What is Skin Tag?

A skin tag is a soft noncancerous growth that occurs on the skin. It appears as a skin hanging and may have a peduncle or a stalk; hence easy to differentiate it from other skin conditions. A skin tag may be found on any part of the body but occur mostly around folds or where skin rubs against other skin such as the breasts area, groin area and eyelids. Skin tags are generally harmless, but people remove them for cosmetic reasons and to reduce the irritation that they may bring when rubbed, using skin tag removal processes.

This is a guide with all the information you need to know about skin tag and skin tag removal.

Types of skin tags

There is no specific classification of skin tags, but few parameters are used to classify them. These include:

  • Sizes– There are small skin tags with a diameter of 2 mm to 1 cm and bigger ones with a diameter of up to 5 cm.
  • Color– Skin tags can be either pink or black depending on the skin type and color.

Even with the appearance differences, the only known type of skin tag is the noncancerous benign that can be found on any part of the body.

Causes of skin tag

  • The definite cause of skin tag is not well documented but many speculations indicate that it may occur when collagen and blood vessels are entrapped inside thick skin. Also, those that occur between creases and folds may be caused by rubbing of the skin. Skin tags have also been related with hyperinsulinemia, a condition where excess much insulin circulates in the blood. Research has shown that skin tag is common to some categories of people, indicating the risk factors as follows:

    • Overweight issues
    • Heredity issues
    • Diabetes
    • Pregnancy

Is skin tag dangerous?

  • Any skin condition that does not turn into skin cancer is considered ‘not dangerous’ and skin tag is one of them. However, they may irritate, especially when rubbed by jewel, cloth or other skin and may snag, leading to bleeding, thus inflicting pain. Skin tags are just bothersome and it is necessary to get them removed using various skin tag removal procedures.

Types of skin tag removal

  • The following procedures are used to remove skin tag depending on the tag’s size, cost and personal preference.

Cauterization

Cauterization is a skin tag removal process with the least bleeding; now you know your option if you wish for a minimal bleeding procedure. The area around the skin tag is made numb by use of local analgesia. Then the skin tag and unwanted tissue are burnt with specialized tools using the electrolysis technology.

Surgical removal

In this procedure, the skin tag is removed by cutting it off using a scalpel or scissors. Local analgesia is used to make the procedure less painful. After the tag is removed, the doctor uses some special chemicals to stop bleeding and antibiotics may be prescribed to prevent the occurrence of an infection.

Cryotherapy

In cryotherapy as a skin tag removal method, the dermatologist or specialized doctor uses liquid nitrogen to make the area numb before the skin tag is removed. The Liquid nitrogen is applied to the skin tag until the tag changes its color to snow white. This makes the skin freeze, killing the skin cells and blocking blood supply within the tag. The tag falls off on its own after a few weeks. Note that if the tag’s size is big, more than one cryotherapy session is required.

When to see a doctor

Moles can also be benign or malignant. Benign moles are symmetrical, non-growing and do not change in shape, size and color. They are also referred to as healthy moles. On the other hand, malignant moles are asymmetrical, growing moles, usually more than 8mm in diameter with a mix of colors and shapes.

 

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