You know what’s going on internally when you look at your skin. For example, you get to see pimples or skin rashes because of some reactions whereas flawless skin or glowing skin is the result of an increase in blood flow. We somehow know about these but what about skin tags?
What are skin tags and how are skin tags caused?
Skin tags are skin growths suspended to the skin by a thin stalk. These annoying tiny bits of hanging skin are benign growths which are not painful or cancerous. Skin tags are generally small in size ranging from 2mm to 1cm in diameter, and some can even grow to half-inch too. You might not even notice them while they are developing unless they are in some prominent place or are felt when rubbed by a piece of clothing or something else.
They can grow anywhere on your body but are most commonly found on eyelids, armpits, under breasts, groin folds, and neck. These smooth or irregular tags are either skin-colored or on a little darker side. Their growth varies from one to hundred in numbers. In medical terms, these are called acrochordon, and some people also call these warts.
What causes skin tags and who gets them?
The exact cause of skin tags is still unknown, but it is believed that friction between adjoining areas of skin is the most common cause. Skin tags are found among obese people, which explains and justifies why they grow in areas where skin folds.
Wearing tight clothes is listed as one of the reasons for the formation of skin tags. According to a study conducted for the same, it was found that an obese woman who had to lift her arms numerous times while working had developed skin tags.
Not present at birth, skin tags are acquired and are most common in adults; with an increase in age, the number of tags levels up too. According to researchers, along with friction, pregnancy, and family history also counts in. Overweight people, diabetic patients, heart patients, and pregnant women are prone to get tags. Higher levels of insulin in obese people, who have diabetes too, increase the possibility of skin tags.
How to prevent skin tags?
Skin tags are natural which can’t be stopped from developing, but there are few measures which can be taken to decrease this possibility.
Minimize the rubbing of skin: You should be clear by now that tags are caused by friction and these form mostly in the areas where skin rubs against itself. So by wearing loose and clean clothes, which can act as a barrier between the areas of skin (especially in groin and armpits), chances of rubbing can be reduced. Alongside clothes, jewelry also aids in contributing to skin tag formation. So you can avoid wearing any piece of jewelry on a regular basis.
Reduce weight: It is said and proved that obese people tend to develop more skin tags than others, as they happen to have more skin folds. So if you don’t want skin tags to get attracted to you, better lose those extra pounds. There are numerous ways to do it, like follow a healthy diet and do exercise in your daily routine.
Use a talcum powder: Pat your skin completely dry after shower and then apply medicated talcum powder to the areas prone to develop skin tags, to keep them dry; hence decreasing irritation.
Home Remedies for removing skin tag –
Using a device: In a process termed Ligation, a tiny band is used to cut the blood supply to the base of the tag or stalk, so that the cells die. As a result, the tag falls off in approximately 10 days. There are plenty of skin tag removal kits available online as well in stores too.
String: Ligation can be also be achieved by using either a string or dental floss. Without any outside help, like from a person or a device, this way of skin tag removal is a bit risky. Before taking any action, remember to wash your hands, skin, and string thoroughly to prevent infection.
Skin tag removal cream: This technique might take a little longer like 2 or 3 weeks to get rid of the tags. All you need to do is to buy a kit containing cream and an applicator. Instructions on it suggest you clean the skin beforehand with an alcohol wipe before applying the cream on your skin. This cream can give a tingling sensation.
Apple cider vinegar: Apple cider vinegar is very beneficial for your body. How to use it? Just soak a cotton ball in it and using a bandage, affix it on the skin tag for 10 minutes. You can repeat this process, two or three times a day until you see the results.
Warning: If it causes irritation, discontinue it.
Some home remedies are not advisable for skin tags located in areas around genitals or eyes. So it’s better to seek professional help in these cases.
Following medical procedures are advised to for skin tag removal
Excision: In excision, skin tag removal is done using a scalpel.
Cyrosurgery/ Cryotherapy: In this method, affected areas are frozen using liquid nitrogen. One or two treatments are good to go.
Electrosurgery/ Cauterization: In this method, a medical professional burns the skin tag safely. This procedure requires a special tool which is heated and then applied to the skin tag. Most tags fall away in one or two treatments.
In the case of these treatments, doctors can use local anesthesia before the removal of skin tags, especially the larger ones.
Note: Please do not remove a skin tag on your own without concerning your doctor first. Skin tags, in general, do not cause any pain or discomfort but if they cause some problem, schedule an appointment with your dermatologist and get them eliminated from your body.