March 8, 2021

What causes skin tags and how to remove them?

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You’re basically aware of your skin.

Flushed cheeks indicate increased blood flow. Rashes or pimples show a reaction to allergens and other irritants.

But how about a small piece of soft skin in your armpit, belly, or eyes? What is called? Is it cancerous? Does it pose a danger to your skin health? Good questions! In this article, you will know everything about a skin tag. Are you ready? Let’s get started!

Skin Tag: What is it?

Considered as Acrochordons, a skin tag is a small piece of flesh protruding from the skin with a peduncle (stalk). Known to be painless, it is also a non-cancerous growth on the skin. Who are at risk? Well, it is common in both men and women. But as you turn to 50 and beyond, the risk is higher than expected. Mostly, they appear in the eyelids. However, you can also find it anywhere on the body, including the groin, thighs, neck, armpits, and breasts. While the growth is not painful, your movement every day can cause friction, which in turn can irritate the skin tag.

A skin tag can grow from 1 millimeter to 1 centimeter, according to experts. It looks flesh-colored, but some may be darker. It tends to grow in the body with folds. Once formed, it doesn’t increase in size.

Possible Causes

A skin tag is common. In fact, it is estimated that half of the adults have a skin tag. The American Academy of Family Physicians also said that people aged 50 and above are more prone vulnerable. But adolescents are also at risk.

So, what is the cause of a skin tag? Well, no one knows the real cause. However, the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) is a big factor according to a study in 2008. The study further examined approximately 37 skin tags from different parts of the body and results indicated HPV DNA in more than 50% of the soft and hanging flesh.

As the number one cause of prediabetes and type 2 diabetes, insulin resistance may play a critical role in the growth of skin tags. It’s no surprise because patients with insulin resistance don’t absorb enough amount of glucose from the bloodstream. The presence of skin tags was also linked to high triglycerides, obesity, and insulin resistance based on a 2010 research.

You can also notice a skin tag among pregnant women because of weight gain. In other cases, skin tags can be an indication of an endocrine problem, a hormone imbalance, and other serious health issues.

The friction as a result of skin rubbing is also a factor. A skin tag can also be hereditary, according to experts. Children have a high risk when their parent has that soft flesh anywhere in the body.

In rare cases, skin tags can be a sign of nevoid basal cell carcinoma syndrome. It is a genetic disorder in which a person is more prone to the development of skin cancer.

A skin tag can indicate a genetic connection. But it is not contagious.

What are the Risk Factors to Weigh in Mind?

Do you have a high BMI or body mass index? Are you pregnant? Do family members have skin tags? Are you diagnosed with type 2 diabetes or insulin resistance? Or do you have HPV? Then, you are more susceptible to a skin tag.

Other risk factors can also include sex-steroid imbalance, abnormal level of estrogen, changes in progesterone, dyslipidemia, abnormal level of cholesterol, high blood pressure, obesity, and hypertension. It has also been associated with elevated C – reactive protein, metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular disease, atherosclerosis, and more.

A skin tag is not a form of cancer, and it’s not contagious. But irritation can be a dilemma. Constant rubbing with jewelry, clothing and other accessories can result in inflammation or rashes. When shaving, do it with caution. Although it won’t cause a potential damage, it can lead to prolonged bleeding and pain.

Treatment to Consider

A skin tag is harmless. But everyone can consider surgeries and other treatment options for cosmetic or aesthetic purposes.

Large skin tags that receive constant rubbing from clothing or jewelry should be removed to avoid rashes, inflammation, or irritation. Also, removing a skin tag on the face or armpits can make your beauty regimen convenient and stress-free.

Surgery: Number one Treatment

When considering a skin tag removal, surgery is your top-notch solution. There are different surgeries you can choose from. Here are some of them:

  • Cauterization – A process in which a skin tag is burned off with the use of electrolysis.
  • Cryosurgery – A surgery wherein the skin tag is frozen off via a probe packed with liquid nitrogen.
  • Ligation – A procedure that interrupts the blood supply to a skin tag.
  • Excision – A surgery that excises the tag with a scalpel and other tools.

Who can perform such operations? A dermatologist, a trained medical professional, or a specialist can get the procedures done with optimal safety and convenience.

When you have a skin tag on the eyelid, consult an ophthalmologist and other specialist eye doctors.

Over-The-Counter Solutions

Aside from surgeries, there are over-the-counter solutions you may try. With repetitive use, it freezes the tag. Then, it will fall off within a minimum of 7 days. You can also make a purchase online. However, seek your physician’s medical advice before anything else.

Should You Get Rid of Skin Tags at Home?

You probably are wondering how to remove a skin tag on your own. Don’t worry because you’re not alone. In fact, some people try to cut them at home, which is not a smart idea. Burning or cutting a part of your skin can cause permanent scarring and infection. While it reduces effort and saves you a dollar, it’s best to contact a dermatologist and other specialists to get proper and reliable care.

A skin tag is harmless. But some tags can indicate an internal imbalance, including diabetes. So, always consult your doctor . Also, visit or their Youtube page to know other useful guides on natural and effective skincare.

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