Skin tags may usually be harmless, but they can also be an annoyance. They are quite a common occurrence, particularly in older people, pregnant women and the obese. Luckily, there is a range of treatments that can remove skin tags quite easily.
A skin tag is a collection of blood vessels and collagen fibers. It is surrounded by skin and appears on the body as a small growth. Skin tags tend to be skin-coloured and often appear as a smooth, soft skin lesion. The largest can be around five centimetres (two inches) in size, but they can be as small as just a few millimetres across. Unlike warts, they are not contagious, so you are unlikely to see them quickly spreading across your skin.
Skin tag can be found across the body, including eyelids, neck, armpits, under the breasts, around the groin or under your buttocks. They tend to occur in areas where folds in the skin cause the flesh to rub against itself. This is why they tend to be more common in overweight people with more excess skin. Changing hormone levels may cause them to develop in pregnant women. It is not always clear what causes skin tags.
Sometimes skin tags will become twisted, which cuts off the blood supply to the tag. This can cause it to fall off on its own. As skin tags do not generally cause discomfort or pain, having them removed by professionals is considered cosmetic surgery.
Reasons to have skin tags professionally removed include if they regularly snag on jewellery or clothing. This can cause them to bleed. You may also find that skin tags have a negative effect on your self-esteem.
If the skin tag is small, there are chances that some people would try to cut off its blood supply by tying it with a piece of cotton. However, we do not support this rather recommend our readers to go for professional measures. Never try it on your own with larger skin tags as these can bleed profusely. In order to remove larger skin tags, do seek professional assistance.
Treatments for skin tags are very similar to those for warts. Freezing or burning may cause them to fall off the body. This can, however, cause some temporary irritation to the surrounding area. The skin may become discoloured. There is also a possibility that it will not work and you will need to either try again or attempt a different method.
Surgical intervention is also a possibility for removing skin tags. You may need to undergo a local anaesthetic. Whilst surgery is guaranteed to remove the entirety of the skin tag, it may also cause some minor bleeding around the site.
If a skin tag is causing you irritation, it is possible to remove it. There are a variety of treatments on offer, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. The process should, however, be relatively simple and allow you to return to your normal life.