What You Need to Know About Skin Tags
Skin tags are nothing but folds of skin that can occur on any part of the body. They are also known as acrochordon, cutaneous papilloma, cutaneous tag, or fibroepithelial polyp.
Skin tags occur in areas of the body where skin rubs against skin or any other object repeatedly. This skin condition can affect both males and females.
What are Skin Tags?
Skin tags are made up of nerve cells, fibrous tissue, fat cells and are covered by a thin layer of skin. They are seen a little above the skin suspended from stalks, also called peduncles. They do not hurt or itch unless rubbed against clothing or jewelry.
Skin tags are very small or big in size and can grow up to 1 cm. They are brownish, or skin-colored and are found alone or in groups of two to three in number
Skin tags are commonly found in the following parts of the body –
- under the breasts
- upper chest
The formation of skin tags can also be due to the following reasons - obesity, diabetes, heredity.
Reasons for Removing Skin Tags
Skin tags can be left alone, but some people may want to remove them if they are present on the face or in areas where they cause discomfort.
Skin tags can rupture when they are rubbed against constantly. For example -
- skin tags on your neck may break when continually rubbed against by jewelry
- skin tags on the face can become painful and can get inflamed if they are shaved by accident
- skin tags in armpits can rupture due to constant rubbing of skin in the armpit or while shaving
In such cases, the best possible thing to do is to have the skin tags removed safely by a dermatologist.
Skin tags on eyelids or around the eyes can cause extreme discomfort. These skin tags need to be removed by an ophthalmologist.
Skin Tags-Facts to Remember
- skin tags are nothing but folds of skin that can occur on any part of the body
- they are harmless and do not itch or hurt if left alone
- removal of skin tags do not cause more to appear
- skin tags do not spread from person to person
- they do not spread from one part of the body to another
- anyone can get skin tags
About Procedures for Skin Tag Removal
The following are procedures for removal of skin tags -
People who have skin tags on their faces or have very large skin tags can consider laser surgery. In this type of surgery, a laser beam is used to cut off the skin tag.
Cauterization is a procedure in which the skin tag is burned by using electrolysis.
Cryosurgery is a procedure where a probe containing liquid nitrogen is inserted into the skin tag and frozen off and then removed.
Ligation is a procedure in which the blood supply to the skin tag is cut off and then removed.
Excision is a procedure in which the skin tag is removed with a scalpel.
Sometimes skin tags may fall off on their own.
Removing Skin Tags at Home
There are many ways to remove small skin tags at home. If you choose to remove skin tags by yourself, then take extra care.
Things to remember
- using scissors or nail clippers that are not sterilized to cut off small skin tags can result in infection of the skin and cause further complications
- before removing the skin tag, rub the surrounding area with isopropyl alcohol to disinfect
- after removing the skin tag; make sure to press the area with sterilized gauze pad to prevent bleeding. Apply an antibiotic cream after the bleeding has stopped.
- if there is excess bleeding after skin tag removal, show it to your doctor.
Repeated application of tea tree oil, lime juice, Aloe vera gel, Apple Cider Vinegar, Eucalyptus oil on the skin tags may help to get rid of them.
Skin tags are harmless and nothing to worry about. They are not signs of cancer and need not necessarily be removed. They are not contagious and do not spread from person to person. Skin tags can be removed if they are causing discomfort or for cosmetic reasons.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2014 Nithya Venkat