Skin Tags

Skin tags are small bits of hanging particles from the skin. It develops on both men and women on the chest, neck and groin area. Normally the skin tags occur on the area in which there is friction of skin to cloth. They run in families and are passed on to the child from the parents. The number of skin tags increases as you grow old and normally it is seen on 25-30% of adults. In medical terms, they are called as ‘acrochordon” and other names are fibromas or fibro-epithelial polyps.

What are the problems faced when one gets skin tag ?

Skin tags are benign (non cancerous) in nature. Except for cosmetic purpose, they are harmless and do not cause any pain or discomfort for the person. But the person may get irritated due to the ugly appearance of skin tags on the arms and chest.

On very rare occasions, skin tag may result in bleeding of skin or it may cause death to the tissues of the skin. For some women, it may irritate them while wearing jewelry on the chest area causing discomfort.

Causes :

Exact reason what causes skin tag is not known. It is believed to occur when there is friction between the skin folds. It may grow on the chest, underarms, below the breasts, neck, eyelids and even on groin.

If you are obese, you are prone to get skin tags often. Age factor also increases the risk of getting skin tags.

Some say that skin tags are inherited by birth and it keeps running on family. People with other type of skin problems and Crohn’s disese are likely to get skin tags in their life.

Excess of hormone can trigger the formation of skin tags. This is more particular in women when they become pregnant.

Symptoms :

Skin tags take the color of the skin or it may grow slightly dark brown in color. The size of the tag may vary from 1mm to 3cm and looks either smooth or wrinkled in appearance. They are attached to the skin by stalk and for some people it is seen in the form of raised bumps from the stalk. When the skin tag is cut off from the blood supply it may change into black or red in color. If they are tied with clothing, it may bleed and cause discomfort.

Is there any chance for skin tag to become tumor?

Skin tags are benign and harmless and they do not cause cancer even after long period. But one has to monitor if there is any change in the color of the skin tag and may do skin biopsy to get rid of the chance of getting cancer.

Unlike warts, skin tags are not contagious and do not spread from one person to other.

Pictures of Skin Tags :

Images, Pics, Images and Photos of Skin Tags

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Treatment :

Generally no treatment is required for removing skin tags since they are harmless. But for cosmetic purpose, people may remove it. It does not wither off from the skin on its own though it is very rare occurrence.

You can tie it off using a piece of string or dental floss which will gradually fall from the skin.

Other methods of removing skin tag are by electro cautery method in which it is burnt using current. You can try removing it cutting it off with the scissors but it may recur.

Doctors may freeze the tag using liquid nitrogen. Normally no anesthesia is needed for electro cautering if the size of the skin tag is small. However it can cause pain and discomfort in case if big sized tags are removed. So doctors may give you local anesthesia for creating temporary numbness in the area before removal.

Topical creams like betacaine or LMX 5% is applied on the skin tags before this method for anesthetizing the area. No ointment is currently available for easy removal of skin tags.

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