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Skin Growths: Treatment, Cost and Side Effects

Last Updated: Dec 05, 2023

What is the Skin Growths?

Skin tags or skin growths are harmless small oval flaps which develop on different parts of your body. They can form in any part of the body but usually develop when the skin starts rubbing against each other. Although harmless, skin tags can be extremely annoying to deal with. These small tumors develop on the armpits, groin, upper chest, back of the neck, under the breasts and eyelids as well. Skin growths usually go unnoticed unless they are easily visible. One of the most common bumps on adult skin, skin tags can be destructed with treatments like freezing, snipping, burning and strangulation with a ligature. The real cause of this problem is still unknown.

Typically, these tags are around 2 mm to 5 mm in diameter. However, your skin tags may become very large and burst under pressure. The appearance of these skin tags are largely irregular and start with a small and flattened bumpy look. Skin tags are mostly noticed in middle aged and obese people as they are more prone to it. Certain over the counter medications and surgeries can help you get rid of these skin tags. Treating or snipping them off does not cause more of them to grow back.

How is the Skin Growths treatment done?

There are a number of procedures and treatment methods which can help you get rid of the skin tags from your body. Normally removed for aesthetic or cosmetic reasons, skin tags are mostly harmless but can cause irritation. A number of surgical procedures can help you remove skin tags. Cauterization burns off the skin tag using electrolysis whereas excision helps you take out the skin tag with a scalpel. The procedure of ligation helps interrupt the supply of blood to the skin tag, thereby making it fall out. You can also opt for cryosurgery which freezes the tag by using a probe containing liquid nitrogen. These procedures should not be performed by anyone but a dermatologist and other medical experts. Your doctor may use local anesthesia to remove the larger bumps, however this is not a requirement while removing small skin tags.

There are other over the counter solutions which can also come in handy. These solutions available in pharmacies help freeze the skin tag which results in them falling off after 7 to 10 days. Patients do not have to worry about re growth of these skin tags after going through the surgery and other treatment methods. You can also use natural remedies to get rid of the problem.

Who is eligible for the treatment? (When is the treatment done?)

Any individual who sees large or small bumps or oval flaps on their skin are eligible for the treatment. These small bumps may appear on areas where skin constantly rubs against each other. Patients who are eligible for this treatment may find these bumps on their eyelids, neck, under their breasts among many other places.

Who is not eligible for the treatment?

Any individual who does not see symptoms of the problem is not eligible for the treatment.

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Are there any side effects?

There are a number of risks associated with the certain procedures used to remove the skin tags. For cryosurgery you may see side effects like the loss of sensation if a nerve is affected, pain, infection and blisters. The side effects of ligation can include bleeding during or after the surgery. With cauterization, you may have minimum risks like pain or slight discomfort, infection and mild bleeding as well.

What are the post-treatment guidelines?

Patients taking over the counter medications for removing the skin tags do not have to take any precaution once the skin tag falls out on its own. No such post treatment guideline is required for the surgical procedures as well.

How long does it take to recover?

Recovery from the problem of skin tags happens immediately, right after the surgical procedure. Patients do not have to take special measures and can return to their daily activities immediately.

What is the price of the treatment in India?

The price of the over the counter medication used to treat the skin tags range between Rs 100-200. The surgical procedure of cauterization, cryosurgery and ligation can cost you around Rs 10,000.

Are the results of the treatment permanent?

Yes, the result of the treatment is permanent. Patients need not worry about re-growth of these tags after the surgical removal of the tags.

What are the alternatives to the treatment?

There are natural remedies to treat this problem. Applying apple cider vinegar can help kill the harmful bacteria from your body while maintaining the ph level of your body. Using apple cider vinegar is considered to be one of the best ways to treat the problem of skin tags and warts as well. Other effective methods of getting rid of the problem are using tea tree oil, iodine, oil of oregano among others.

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Written ByDr. Santosh BhatiaMS - General Surgery,M. Ch. (Plastic Surgery),MBBS Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of SurgeryCosmetic/Plastic Surgery
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