- Skin tags are a non-contagious skin condition in which skin tissues grow out of the surface of the skin. They are usually painless and harmless.
- Skin tags affect approximately 46% of the general population. They mostly affect adults above 40 years of age but can affect younger age groups as well. They equally affect men and women.
- As skin friction is a primary cause of skin tags, they usually occur in areas where there is significant skin folding or creasing—such as the neck, upper chest, underarms, under the breasts, eyelids, groins, inner thighs, etc.
- You can remove skin tags for both comfort and cosmetic purposes by either scissor excision (severing), electrocautery (burning), radiofrequency ablation (burning) or cryosurgery (freezing).
- Generally, dermatologists can remove skin tags in a single session and may schedule a touch-up session after a week or 10 days. If they are more in number, your dermatologist may suggest splitting the sessions.
What Is A Skin Tag?
Skin tags is a condition that causes skin-coloured hangs of tissue. Acrochordon is a medical term for it. Skin tags are harmless, painless and non-contagious, unlike other skin conditions, such as warts. They usually appear in areas such as the neck, underarms, eyelids, as well as the groin region varying widely in size and shape. They also occur more frequently in people who are suffering from type-2 diabetes and insulin resistance; and those who are overweight.
What Are The Causes Of Skin Tags?
Here are some of the common causes of skin tags:
• Folds and Creases: When there are lots of folds and creases in the skin rubbing against one another, the resulting friction causes inflammation and consequently, skin tags.
• Obesity: People with above-normal Body Mass Index (BMI) and obesity, have increased chances of developing skin folds or creases, therefore resulting in more skin friction and skin tags.
• Genetic History: The family history of the client also plays an important role in the acquisition of skin tags.
• Medical Conditions: Clients with a history of diabetes, higher-than-normal blood sugar and insulin resistance have a higher risk of contracting skin tags. Lipid abnormalities and liver enzyme abnormalities are also associated with acrochordons.
• Skin Ageing: Skin tags can appear as a course of skin ageing.
• Pregnancy: Acrochordons may appear because of hormonal changes (high levels of estrogen and progesterone) and increase in weight during pregnancy.
Diagnosis Of Skin Tags:
A qualified dermatologist can diagnose skin tags through a visual inspection of the suspected area. Most skin tags are flesh-coloured, but a lack of blood flow can turn some skin tags dark-brown or black when they twist.
Tips For Prevention And Management:
You can manage and prevent most skin tags by following the below tips:
- You can effectively manage skin tags by maintaining a healthy weight, as obesity is one of the biggest risk factors associated with developing skin tags.
- Keeping blood sugar and insulin levels under check help prevent future cases of skin tags.
- Avoid wearing jewellery and coarse apparels that chafe against skin tags.
When To See A Doctor?
You should seek immediate medical assistance if the affected area starts bleeding. Timely medical intervention will also help rule out other underlying medical conditions.
Treatment Options Available
There is a world-class treatment option for skin tags available at Oliva Skin & Hair Clinic. Our expert dermatologists use state-of-the-art equipment to perform the following procedure and treat skin tags effectively:
• Electrocautery (burning)/Radiofrequency ablation
Use of home remedies is highly avoidable as it involves significant risk of contracting infections that may cause complications. Always seek an opinion from a qualified dermatologist while attempting to treat skin tags.
Skin tags, although not usually harmful or painful, can sometimes be an indication of an underlying health condition. It is best to seek an appointment with a qualified dermatologist to investigate the cause and chalk out a suitable treatment plan.