Skin tags have been something I’ve suffered from, even as a child. While a part of it is hereditary (my dad has tons), there may be certain lifestyle factors that play a role in the creation of skin tags.
One thing I noticed when starting keto was that my skin tags began to shrank, some of them even fell off completely, I was amazed. I wondered if a ketogenic diet had anything to do with my skin tags going away; this is what I discovered.
Will a ketogenic diet get rid of skin tags? Many people following a ketogenic diet report skin tags reducing in size or going away. Risk factors for skin tags that keto helps improve are being overweight, having insulin resistance, or type 2 diabetes through weight loss and increased insulin sensitivity.
In this article, I’ll go over why skin tags seem to fall off when following a ketogenic diet, what causes skin tags to begin with, how to go about removing them further, and other skin conditions keto may improve.
Can Skin Tags Fall Off On Keto?
For one reason or another, many people following a ketogenic diet have noticed a reduction or complete disappearance of their skin tags on a ketogenic diet.
While there is no clear evidence supporting what exactly causes skin tags, there are numerous correlations and risk factors from studies.
- Human papillomavirus (HPV) 1
- Insulin resistance 2
- High body mass index (BMI)
- High Triglycerides
Most people following a ketogenic diet may notice a reduction or elimination of their skin tags on a ketogenic diet by resolving 3 of the 5 risk factors above.People often following a ketogenic diet have the primary goal of weight loss, and in following a ketogenic diet, they can improve their insulin sensitivity, reduce their body weight, and lower their triglycerides.
What Are Skin Tags?
One good thing to note is that skin tags are noncancerous growths on the skin. You’ll also be glad that you’re not alone because skin tags are probably the single most common growth or bump on adult skin.
Skin tags are these soft balloon looking growths connected to the skin by a stalk called a peduncle.
While skin tags are common in both men and women, it’s typically more common in older adults (50+).
Skin tags can appear in many places on your body, but most commonly found in places where your skin may fold such as:
- Under breast area
Skin Tags And Insulin Sensitivity
One of the strongest associations we have as a cause or risk factor for skin tags is insulin resistance (IR). In this study, the presence of multiple skin tags was strongly associated with IR, regardless of other risk factors. 3 4
And this is where a ketogenic diet comes in.
When people adopt a ketogenic diet, they help improve their insulin resistance by removing processed carbohydrates and sugars.
Also, a ketogenic diet allows people to get to a healthy weight, and there’s also a good chance you may have adopted an exercise routine as well.
All of these factors are also steps to help reverse insulin resistance and prevent type 2 diabetes.
Can Skin Tags Disappear?
Small skin tags may rub off on their own, without any additional action on your end. If you’re reading this, you may have noticed that adopting a healthy ketogenic lifestyle help reduce or eliminate your skin tags as well.
You have first-hand proof that skin tags can disappear.
However, most skin tags stay attached to your skin and may require removal by a doctor if they bother you that much.Skin tags don’t require treatment because of a health concern. Most people want to remove skin tags strictly for cosmetic reasons.
How To Remove Skin Tags
Skin tags may be removed by your doctor or through other various remedies that I will list below.
A doctor may remove your skin tag through various methods that include:
- Surgical removal: Cutting it off
- Electrosurgery: Burning it off
- Ligation: Tying it off
- Cryotherapy: Freezing it off
You may have heard about people tying off large skin tags at the base where it meets the skin. It turns out this method may be useful, but you should leave it up to your doctor to perform the removal.Aside from having the doctor surgically remove it, we know there is a strong association with insulin resistance.
Beyond what you’ve already learned (losing weight, exercise, and lowering triglycerides), here are other ways to help improve insulin sensitivity and reduce insulin resistance.
Get more sleep
It turns out there’s a lot more to sleep than we currently understand. However, we do know that poor sleep may reduce your insulin sensitivity. 5 6
The good news is if you catch up on lost sleep, the effects of poor sleep on your insulin can be reversed. 7
We all know stress is bad, but did you know that stress affects your body’s ability to regulate your blood sugar?
Many studies have found that high levels of stress hormones can reduce insulin sensitivity. 8 9
Perform activities that help you relax and de-stress like meditation, talking with loved ones, or even catching the latest Netflix movie.
Like they say, Netflix and chill.
Add herbs and spices
Herbs and spices have had medicinal uses long before we used them to flavor our foods.
Certain herbs and spices in particular show promise for helping increase insulin sensitivity, those spices are:
- Ginger 10 (Read: Is Ginger Keto Friendly?)
- Garlic 11 12
- Turmeric 13 14
- Fenugreek seeds 15
Drinking green tea can increase insulin sensitivity and reduce blood sugar, according to some studies. 16
The beneficial effects of green tea may be due to epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), a powerful antioxidant, which may also be used as an effective fat burner on keto. 17
Apple cider vinegar
Check out this video about the benefits of apple cider vinegar.
Supplements That May Help Improve Insulin Sensitivity
Aside from the above ways to help improve insulin sensitivity, which will help reduce insulin resistance and potentially prevent, reduce, or remove skin tags, here are a few supplements that may work to improve insulin sensitivity.
Studies have shown that berberine, a plant molecule extract found in several plants, lowers blood sugar, causes weight loss, and can improve heart health. 18 19
Berberine is one of the very few supplements that has shown to be as effective as a pharmaceutical drug, metformin in this case. 20 21 Metformin is an oral medication used by diabetics used to control blood sugar levels.
Alpha-lipoic acid (ALA) is another supplement that may help play a role in diabetes and weight loss.
In animal studies, ALA lowered blood sugar levels by as much as 64 22
The R in R-ALA is a form of lipid acid that occurs naturally in animals, humans, and plants that may be the most beneficial and bioavailable.
Chromium is a mineral involved in carbohydrate and fat metabolism.
Chromium picolinate supplements in doses of 200-1,000 mcg may help reduce blood sugar. 23
Magnesium is an essential mineral required for optimal metabolic function. However, due to soil depletion, magnesium in food sources is rapidly declining.
One study suggests that up to 75% may not be meeting their daily recommended intake. 24
Some studies found that low levels of blood magnesium is linked to insulin resistance, and magnesium may help to increase insulin sensitivity. 25 26
I prefer the glycinate version of magnesium.
Many people, including myself, experienced a reduction in the size of our skin tags, while some have experienced complete elimination of them.
A ketogenic diet has the potential to eliminate many of the risk factors that may lead to skin tags, which include reducing bodyweight and triglycerides while also increasing insulin sensitivity.