Do you have skin tags? These soft, little pieces of hanging skin often occur in creases or folds of skin, and you might not notice them until one day they’re just suddenly there. What are they? Why do they happen? More importantly, can skin tags be removed? Let’s take a closer look at skin tags, what causes them, and what you can do about them.
- Skin tags are actually small, benign tumors. They do not pose a threat to your health and are fairly common in middle age. They often appear in areas where the skin rubs against something, either other skin or clothing. Skin tags may appear on eyelids, in armpits, under the breasts, in the groin, or on the upper chest or neck. Sometimes, they are completely unnoticed, and they don’t generally cause discomfort. Sometimes, however, they are located where they are prominent and are continually irritated, rubbed, or scratched. This can be annoying, and some people have them removed for this reason or for cosmetic reasons.
- The cause of skin tags is not very clear. It is thought that they can happen because of clusters of collagen and blood vessels becoming trapped inside thicker pieces of skin. They may be the result of friction, and there seems to be an inherited susceptibility in some people. You are at higher risk for skin tags if you are pregnant, obese, or have diabetes, HPV, or a hormonal imbalance. Rarely, multiple skin tags may be a symptom of an underlying hormonal or endocrine issue, like polycystic ovary syndrome or acromegaly. In some cases, your dermatologist will want to have a biopsy performed on the skin tag once it is removed, just to make sure it is indeed benign.
- The only treatment for skin tags is removal, but this can be done in a variety of ways. There are over-the-counter treatments, similar to wart removal treatment, but it is better to have them removed by a dermatologist. A doctor can remove skin tags through cauterization, which uses electrolysis to burn them off, or cryosurgery, in which the skin tag is frozen off with liquid nitrogen. Ligation is another method of removing skin tags, and it works by cutting off the blood supply to the skin tag. They can also be excised, which just means the doctor cuts them out with a scalpel.
If you have skin tags, Swinyer-Woseth Dermatology can remove them for you. Committed to providing superior, professional skin care in a manner that’s practical, efficient, and compassionate, and with over 30 years of experience providing dermatological services in Salt Lake City, we provide a variety of services, from cosmetic skincare to treatment for skin cancer. Our team of board-certified dermatologists and licensed cosmetic service providers are here to provide you the care you need in a comfortable, professional atmosphere. Call (801) 682-4715 or contact us through our website.