Overview of skin tags
Skin tags are non-cancerous growths on the skin that are painless. They are attached to the skin by a small, thin stalk called a peduncle. These are normal in the two people, particularly after the age of 50. It can appear anywhere on your body, although it is usually found in places where your skin folds, such as:
- The area under your breasts
Why remove a mole or skin tag?
Most moles and skin tags don’t need treatment. Once in a while, people need to eliminate them for corrective reasons or because it causes them inconvenience when scouring garments or falling into adornments.
Consult your doctor if you have a mole that looks different from other moles. He or she may need a mole biopsy, which means removing the mole and sending it to a lab to be tested for cancer.
Causes of skin tags
It’s unclear exactly what causes skin tags. Since they usually show up in skin folds, friction may play a role. These are made up of blood vessels and collagen surrounded by an outer layer of skin.
According to a 2008 study, the human papillomavirus (HPV) may be a factor in the development of skin tags. The study analyzed 37 skin tags from various sites of the body. Results showed HPV DNA in almost 50 per cent of the skin tags examined.
Insulin resistance, which may lead to type 2 diabetes and prediabetes, may also play a role in the development of skin tags. People with Insulin resistance don’t absorb glucose effectively from the bloodstream. According to a 2010 study, the presence of multiple skin tags was associated with insulin resistance, a high body mass index, and high triglycerides.
Skin tags are also a common side effect of pregnancy. This may be due to pregnancy hormones and weight gain. In rare cases, multiple skin tags can be a sign of a hormone imbalance or an endocrine problem.
These aren’t contagious. There may be a genetic connection. It isn’t unusual for multiple family members to have them.
Symptoms of skin tags
Except for the cosmetic appearance, these generally do not cause any physical pain or discomfort. These tiny skin bumps usually cause symptoms when they are repeatedly irritated (for example, due to a hoop or in the groin). Restorative reasons are the most widely recognized purpose behind skin tag expulsion. The following symptoms and signs may necessitate the removal of the skin tag:
- It has become irritated and red from bleeding (hemorrhagic) or black from sprains, and
- Skin tissue death (necrosis).
At times, it may malfunction by clothing, jewellery, pets, or seat belts, causing pain or discomfort. In general, these are very benign tumours that have no possibility of cancer (malignancy).
Sometimes, the mark may fall off spontaneously without any pain or discomfort. This may happen after the mark twists on itself at the base of the leg, cutting off blood flow to the mark.
Since these tags are usually harmless, removal is usually for aesthetic or cosmetic reasons.
Large skin tags can be removed, especially in areas where an object, such as clothing, jewellery, or skin, may be in contact with the irritation. Removing these tags from the face or under the arms can make shaving easier.
The following procedures may be used:
- Cauterization: The skin tag is burned using electrolysis.
- Cryosurgery: The skin tag is frozen using a probe containing liquid nitrogen.
- Ligation: the blood supply to the skin tag is cut off.
- Circumcision: the mark is cut off with a scalpel.
These procedures should only be performed by a dermatologist, professional dermatologist, or similarly trained medical professional. Skin tags on the eyelid, especially those near the edge of the eyelid, may need to be removed by an ophthalmologist.
It is not usually recommended to remove a skin tag at home, due to the risk of bleeding and possibly infection.
Over-the-counter (OTC) solutions are available at pharmacies. These freeze the skin tag, and they will fall off after 7 to 10 days. It can also be purchased online, although it is a good idea to seek professional medical advice before using these remedies.