Are you plagued by skin tags? These small growths, which look like tiny flaps of skin, usually appear on the neck, armpits, and in other folds of the body. Skin tags are typically the same color as your skin or slightly darker, and though painless, may get irritated by contact with clothing. While skin tags are harmless, many people choose to get them removed for cosmetic reasons. If you are interested in getting rid of unsightly growths, you have a few different options.
First, you may consider having the skin tag cut off, which a doctor can do in his or her office with a scalpel or surgical scissors. Depending on the size of the skin tag, you may be injected with a local anesthetic before the procedure. After the tag is removed, usually nothing more than a small bandage and a bit of antiseptic is required.
Another option for removal is freezing the skin tag. The doctor swabs a small amount of very cold liquid nitrogen onto the growth, which then falls off. While a small blister may remain, this typically heals on its own. Skin tags can also be burned off with an electric current that burns through the small stem attaching the tag to the body. As with the first procedure, local anesthetic is typically used.
Doctors are not sure what causes skin tags, though some people are more prone to them than others are. Skin tags tend to be more common in older adults, people who are overweight, and those who have diabetes. One theory is that the tags develop from skin rubbing together. These growths tend to be more common in women, particularly women who are pregnant, so hormones are thought to play a role in their development. However, children can also develop skin tags, often chubby babies or young athletes whose skin tends to rub together during sports.
Skin tags are not contagious, do not cause or indicate the presence of cancer, nor do they spread if they are removed. Most people will develop at least one skin tag in their lifetime, with some people developing more than 100 of these growths. Though some people try using home remedies to remove their skin tags, doing so can lead to infection, bleeding, and scarring. It is much safer to have these growths removed by a licensed dermatologist. These procedures can be done quickly in the office and typically cause little pain and leave no scar.
Our medical team, led by Dr. Rao, at Rao Dermatology will be able to answer any questions or concerns you might have about skin tag removal. Contact us today to schedule your consultation and say goodbye to those unsightly skin tags.