Skin Tags: Causes, Treatments And Prevention Tips

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Skin tags affect almost 46% of the general population, mainly adults above 40 years of age.

Highlights

  • Skin tags are a skin condition in which skin tissues grow out of the surface. They are non-contagious yet harmless and painless.
  • Skin tags affect almost 46% of the general population, mainly adults above 40 years of age. They can also affect young people, including males and females. 
  • Skin friction is the key cause of skin tags.  It usually develops in body parts with prominent skin folding or creasing. Such body parts are the inner thighs, groins, eyelids, underarms, upper chest, neck, and below the breasts.
  • You can get rid of skin tags both comfortably and by cosmetic procedures such as scissor excision (severing), electrocautery (burning), cryosurgery (freezing), or radiofrequency ablation (burning).
  • Dermatologists usually remove skin tags in one session and may conduct a touch-up session after 7 to 10 days. Our dermatologist may recommend splitting the session if you have many skin tags.

What Is A Skin Tag?

Skin tags, medically termed “Acrochordon,” are non-cancerous and benign tumors of your skin. They contain a core of fibers, ducts, fat cells, nerve cells, and the epidermis or a covering. Skin tags may appear on your armpits, eyelids, groin, upper chest, under the breasts, and neck in the case of papilloma colli. 

You may not notice skin tags unless they are in a prominent place or you repeatedly rub or scratch them. Some people may never 

notice their skin tags. Extremely large skin tags may even burst under pressure. 

The surface of skin tags may look smooth or irregular. They are often raised from the skin surface on fleshy peduncles or stalks. They are mostly flesh-colored or a little brownish. Skin tags start small and flattened like a pinhead bump and some grow bigger. 

They can range in diameter from 2 millimeters (mm) to 1 centimeter (cm). Some can be as big as 5cm. Skin tags also occur primarily in people who are overweight and suffering from type-2 diabetes and insulin resistance.

What Are The Causes Of Skin Tags?

Here are some of the common causes of skin tags:

Obesity 

People with correct Body Mass Index (BMI) and obesity, tend to develop skin folds or creases, which cause more skin friction and tags.

Genetic History 

Your genetic history plays a crucial role in the development of skin tags. 

Skin Aging 

Skin tags may develop as an outcome of skin aging. 

Folds and Creases 

Many folds and creases in your skin rubbing against each other lead to friction that causes inflammation and then skin tags. 

Pregnancy 

Hormonal changes (high estrogen and progesterone) and weight gain during pregnancy may cause skin tags. 

Medical Issues 

You have a higher risk of developing skin tags if you have diabetes and high blood sugar and insulin resistance. Acrochordons can also be the outcome of your lipid and liver enzyme abnormalities. 

Diagnosis Of Skin Tags:

Once you notice skin tags on your body parts, you should consult our dermatologists. Clinic Next Face can examine skin tags via a visual examination of the affected areas. Skin tags are mostly flesh-colored. However, a lack of blood flow can transform some skin tags into dark-brown or black color as they twist. 

Tips For Prevention And Management:

There are as such no specific preventative measures for skin tags. However, you can try to decrease the risk of developing them. Overweight people are less likely to get skin tags if they lose weight and decrease the skin folds, where tags tend to develop.

You can’t change DNA if you are genetically predisposed to skin tags. Keep your skin moisturized and avoid excess friction as that helps to manage and reduce the chances of developing tags and getting irritated. You can manage skin tags by maintaining a healthy weight as obesity is a risk factor related to developing skin tags.

Keep your blood sugar and insulin levels under control as that helps in preventing future cases of skin tags. Avoid wearing jewelry and coarse apparel that rub against skin tags.

When To See A Doctor?

You should consult our experts once you notice skin tags and if the affected body parts start bleeding. On-time medical assistance will help you cure other inherent medical concerns. 

Treatment Options Available

You can remove your skin tags with the treatment options below:

Electrocautery

A specialized device burns off the skin tag. 

Chemotherapy 

A healthcare expert performs cryotherapy with fewer applications.

Excision 

Scissors or a scalpel cuts skin tags from your body. 

Home Remedies:

Home remedies aren’t that effective as they involve high risks to contract infections that cause complications. Consult our dermatologist to treat your skin tags. They aren’t painful or harmful but sometimes can indicate underlying health issues. Book an appointment with our skilled dermatologists to identify the cause and suggest the right treatment plan.

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