A skin tag is a benign flap of skin attached to the body by a stalk. They usually develop on the neck, back, chest or groin or under the arms or breasts. Skin tags are common and develop in about 45 percent of the population.

What Causes Skin Tags?

Researchers currently aren’t sure why skin tags develop. They have observed that a tendency towards skin tags can run in families, which suggests that genetics plays a role. Skin tags do tend to occur in places where skin rubs against skin, like under the arms or breasts.

Some studies suggest a link between skin tags and some kinds of the human papilloma virus (HPV). Skin tags are also common in people with diabetes, overweight people and older people. An increase in hormones, like that seen in pregnancy, can also cause people to develop skin tags.

Skin tags can also occur along with a skin condition called acanthosis nigricans, which is characterized by thick, dark patches of velvety skin. Acanthosis nigricans is itself a symptom of certain diseases and disorders ranging from Cushing disease to some drug reactions to diabetes.

Why Would Someone Consider Skin Tag Removal?

The most common reason for skin tag removal is appearance. Most people think they’re unattractive. While they’re harmless, skin tags in certain places can get irritated by something constantly rubbing against it. A skin tag on the neck, for example, might get irritated by the patient’s collar. It might also frequently get caught on jewelry, seatbelts or clothing. In some cases, the skin tag will get so irritated that it starts bleeding.

Methods of Skin Tag Removal

At Rao Dermatology, our medical professionals may use any of three possible techniques to remove a skin tag:

• Cut it off with a pair of sterile medical scissors
• Freeze it with liquid nitrogen
• Electric cautery with a heated electrode

The method used to remove your skin tag will be discussed with you in detail during a consultation at our office.

Learn More About Skin Tag Removal Options

With offices in Manhattan, Atlantic Highlands, Fresno and Hanford, the experts at Rao Dermatology will be happy to evaluate the condition of your skin tags and help you determine which method of skin tag removal will be most effective. You don’t have to live with your skin tags forever. Help is available at Rao Dermatology. Contact us today to schedule your consultation for skin tag removal.

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