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A person with a neck and shoulders.

When it comes to our skin, we’re often on high alert for anything out of the ordinary. Skin tags are a common occurrence that can cause concern for some people. But are they something to be worried about or simply a cosmetic nuisance? In this blog post, we’ll debunk myths, clarify facts, and provide insights into the nature of skin tags.

What Exactly Are Skin Tags?

Skin tags, or acrochordons, are soft, flesh-colored growths that hang off the skin by a thin stalk. They are incredibly common and usually painless. While they can be found anywhere on the body, they typically form in areas where skin repeatedly rubs against skin or clothing, such as the neck, armpits, groin, and sometimes the eyelids.

Appearance and Causes of Skin Tags

Skin tags appear in a variety of shapes and sizes, from a few millimeters to a few centimeters. Their appearance can be influenced by factors such as genetics, obesity, and hormonal changes (such as those experienced during pregnancy or due to conditions like insulin resistance).

Differentiating from Other Skin Conditions

Skin tags are often confused with moles or warts. However, moles are usually darker and flat against the skin, while warts tend to be rough to the touch. A dermatologist can help differentiate between these skin conditions and provide a proper diagnosis if you’re unsure.

Health Implications of Skin Tags

In the vast majority of cases, skin tags are benign and pose no health risk. However, some studies have suggested that individuals with skin tags are more likely to have other health concerns, such as diabetes or obesity. It’s always a good idea to monitor changes in your body, but the presence of skin tags alone isn’t cause for alarm.

When to Seek Professional Advice

If you notice any sudden changes in the color or size of a skin tag, or if it becomes painful or irritated, it’s best to consult a dermatologist. They can assess the situation and provide guidance on the best course of action, if any, to take.

Treatment Options for Skin Tags

Home Remedies

Numerous home remedies and over-the-counter treatments claim to eliminate skin tags. These range from applying apple cider vinegar or garlic to the tag, to tying it off with dental floss. While some may work, they can also be painful and risk infection.

Medical Procedures to Remove Skin Tags

For those who prefer to have skin tags removed, there are several professional procedures available. These include freezing the tag with liquid nitrogen (cryotherapy), burning it off with an electrical current (cauterization), or cutting it off with scissors or a scalpel (excision). These procedures are generally quick and relatively painless.

Prevention and Management of Skin Tags

Since skin tags often form in areas of the body where there is friction, one way to potentially prevent them is by maintaining a healthy weight and avoiding clothing that constantly rubs against the skin. Also, hydration and a balanced diet can help keep your skin healthy and less susceptible to tags.

Lifestyle Changes for Managing Skin Tags

If you develop skin tags, keeping the affected area clean and dry can help prevent infection. Additionally, some individuals find that adjusting their lifestyle, such as wearing looser clothes or reducing sugar intake, can minimize new skin tag growth.

Consult with a Dermatologist in Salt Lake City Today!

Skin tags are a common occurrence with no inherent risk to health. While they may cause discomfort or be considered inconvenient from a cosmetic perspective, they rarely indicate a serious underlying health condition. If you’re uncertain about a skin tag or if it’s causing you discomfort, seeking professional advice can affirm its benign nature or guide you toward appropriate treatment options. For residents of Salt Lake City and South Jordan, Swinyer Woseth Dermatology offers expert advice and personalized care. Reach out today at 801-682-4715 or visit us here for expert dermatological advice.