Home Health Skin Tags: Causes and Treatment

Skin Tags: Causes and Treatment

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Perfect skin is healthy and skin tags can look annoying to some people. However, before pursuing skin tag removal, First the answer of what are skin tags is unavoidable. Skin tags are benign, non-cancerous, harmless growths of skin connected to the skin by a small, thin stalk called a peduncle.  They cause no symptoms and they are called cutaneous tags, soft fibromas, Acrochordons, and fibro epithelial polyps, skin tags are mostly flesh-colored growths, although some may be darker in color.

Skin tags are common among both men and women above 50 years old. They are small, usually measured in millimeters, but can grow to a half-inch in length. Once formed, they typically don’t get any bigger and commonly appear on parts of the body that are subjected to skin folds or friction, especially on, armpits, thighs, eyelids, groin, under breasts, and neck.

Skin care is necessary especially in the case of skin tags and it relies greatly on understanding the causes leading to skin tags or the contributing factors. Although, it is not clear exactly what set of causes lead to skin tags, but it may happen when clusters of collagen and blood vessels gets trapped inside thicker pieces of skin. As they are more common in skin creases or folds, skin rubbing against skin may be the main cause.

Some people appear to inherit an increased susceptibility to skin tags. Skin tags affect people both males and females, but they happen more often during pregnancy, in people who are obese, and in people with diabetes. They have been associated with Hyper-insulinemia, when there is too much insulin circulating in the blood.

Skin tags appear to be more common in cases of:

  • Pregnancy, due to hormonal changes and high levels of growth factors.
  • Some types of human papilloma virus (HPV)
  • Sex-steroid imbalance, with changes in levels of estrogen and progesterone.
  • Obesity Dyslipidemia or being overweight.
  • High cholesterol levels.
  • Hypertension or high blood pressure.
  • Insulin resistance and elevated high-sensitive C-reactive protein.

This suggests that skin tags may offer an external sign of an increased risk of insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome, atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease.

Skin tag removal is normally for aesthetic or cosmetic reasons, since they are usually harmless. Large skin tags, especially in areas where they may rub against something, such as clothing, jewelry or skin, removal is advisable due to skin irritation possibilities.

 The following procedures are some of the treatments:

Cauterization: it means a skin specialist burns off the skin tag using electrolysis.
Cryosurgery: it means freezing off the skin tag using a probe containing liquid nitrogen.
Ligation: it means interrupting the blood supply to the skin tag.
Excision: a specialist cuts out the skin tag with a scalpel.

It is not normally a recommendation to remove a skin tag at home, due to the risk of bleeding and possible infection. However, Tying dental floss or thin cotton thread around the base of the tag to cut off circulation to the tag is one of the possibilities in the case of very small tags. However, generally, seeking the advice of a skin specialist or a specialized dermatologist is the safest step before taking any action.

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