Skin tags are additional bits of skin that protrude from the body’s surface. They’re completely safe and primarily a cosmetic concern, but knowing what they are and aren’t can be encouraging. Even if the reason for skin tags isn’t always recognized, skin tag therapy is simple: they can be readily removed.
What to Look for When Identifying a Skin Tag
According to Rebecca Baxt, MD, a dermatologist in Paramus, New Jersey, skin tags can range in size from 1 millimeter to 1 centimeter, and occasionally even larger. According to the American Osteopathic College of Dermatology, skin tags, also known as acrochordons, are typically flesh-colored growths, however some may be darker in color (AOCD). They can be just on the surface of the skin, or they can appear to grow from a thin stalk of skin and dangle from the body.
According to Dr. Baxt, they are most frequent on the neck, under the arms, in the groin, and on the eyelids, as they tend to grow in areas of the body with folds, but they can also appear elsewhere. They usually don’t get any bigger once they’ve been produced. You may have just one or two skin tags, or you may have several; they may be scattered across your body or clustered together in a group. They are normally asymptomatic, and visual inspection is used to diagnose them. However, because self-diagnosing skin tags can be difficult, Baxt recommends seeing a dermatologist if anything on your skin is growing, changing, bleeding, itching, crusty, flaking, or changing color.
Skin Tags: Causes and Risk Factors is a common condition.
Skin tags are a regular occurrence. According to the American Osteopathic College of Dermatology, about half of all individuals have at least one skin tag. According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, they become more common as people get older (AAFP).
According to Baxt, no one understands what causes skin tags, but they are more common during pregnancy and weight growth. She adds that the only way to avoid skin tags is to maintain a healthy weight. According to the AOCD, they are also more likely in those with diabetes and a family history of skin tags. According to the AOCD, one explanation is that friction caused by skin rubbing against skin, which is a side effect of being overweight, creates skin tags in some people, which would explain why skin tags frequently occur in body folds.
According to the National Organization for Rare Disorders, skin tags may be a symptom of nevoid basal cell carcinoma syndrome (NBCCS), a complex genetic illness in which people are vulnerable to developing basal cell carcinoma, a type of skin cancer. According to a study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, skin-tag-like basal cell carcinoma in childhood could be a sign of NBCCS.
Simple Surgical Procedures for Skin Tag Removal
According to the AAFP, skin tags may fall off on their own as they are pulled and inflamed. According to Baxt, the only way to get rid of skin tags is to have them surgically removed by a dermatologist.
You might not choose any skin tag therapy depending on where your skin tags are positioned – out of sight, out of mind. However, if you have a skin tag on your eyelid that detracts from your appearance, you may wish to pursue skin tag therapy for cosmetic reasons. Another reason to remove skin tags is if they are in a place where there is a lot of contact, such as from clothing or jewelry, causing irritation and bleeding.
Cryosurgery, which freezes the skin tags away, or electrocautery, which uses heat to burn off the skin tags or destroy the tissue, are two therapy options. If the skin tags are dangling, another alternative is to clip them out with medical scissors. According to Baxt, they are uncomplicated surgical treatments that involve minimum discomfort, recovery time, and scarring. Skin tags can, in rare situations, come back and new ones can emerge.