at 07:27 PM.
Old 06-17-2011, 08:17 PM
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When I was little, my pet parakeet bit a skin tag off. Hurt like crazy, but it didn't come back--or get infected.
Old 06-17-2011, 08:58 PM
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I have a lot of little ones but they aren't troublesome. I had one really big one on my neck for years, always getting rubbed and irritated. So I tried tying a thread around the thing for a couple of days, and choking it to death. But I got impatient, got out the rubbing alcohol and nail clippers, bit the bullet, and nipped it off. Hurt briefly, bled like a son of a gun, but I was free of my little friend at long last.
Old 06-17-2011, 09:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Philster View Post
First, you pick at it for days, weeks or months. Then, while it's completely irritated and slightly infected, you pour alcohol on it until it burns and won't stop. Then you try to cut it off with a dull pen knife, going back and forth, breaking the skin more, and then putting more alcohol on it. If you have some table salt, soak the freshly broken skin tag with some salt, then toss a bottle of thumbtacks on the floor and roll around in them. Once your skin is fully riddled with holes, pour more alcohol over your body. Now try pulling the skin tag until only shear force begins to tear if from your skin. As it tears away, like a thread on a cheap suit, the skin will just unravel until you're forced to snip it with a common household scissors. Pour alcohol and salt on the open wound.

I hate when that happens.
Best home medical advice ever!!
Old 06-17-2011, 09:56 PM
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Thanks for all the responses! I almost fainted a few times, but I read all of them. I can't believe people are cutting them off themselves--I tried to clip one off with nail clippers and almost passed out from the pain. And I didn't know they had roots! Ack!

I think I'll go to a dermatologist and see what he/she says. I am sometimes self-conscious of them and think they gross people out, like they look at me and say "She'd be attractive except for those horrible skin tags on her neck! Eee.."
Old 06-18-2011, 10:22 PM
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There was a commercial put on daytime TV by some ambulance chasers, featuring a 'victim' talking about what a fantastic settlement he got from an accident. This guy had major skin tags, really gross. Dude! Use some of that money for a dermatologist!
Old 06-19-2011, 10:51 AM
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I've had them from time to time. One's I can't reach have been removed by the doctor, usually by lidocaine and scissors. Others I've removed by squeezing the base tightly with broad tweezers for a few minutes. This crushes the blood supply and the tag dries up and falls off in a few days.
Old 06-19-2011, 12:14 PM
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I get these sometimes - mostly under my arms (in my case, they're an indicator that I am overweight). I tied a really big one off with cotton thread, others I have removed either by just pinching/twisting them off with my fingernails, or by twisting them to damage their 'stalk' - after which, they atrophy and eventually fall off.
Old 06-19-2011, 01:08 PM
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Now here's my question, and the reason I haven't taken care of them yet.

I have a bunch on my eye lids. How the f- do they take care of those? I'm not cutting them off myself or allowing anyone else to do without a local, but I dunno if they will refuse to do so when it could get in my eyes. I also expect that the cryo method is not an option.
Old 06-19-2011, 02:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Chimera View Post
Now here's my question, and the reason I haven't taken care of them yet.

I have a bunch on my eye lids. How the f- do they take care of those? I'm not cutting them off myself or allowing anyone else to do without a local, but I dunno if they will refuse to do so when it could get in my eyes. I also expect that the cryo method is not an option.
They may not be skin tags. Even if they are you may want to see a doctor anyway. Skin tags or other growths on the eyelid can cause problems to the eye underneath form the localize pressure when your eyes are shut.
Old 06-19-2011, 03:54 PM
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I have one that occasionally appears on my lower eyelid, right at the rim of the skin where it touches my eyeball. My GP, dermatologist and eye doc have all said to leave it alone and it will fall off. They don't want to mess with it.

It never did fall off. But twice now, I have snipped it off myself because it grew big enough to interfere with my blinking. I do not recommend this course of action, especially now that there are so many other treatments, but I was very, very frustrated. They were all afraid of damaging my eye.

Both times, the thing bled like crazy. I was very careful to keep the wound clean as it healed. After 10 years, it has not come back.
Old 06-24-2011, 12:35 AM
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I have two Drs remove them at different times. First time with scalpel on neck and armpit. They returned about 3 yrs later. 2nd time was another doctor and he froze them off. 6 yrs later, they have not grown back. I have some pigment issues with the ones that were froze off, as in there is no pigment. But I am fair skinned so it doesn't show up much.
Old 06-24-2011, 03:03 AM
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If I can reach them, I snip them off with thoroughly cleaned cuticle scissors, and then treat as any other minor wound. If I can't reach them, I have someone else snip them off. I've had a few larger ones removed by a doctor.

Snipping small ones doesn't hurt that much, at least not for me. Obviously, mileages vary.
Old 07-29-2014, 11:47 PM
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Dental Floss Method

I used the dental floss to remove a large skin tag from teticle sack after trying all the other method. I tied the dental floss as tight as I could take it and in about ten days it fell off leaving a very clean surface.
Old 07-29-2014, 11:52 PM
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Thanks for sharing.
Old 07-30-2014, 12:13 AM
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I had one taken off, but I didn't charged because I was there for something else. He sliced it off with a scalpel and put silver nitrate on. It stung a little but was no big deal.
Old 07-30-2014, 02:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TriPolar View Post
This is easy. Tie dental floss or thread around the base of the skin tag tightly. It will turn black and fall off in a couple of days. The problem is it has to grow long enough to tie the floss around. They are often caused by skin irritation, so the collar line is a common place to have them show up. I find rough scrubbing of my collar line with a washcloth gets rid of them as they start to appear. But other ones would show up randomly on my torso, and I use the dental floss technique successfully.

If you see a dermatologist, make sure to mention that they get irritated and inflamed from contact with clothing. That may qualify you for insurance coverage of removal. Insurance usually doesn't cover removal for cosmetic purposes.
My cousin uses the tie down method using hair. I used nail clipper on one and it bled like buggery for ages.
Old 07-30-2014, 12:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jlj1944 View Post
I used the dental floss to remove a large skin tag from teticle sack after trying all the other method. I tied the dental floss as tight as I could take it and in about ten days it fell off leaving a very clean surface.
The skin tag, I hope.
Old 07-30-2014, 01:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TriPolar View Post
This is easy. Tie dental floss or thread around the base of the skin tag tightly. It will turn black and fall off in a couple of days. The problem is it has to grow long enough to tie the floss around.
This, according to my father.

He's has a number taken off, and this is how the doctor usually did it. After the first few times, he began doing it himself, with good results every time. However, IANAD and don't know whether there are special cases where this technique shouldn't be used.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Malacandra View Post
The skin tag, I hope.
lol.
Old 07-30-2014, 01:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kayaker View Post

My gf removed one with nail-clippers and couldn't believe how bad it hurt!
An ice cube and a really fresh pair of fly-tying scissors. Assuming it is "ripe" enough to be tonsil shaped it doesn't hurt much more than a second and one small round band-aide stops the blood.
Old 07-30-2014, 07:48 PM
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I just cut them with scissors or a sharp knife. I've never had any large ones (yet) & I haven't felt much, if any pain from cutting them.
--Cutting off flaps of skin from a fresh cut or scrape hurts 10-20x worse, but they've been those "it had to be done to prevent trapping dirt & bacteria" types.
Old 07-30-2014, 09:01 PM
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I sort of accidentally removed one on my butt during a long plane journey. I guess I must have shifted in my seat weird and it sort of twisted itself till the circulation cut off. Hurt a bit for a few days until it fell off.
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