Skin tags are small, harmless, and soft growths that appear on the skin. They usually have a narrow stalk or peduncle that attaches them to the skin’s surface.
While skin tags are not a medical concern, they can be an aesthetic nuisance for some people.
Causes of Skin Tags
The exact cause of skin tags is not known. However, some factors are believed to contribute to their development.
One of these is obesity. People who are overweight or obese are more likely to develop skin tags because their skin folds rub against each other, causing friction and irritation.
Another factor that may contribute to skin tag development is genetics. Some families may be more prone to developing skin tags than others. Hormonal changes during pregnancy may also lead to the development of skin tags.
Development of Skin Tags
Skin tags typically develop in areas where the skin rubs against itself, such as the neck, armpits, groin, eyelids, and under the breasts. They can also develop on the face, although this is less common. Skin tags can vary from a few millimeters to several centimeters in diameter.
Skin tags are harmless and do not usually cause symptoms, although some people may experience mild irritation or discomfort if the skin tags rub against clothing or jewelry.
Medical Attention for Skin Tags
Skin tags do not usually require medical attention. However, if you notice any changes in the appearance of a skin tag, such as bleeding, rapid growth, or irregular shape, it is important to see a dermatologist. These changes may indicate a more severe condition, such as skin cancer.
Removing Skin Tags
While skin tags do not need to be removed, some people choose to have them removed for cosmetic reasons. Skin tag removal is a simple and straightforward procedure that can be done in a dermatologist’s office.
There are several methods of skin tag removal, including:
- Cutting: The dermatologist uses a scalpel or scissors to cut the skin tag off.
- Freezing: The dermatologist applies liquid nitrogen to the skin tag to freeze it off.
- Burning: The dermatologist uses an electric current to burn the skin tag off.
- Ligation: The dermatologist ties a small thread around the base of the skin tag to cut off its blood supply, causing it to fall off.
The method used to remove a skin tag depends on its size, location, and your preferences. Most methods are quick and relatively painless, although you may experience some discomfort or mild swelling afterward.
Preventing Skin Tags
There is no guaranteed way to prevent skin tags from developing, but there are some things you can do to reduce your risk of developing them. Maintaining a healthy weight, avoiding tight clothing, and practicing good hygiene can all help reduce your risk of developing skin tags.
If you have a family history of skin tags, you may be more prone to developing them yourself. If this is the case, it may be worth discussing with your dermatologist whether you should have regular skin checks to monitor any changes in your skin.
Skin tags are small, harmless growths that are common in both men and women. While they do not usually require medical attention, some people choose to have them removed for cosmetic reasons.
If you are concerned about a skin tag or notice any changes in its appearance, it is important to see a dermatologist. They can help determine whether the skin tag needs to be removed or an underlying medical condition must be addressed.