Causes and Treatments for Skin Tags

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Skin tags are prevalent, affecting both men and women equally. Typically, they occur after middle years

Skin tags are small lumps of hanging, soft skin that may have stalk or peduncle. A skin tag appears anywhere on our body especially in areas where skin is normally rubs against clothing or other skin. Other names used to refer to skin tag are soft fibroma, cutaneous tag, acrochordon, fibroepithelial polyp, and templeton tag and fibroma molluscum.

Skin tags are prevalent, affecting both men and women equally. Typically, they occur after middle years.

What causes skin tags and treatments

Fast Facts about Skin Tags

A skin tag is a benign tumor of the skin. It usually appears in folds or creases of our skin. People with skin tags shouldn’t have to worry because they’re not dangerous and they can be removed through cosmetic procedures for aesthetic reasons. Medical procedures of skin tag removal involve excision, cryotherapy and over-the-counter therapies.

Skin Tags Defined

Skin tags are noncancerous, benign, tumors of our skin. A skin tag consists of nerve cells, ducts, core of fibers, epidermis and fat cells. They can occur in different areas of the body such as armpits, groin, eyelids, neck, under the breasts and upper chest. Oftentimes, a skin tag goes unnoticed unless the affected area is habitually scratched or rubbed when shaving or by jewelry and clothing. There are people who may already have them but don’t notice. Huge skin tags may rupture under pressure.

A skin tag surface may have irregular or smooth appearance. More so, it may appear slightly brownish or flesh-colored. Skin tags are commonly raised from the skin’s surface on stalks or fleshy peduncles that start flattened and small just like the pinhead bump. Some skin tags stay small but some may grow larger that range from 2mm up to 5cm in diameter.

What Causes Skin Tags

It is still unclear exactly what causes a skin tag however since it usually appears in skin folds, a skin tag may happen when blood vessels and clusters of our collagen are trapped inside the thicker piece of skin. The occurrence of skin tag may be attributed to friction when the skin rubs against skin or clothes. Skin tags can affect males and females equally however they more common during pregnancy and in people with diabetes and who are obese. A skin tag has also been directly associated with hyperinsulimemia. This is the condition when there’s too much insulin circulating the person’s blood.

The Risk Factors

Skin tags are more often among

  • people with diabetes
  • those who are overweight or obese
  • pregnant women, possibly because of hormonal changes
  • people with some types of HPV or Human Papilloma Virus
  • people with high blood pressure, hypertension and high cholesterol levels
  • those who family members who also have skin tags

This being said, the appearance of skin tags may suggest external signs of increased risks of metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular disease and insulin resistance.

Skin tags may rarely associate with Polycristic ovary syndrome and Birt-Hog-Dube (BHD) syndrome. BHD syndrome is often characterized by skin tumor such as trichodiscomas and multiple fibrofolliculomas. It is a genetic condition however carcinomas may develop in colon and kidneys.

Treatment Options

Skin tags are generally harmless but they can be removed surgical for cosmetic or aesthetic reasons. In some cases, larger skin tags in areas where they are rubbed against something, including jewelry, clothing and other skin, may be detached from the skin naturally due to irritation. People oftentimes choose to have their skin tags removed especially when they are in the face. Removing skin tags in the underarms will make shaving easier and patients less disturbed. Skin tag treatment generally involves surgical removal.

Professional healthcare practitioner establish different treatment options for skin tags that are disturbing, irritating and posing cosmetic problems to patients. These are the following surgical procedures your healthcare practitioner may use.

  • Crysurgery – a surgical procedure in which the skin tags are frozen off with the use of probe that contains liquid nitrogen,
  • Cauterization – the method where skin tags are burned off with electrolysis
  • Excision – a procedure where these tags are cut out using a scalpel
  • Ligcation – the skin tag’s blood supply will be interrupted

When you have skin tags and wished to surgically remove them, please ensure that these procedures are done by a professional dermatologist, trained medical professional or specialist skin doctor. Skin tags that are on the eyelid margins may be treated and removed by a professional ophthalmologist and specialist eye doctor. These healthcare professionals generally start the treatment by analyzing the tissue. They may also apply local anesthesia (in a form of anesthesia cream or injections) before the removal of the skin tags.

Over-the-counter solutions for skin tag are widely available at your local pharmacies. These solutions work by freezing the tags and they will fall off after seven to ten days. These are similar to those medications use for wart removal. Although skin tags are curative, people who already developed skin tags will still likely develop over time. Further medical procedures may require should individuals desire to have removal of future skin tags.