Causes and Treatments of Skin Tags
What are skin tags and why do I have them?
A skin tag is a small and soft skin growth that is connected to the skin by a small and firm stalk called a peduncle. Its medical name is also known as an acrochordon. Skin tags can be skin coloured or darker, they can be smooth and round, or have a wrinkly or uneven surface, and usually range in size from 1mm to 5cm. They are most often found in body areas where the skin rubs against itself, such as neck, armpits, groin, under the breasts, in the genital region and folds of the buttocks, or even the eyelids.
A skin tag may appear as a tiny soft bump on the skin at first. Over time, it grows into a flesh-colored piece of skin attached to the skin surface by a stalk. It’s easy to wiggle a skin tag back and forth. A skin tag is painless, although it can become irritated if it is rubbed a lot, such as in an area where clothing or jewelry rubs against them. If a skin tag is twisted on its stalk, a blood clot can develop within it and the skin tag may become painful.
Is there a group of people more susceptible to getting them?
Can I just pull them off on my own?
What are some treatments available to remove skin tags?
Skin tags are usually a cosmetic concern and can be removed via freezing with liquid nitrogen, surgical removal using a scissors or scalpel, burning with laser or electrocautery, or ligation whereby a suture is tied around the neck of the skin tag to cut off its blood supply. That said, recurrence can be a possibility and repeat procedures may be needed. It is a good idea to consult your doctor even if you aren’t bothered by them aesthetically, as these skin tags can be in uncomfortable places, and for some, they can hurt, itch or bleed when caught on accessories or clothes.
However, if you have a skin growth that bleeds, itches, or changes color, please do seek a medical consultation, to rule out other more serious conditions such as skin cancer.