Skin Tags are soft, spongy growths that protrude from the skin and even dangle from it. They’re harmless, but they can irritate you if they brush against your clothes or become snagged by jewellery. And, let’s face it, if you have a skin tag that’s out in the open, you might become weary of seeing it. In that instance, see a dermatologist rather than a pharmacy. (And don’t even think of reaching for scissors, nail clippers, or a piece of rope!)
A skin tag is a tiny flesh-colored or slightly darker skin growth. The growth is elevated from the skin’s surface and is usually little bigger than a grain of rice, however some can get as big as a grape. Skin tags can appear everywhere on the body, but they’re most common where the skin scrapes against itself. A skin tag may appear on anybody, although adults are more prone to have them expand. It’s not uncommon for a person to have numerous skin tags.
Skin tags are typically painless and innocuous, although they might cause discomfort in certain people. Skin tags may be unsightly to those who have them. Some skin tags can become irritating when they brush against adjacent skin or clothes. They might become inflamed or bleed.
It’s possible that some people are genetically predisposed to acquiring skin tags. Pregnancy, being overweight, and obesity have all been associated to the formation of large skin tags.
Where to Look for Them
Skin tags can appear everywhere on the body, but they’re more prevalent in skin folds (where skin rubs against itself).
Skin Tags can be found in the following places:
- Under the breasts/chest
- Thighs or groyne
Extra cells develop in the upper layers of the skin, resulting in skin tags. They form as the skin scrapes against itself, making them more frequent in persons who are overweight and have skin folds. They are more frequent in elderly adults and those with type 2 diabetes, and they grow in both men and women. Skin tags are more common in pregnant women, however they generally vanish once the baby is delivered.
Up to 46% of the population is believed to be affected by skin tags. Skin tags become more common as people get older, and by the age of 70, up to 59 percent of the population has them. Obesity, insulin resistance, and atherosclerosis all appear to be linked to the development of skin tags.
The exact source of skin tags is unknown, however their prevalence in skin fold regions implies that friction or frequent irritation might be the culprit. Skin tags have a hereditary component (they tend to run in families), but hormone imbalances are also a possibility. Agromegaly, a growth hormone condition, is linked to skin tags, for example.
The presence of oestrogen and androgen in skin tag biopsies (together with the fact that skin tags are frequently found during pregnancy) indicates that sex hormones may play a role in the formation of these lesions. Some forms of human papillomavirus have been detected in skin tag biopsies, suggesting that the virus is responsible. Birt-Hogg-Dubè syndrome, a rare genetic disease that leads to the development of renal and colonic malignancies, has skin tags as a cutaneous characteristic.
So what is the Difference among Skin Tags, Warts, & Moles?
Warts and moles are not the same as skin tags and there are several techniques to distinguish between the two:
Unlike skin tags, which are usually the same colour as the rest of your skin, moles are pink, tan, or brown in hue. Although some moles can be elevated, they are usually flat, round, or oval in form. Moles can sometimes turn into skin cancer (melanoma).
Warts, like skin tags, can be the same colour as the surrounding skin. They do, however, have a rough feel. Warts are caused by a virus that may be transferred from person to person, unlike skin tags, which have no known origin.
How do Doctors remove Moles & Skin Tags?
A mole or skin tag can be removed in one of the following ways:
1. Cutting it Off
A scalpel or surgical scissors can be used to remove skin tags. Moles can be “shaved” to the skin’s surface in some cases. Your doctor may need to create a deeper cut to clear the entire mole and prevent it from returning since some moles include cells that migrate beyond the skin. Stitches may be required for this cut.
Using Liquid nitrogen to Freeze it, A little quantity of super-cold liquid nitrogen will be swabbed or sprayed on the mole or skin tag by your doctor. It’s possible that a small blister will emerge where the mole or skin tag used to be, but it will heal on its own.
3. Burning it Off
Extinguishing it The upper layers of the skin are burned off by passing an electric current through a wire that gets heated. To get rid of a mole, you may require several treatments. The thin stem that connects skin tags to the skin is burned away. The warmth aids in the prevention of blood loss.
The treatment may cause some discomfort, but your doctor will use an anaesthetic to numb the region before starting. If any bleeding occurs as a result of the operation, your doctor may administer a medication to assist stop the bleeding. He or she will then wrap it with a bandage. These procedures usually leave no scars or residues.
- In certain cases, the dermatologic symptoms of neurofibromatosis type 1 mimic skin tags.
- Skin tags and genital warts are sometimes confused.
- Melanocytic nevi have a similar appearance to hyperpigmented skin tags.
- Nongenital warts resemble skin tags in appearance.
- Pinkus tumour (premalignant fibroepithelial tumour) is a rare premalignant fibroepithelial tumour that should be considered.
- Seborrheic keratosis is another uncommon but potential diagnosis.
Skin Tag Removal at Home
If you want to get rid of a bothersome skin tag right away, at-home remedies are probably not for you. These require time to dry out or break down the skin tag tissue (which is primarily collagen fibres that have gone awry) so that the skin tag can fall off. It may take a few weeks to notice benefits, but if you want to avoid a medical treatment, one of these homoeopathic techniques could be worth a shot.
Tea Tree Oil is a Natural Antiseptic
Tea tree oil is antifungal and antiviral, as well as being skin-friendly. Cover a skin tag with a bandage after applying tea tree oil. Repeat every night until the skin tag has dried and fallen off.
Vinegar of the Apple
Place an apple cider vinegar-soaked cotton ball on top of the skin tag. Cover the cotton ball with a bandage for 15-30 mins to keep it in place. Start by removing the item from the afflicted region and wash it. Repeat this process every day until the skin tag comes off. The acid in the vinegar may take a few weeks to break down the skin tag tissue.