If you are familiar with skin tags, then you no doubt know how annoying and embarrassing they can be. If you are not familiar with them, this article will give you information on what they are, as well is options for preventing and treating them.
About Skin Tags
Skin tags are bits of skin that have grown outward on tiny stalks, like a tag or label on your clothing.
The first thing you should know is that skin tags are generally harmless; they are not a sign of skin cancer, and they are not caused by any serious skin condition. They are also not contagious.
Skin tags are usually not painful, but they can be uncomfortable when irritated by clothing or jewelry.
Experts are not entirely clear what causes them, but they believe that genetics, age, and weight are all factors.
Skin tags can occur anywhere on your body, but they are most likely to occur in areas where the skin rubs together, such as the eyelids, the armpits, and in skin folds. They can also occur in places that are often rubbed by clothing, including the base of the neck and under the breasts. They are most common in the elderly, with almost 60 percent of people over age 70 having them, but they can and do occur in people of all ages.
Skin tags usually start very small, but they can grow larger with repeated friction.
Skin Tag Prevention
Because genetics are a big factor with skin tags, it’s not always possible to prevent them from forming. However, if you are prone to developing them, there are things that you can do to prevent them from growing larger, including:
· Losing weight to reduce the size of skin folds;
· Wearing loose clothing to avoid chafing;
· Keeping your skin moisturized and using body powder, which can also reduce friction and chafing; and
· Avoiding activities, like frequent eye rubbing, which can chafe the skin.
Treating and Removing Skin Tags
There are several methods for treating and removing skin tags including cosmetic procedures and home remedies.
Because skin tags are generally benign, doctors usually don’t recommend treatment or removal unless they are causing irritation or are a cosmetic issue. Because they are so small, if you leave them alone they will leave you alone. However, if they have grown larger, become irritated, or if you are simply uncomfortable with them, you do have options.
Home remedies for treating skin tags include keeping them moisturized, and apply powder to skin folds, so that the friction of skin on skin, or clothing against skin, prevents irritation and prevents them from growing any larger.
One home remedy for removing skin tags involves wrapping dental floss around the tag to cut off the blood supply and waiting for the tag to fall off naturally. However, this method really only works on larger tags and can take a long time. Some people try to tweeze or even cut them off, but that can lead to even more irritation, infection, and even scarring.
There are all natural skin tag products that can remove the tags and relieve some of the irritation that can occur when they rub against clothing and jewelry. Some commercial products use chemicals, while others use natural and organic ingredients. The type you choose depends upon your personal preference.
Cosmetic remedies are usually done in a dermatologist’s office and involve removing the skin tags by surgical, mechanical, or chemical means.
· The most common chemical method for removing skin tags involves freezing them with liquid nitrogen, which causes them to fall off.
· Another common method of removal is using electricity to cauterize or dry the skin tag.
· Surgical methods involve removal with scissors or a scalpel, and may or may not require an anesthetic.
All of these procedures can remove the tags quickly and efficiently, but they can also be expensive and may cause skin irritation and scarring.
There are some who believe that removing skin tags will cause them to grow back later. The truth is that once skin tags are removed, they are not likely to grow back, but it is possible to develop new skin tags nearby, or in other areas of the body – especially if you have a predisposition toward developing them.