In the United States, there are over three million skin tag cases a year. Skin tags are very common and are relatively harmless.
Read on to learn more about what a skin tag is, if it can be dangerous and skin tag removal.
WHAT IS A SKIN TAG?
Skin tags are common small growths on the skin that are usually short and narrow. They are benign tumors, meaning they are not cancerous.
Most commonly they are found on individuals over the age of 50.
Skin tags appear on areas where the skin creases such as:
They can, on occasion, appear darker than other areas of the skin. Skin tags can become irritated easily when rubbed against clothing.
Contrary to popular belief, skin tags are generally not a sign of any disease. If a skin tag is related to a disease, it is a small symptom of a pre-developed disease like type-two diabetes.
WHAT CAUSES SKIN TAGS?
There are multiple risk factors for developing skin tags; however, as of now, it is unclear what exactly causes skin tags.
Skin tags can be symptoms of something bigger such as:
- Being Overweight
- Insulin resistance or type-two diabetes
- Human Papillomavirus (HPV)
Although these factors increase your chance for developing skin tags, they are not a guarantee. It is possible to have one or more of these risk factors and not develop skin tags at all.
ARE THEY DANGEROUS AND WHEN TO SEE A DOCTOR
Skin tags are not dangerous whatsoever. They pose no threat to the body and appear simply due to factors such as friction or genetics.
Moles and warts can be confused for skin tags and left untreated. The best decision is to visit your dermatologist. He or she will be able to determine if your spot requires treatment.
To read a more in-depth blog about moles and skin cancer checks, click here.
TREATMENT | SKIN TAG REMOVAL
Skin tags are harmless; however, it left attached to the skin, skin tags will not disappear.
Possible forms of skin tag removal include:
- Surgery: This is a simple removal of the skin tag with surgical scissors or a scalpel.
- Cryotherapy: This treatment is common for warts but works similarly with skin tags. In this method, the skin tag is frozen with liquid nitrogen, and it falls off.
- Electrosurgery: An opposite of cryotherapy, this method involves burning the skin tag off with high-frequency electricity.
- Ligation: This removal method involves tying off the skin tag with surgical thread to restrict its blood flow.
DERMATOLOGY CENTER FOR SKIN HEALTH | COSMETIC PROCEDURES | SKIN CANCER PREVENTION
Skin tags are purely cosmetic; however, if you would like them removed, we can help.
If you suspect that what you have is a mole, or you are unsure if it’s a skin tag, make an appointment to have a skin cancer screening.
At the Dermatology Center for Skin Health, our primary goal is to help our patients develop lifelong skin care habits that keep them cancer-free. We develop positive relationships with our patients, making annual skin exams a comfortable experience.
Schedule an appointment to get your skin tag checked out or removed by calling 304-598-3888.
For a more in-depth look at other cosmetic procedures we offer, download our eBook below: