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Skin tags are flesh-coloured growths that protrude out of your skin. These usually hang between areas where your skin rubs together. For example, your neck, armpits, groin region, thighs, eyelids, or the space under your breasts and abdominal region.
Skin tags are connected to the skin by a peduncle, a thin stalk. These usually hang out of the skin and are often harmless in nature. They can sometimes cause irritation when in contact with objects such as clothes, jewellery, etc. They are a common phenomenon amongst men and women, especially after the age of 50.
In this article, we will talk about what are skin tags, the cause behind, how they can be treated, and home remedies that can help.
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The medical name for skin tags is acrochordon. They are defined as a soft, skin-coloured growth that is often found hanging in the middle of areas where skin rubs together. They hang from the surface of the skin on a stalk, a thin tissue. They are usually benign in nature, and hence harmless.
It is important to note that acrochordon is not a sign of skin cancer and does not eventually lead to skin cancer either. If you are worried about a particular skin growth, consult your doctor for more information.
Skin tags can be a genetic condition and run in families. If your immediate blood relatives have acrochordon, the chances of you developing it is higher. It can also occur post-pregnancy or due to excessive weight gain.
Acrochordon develops in places such as the armpits, neck, thighs, groin, or the area beneath your breasts. It can get irritated if it comes in contact with clothes, jewellery, etc.
These flesh-coloured growths are also painless and do not grow further or change in appearance. There are various ways to remove a skin tag medically. It is vital to understand that a skin tag must be removed under the supervision of a doctor to avoid any infection.
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A skin tag’s first symptom is the appearance of a tiny, soft, skin-coloured bump. This can eventually grow as much as one to two millimetres and not more than that. If you simply touch it or press it, a skin tag won’t hurt.
However, if you fiddle with a skin tag excessively, then it can be irritated and cause minor discomfort. If you try to twist a skin tag, blood can accumulate in the growth and it may be painful to remove it as well.
Skin tags are attached to the surface of the skin by a thin tissue known as stalk. These are often tiny in appearance and can’t be seen unless focussed on.
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There is yet no clarity as to why skin tags appear or the cause behind this growth. Studies have shown that certain factors may play a role in the development of a skin tag. They are:
Risk factors that make you more vulnerable to getting skin tags than others include:
If you develop skin growths that you are unsure about, it is important to show it to your doctor to get a better diagnosis. Do not try to shave off or cut possible skin tags as it can only make it worse.
Your doctor can recognise or diagnose a skin tag simply by looking at it. The properties to identify acrochordon are:
A physical examination is enough to diagnose acrochordon. In addition, your doctor may ask certain questions such as your medical history, genetic predisposition, or check your weight to understand the underlying cause for developing these skin growths.
If for any reason, your doctor isn’t sure about the skin growth being a skin tag, then they can order a biopsy to get it tested for further probing.
There are various ways to treat skin tags. Though, it is essential to understand that acrochordon should not be twisted or tried to be removed with a blade, scissors, or thread. This can lead to excessive bleeding or blood clots that will only increase pain for you.
The different ways to treat a skin tag are:
A surgical removal under supervision is the best way forward to remove skin tags. Consult your doctor about what method would suit you.
Since skin tags are benign and painless in nature, do not use methods off the internet to remove them. There are many home remedies that are not advocated by dermatologists. Hence, caution should be exercised.
Few lifestyle changes may make you less prone to getting skin tags. However, since causes are still unknown, these do not guarantee that you will never get them.
There are many home remedies that promise permanent removal of skin tags, however, there is no scientific evidence behind them. Some of these can help you lessen the appearance of skin tags:
Do not use these home remedies without consulting your dermatologist as they can cause severe irritation in some people.
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
Skin tag: https://medlineplus.gov/ency/imagepages/9902.htm/ Accessed 02/07/2020
Skin Tags and Cysts: When They’re Harmless and When They’re Not: https://health.clevelandclinic.org/skin-tags-and-cysts-when-you-should-worry// Accessed 02/07/2020
Skin Tags (Acrochordon): https://www.drugs.com/health-guide/skin-tags-acrochordon.html/ Accessed 02/07/2020
Skin Tags: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment Options: https://www.everydayhealth.com/skin-and-beauty/skin-tag-causes-and-treatments.aspx/ Accessed 02/07/2020