Skin Tags: Causes, Treatment and Cost

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    Have you noticed soft, fleshy bumps of skin growing on your neck or in your underarm area? these can be skin tags that are typically harmless and painless skin growths that occur in both men and women. However, if you are looking for medically-approved treatment for the removal of skin tags, then reading this article is a must.

    What Are Skin Tags?

    Skin tags are benign, fleshy outgrowths that remain connected to underlying skin via a stalk. They appear as thin, loose bits of hanging skin that usually appear in the folds. Medically known as acrochordons, skin tags are not present at birth and occur in middle-aged adults.

    Where Do Skin Tags Appear?

    Skin tags can grow on any area of the body, but mostly occur in the skin folds on the neck, eyelids, underarms, groin area and inner thighs and under the breasts. The size of a skin tag can vary from 0.2cm-1cm in diameter. In a few cases, it can also reach a diameter of 5cm.

    Who Are At Risk?

    Though skin tags can develop at any age, irrespective of gender, but middle-aged adults are more prone to have this condition. Skin tags have an association with underlying health issues like insulin resistance and mostly occur in overweight individuals, especially those having diabetes, hypertension and hormonal disorders like thyroid. It may also occur during pregnancy. Skin tags may occur along with other skin changes like acanthosis nigricans, i.e. the thickening and darkening of the skin in the folds of the underarms, groin and neck.

    Nowadays, skin tags may occur in children, too, due to the rise in childhood obesity.

    Treatments For Removal Of Skin Tags

    One should never attempt to remove skin tags at home as it can result in blood-loss and infection due to lack of a sterile environment and specialised tools. There is a high risk of allergic reactions that can occur due to chemical-based OTC products used for removing skin tags at home. It is advisable to visit your dermatologist for safe, effective and painless skin tag removal.

    An experienced dermatologist will diagnose the underlying metabolic disturbance that may be resulting in the spurt of skin tags and suggest any of the following advanced treatments for skin tag removal:

    1. Cauterisation – Cauterisation is an advanced dermatological procedure that involves burning the skin tag using heat energy or radiofrequency. This is a clinical procedure that requires just a single session.
    2. Excision – Excision is a small surgical procedure that involves the removal of skin tags using a scalpel or surgical scissors. The doctor will snip the skin at the base of a skin tag with a sharp, sterile scissor. If a skin tag is small, you will hardly feel anything. For larger ones, the doctor might use local anaesthesia or numbing medication. Your doctor may apply sutures if needed depending on the size of the skin tag.
    3. Cryosurgery – Cryosurgery is a method to freeze the skin tag by using liquid nitrogen. This treatment stops it from growing, and the skin tag sheds off on its own eventually.
    4. Ligation – Ligation is a physical method that involves the tying of surgical thread around a skin tag to cut off the blood supply. It results in the skin tag falling off slowly.
    5. Laser treatment – This skin tag removal treatment involves the precise use of laser technology to destroy the skin tag from its base without harming the surrounding skin.

    Must Read: Procedures to Remove All Kinds of Warts

    What’s The Cost Of Skin Tag Removal In India?

    On average, the cost of treatment in India for small skin tags may start from INR 300 and may go up to INR 1000 for larger ones. However, the cost of skin tag removal treatment may vary for every individual based on the size and number. The price may go further up based on the severity of the concern. The cost of treatment also depends on factors like the modality of treatment selected, the technology available, the experience of the doctor performing the procedure, the location and reputation of the clinic. It is advisable to visit a reputed skin clinic to know the exact price of skin tag removal treatment.

    Skin Tags Vs. Warts

    Here are the fundamental differences between skin tags and warts:

    1. Infectiousness: Warts are viral infections, whereas skin tags are harmless growths on the skin. As opposed to skin tags, warts are contagious, and they may spread.
    2. Appearance: Skin tags are usually an extension of your skin, soft in consistency and skin-coloured or sometimes darker. Warts don’t hang off your skin and are generally black or brown and are hard in consistency with spiny or finger-like projections.

    Though skin tags are quite common, and almost everyone develops them at some point or the other in their life, it is best to consult a dermatologist to understand and treat the underlying cause for their appearance.


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    About The Author

    Dr. T N Rekha Singh

    Dr. T N Rekha Singh

    Dr T N Rekha Singh is an MD in Dermatology, Venereology and Leprology from the esteemed Gandhi Medical College at Hyderabad. She has a rich experience of over 11 years in performing advanced laser treatments for hair reduction, skin resurfacing and skin lightening, scar and... Read More

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