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Skin Tags - Causes & Treatments!

Dr. Sharat Gupta 86% (13 ratings)
MD - Dermatology, MBBS
Dermatologist, Surat  •  26 years experience
Skin Tags - Causes & Treatments!

Skin tags are painless growths on your body that are usually found in the folds of skin. You can find these non-cancerous growths anywhere in your armpits, groin, eyelids, neck, thighs, area under the thighs, amongst other places. They look like little solid roundish growths and are attached to the skin by a small, thin stalk called a peduncle. And this standard structure differentiates them from moles and other skin growths. They are made up of blood vessels and collagen surrounded by an outer skin layer. They are also mostly smaller than 2 mm in size and are flesh coloured. They can either be smooth and round, or wrinkly and asymmetrical. Some skin tags can resemble grains of rice and these are found mostly under the eyelids.

Skin tags can develop in both men and women. An individual is more prone to developing skin tags if you’re older than 50 years.

What are the causes?
It’s still unclear what causes skin tags. People think that friction could be a factor as tags usually show up in skin folds.

  1. Several studies have been done to understand the causes and risk factors for skin tags. As per studies, the human papillomavirus (HPV) which causes cervical cancer in women may be an important factor in the development of skin tags.
  2. Insulin resistance, a condition which can lead to type 2 diabetes and pre diabetes is also implicated in several studies.
  3. Obesity and high BMI (Body Mass Index) and high triglycerides in the blood are risk factors too.
  4. Skin tags are also a common side effect of pregnancy and this could be due to the squiggly pregnancy hormones and weight gain.
  5. Researchers warn that in rare cases, multiple skin tags can be a sign of a hormone imbalance or an endocrine problem.

The good news here is that skin tags don’t develop into skin cancer and they aren’t contagious. However, the skin tags can be an eyesore, so, here’s what you can do to get rid of them. There is no need to remove tiny skin tags as they may rub off on their own.

If a skin tag is large, ungainly, pains or bothers you in any way, you can try anyone of the options here to get them removed:

  1. Cryotherapy: This involves freezing the skin tag with liquid nitrogen.
  2. Surgery: This involves removing the skin tag surgically.
  3. Electrosurgery: This option uses high-frequency electrical energy to burn off your skin tag.
  4. Ligation: This involves cutting the skin tag’s blood supply by tying it off with surgical thread.

Something to remember here is that you should never try to remove skin tags on your own using DIY instructions. This can cause bleeding, burns, and infection. Therefore, it is perhaps the best idea to let the doctor handle your medical condition and prescribe a treatment that is best suited for you.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

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