A skin tag is a small tag of skin that may have a stalk and it looks like small piece of soft, hanging skin. It is also known as an acrochordon, cutaneous papilloma, cutaneous tag, fibroepithelial polyp, fibroma molluscum, fibroma pendulum, papilloma colli, soft fibroma, and Templeton skin tag.
They can appear on any part of the surface of the body but most typically exist in areas where skin may rub against skin like eyelids, armpits, under breasts, groin, upper chest and neck.
Skin tags are benign tumors of the skin that cause no symptoms, unless it is repeatedly rubbed or scratched. Very large skin tags may burst under pressure. Skin tags are composed of a core of fibers and ducts, nerve cells, fat cells, and a covering or epidermis.
Some people are more susceptible to tags, either because of their overweight, partly due to heredity, and often for unknown reasons. People with diabetes and pregnant women tend to be more prone to skin tags. Dermatologists say that skin tags affect males and females equally.
Some people may have had skin tags and never noticed them. The surface of skin tags may be smooth or irregular in appearance. They are usually flesh-colored or slightly brownish. Initially they are quite small, flattened like a pinhead bump. Skin tags can range in diameter from 2mm to 1cm and some may even reach 5cm.
Causes of Skin Tags
Skin tags are very common and generally occur after midlife. They are said to be caused by bunches of collagen and blood vessels which are trapped inside thicker bits of skin. In such cases, skin tag removal becomes essential.
- A risk factor increases the probability of developing a condition or disease.
- Skin tags are very common but harmless small, soft skin growths.
- Skin tags tend to occur on the eyelids, neck, armpits, groin folds, and under breasts.
- One person may have anywhere from one to over 100 skin tags.
- Almost everyone will develop a skin tag at some point in his or her life.
- Middle-aged, obese adults are most prone to skin tags.
- Obesity is associated with skin tags.
- Removing a skin tag does not cause more to grow.
- Some people are just more prone to forming skin tags.
- Treatments include freezing, tying off with a thread or suture, or cutting off the skin tag.
As skin tags are usually harmless, people have them removed for aesthetic or cosmetic reasons. Sometimes large ones, especially in areas where they may rub against something, such as clothing, jewelry or skin, may be removed because the area becomes frequently irritated. An individual may have a large skin tag removed from his face or under her arms in order to make shaving easier.
Skin Tag Removal Procedures
- Cauterization – the skin tag is burned off using electrolysis (heat is used to remove them)
- Cryosurgery – the skin tag is frozen off using a probe containing liquid nitrogen
- Ligation – the blood supply to the skin tag is interrupted
- Excision – the skin tag is removed with a scalpel (it is cut out).
These procedures should be performed only by a dermatologist or similarly trained medical professional. You can try out various methods mentioned above and see which method suits you best. Hence, after knowing all about skin tags, you can surely treat them properly.
Author bio: Daniel is an experienced dermatologists and expert in skin tag removal. He is a passionate blogger and likes to write articles regarding skin tags and their effective treatments.