SKIN TAGS: CAUSES, RISK FACTORS, RISK GROUPS, HOME REMEDIES, TREATMENTS

SKIN TAGS: CAUSES, RISK FACTORS, RISK GROUPS, HOME REMEDIES, TREATMENTS post thumbnail image

SKIN TAGS

A skin tag is a tiny, benign, out pouching of skin that is typically connected to the underlying skin by a thin stalk. Skin tags look like tiny bits of “hanging” skin and typically occur in sites where clothing rubs against the skin or where there is skin-to-skin friction, such as the underarms, neck, upper chest, and groin. Skin tags are not present at birth and their frequency increases with age. Skin tags can be observed in about 25% of adults. Studies have shown a genetic predisposition to the development of skin tags. Therefore, skin tags can run in families.

 

WHAT CAUSES SKIN TAGS?

Skin tags occur when extra cells grow in the top layers of the skin. They tend to develop when the skin rubs against itself, so are more common in people who are overweight and therefore have folds of skin. They grow both in men and women and are more common in older people and people living with type 2 diabetes. Pregnant women are also more likely to develop skin tags, although they usually disappear after the baby is born.

 

WHO TENDS TO GET SKIN TAGS?

 

More than half if not all of the general population has been reported to have skin tags at some time in their lives. Although tags are generally acquired (not present at birth) and may occur in anyone, more often they arise in adulthood. They are much more common in middle age, and they tend to increase in prevalence up to age 60. Children and toddlers may also develop skin tags, particularly in the underarm and neck areas. Skin tags are more common in overweight people.

 

Hormone elevations, such as those seen during pregnancy, may cause an increase in the formation of skin tags, as skin tags are more frequent in pregnant women. Tags are essentially harmless and do not have to be treated unless they are bothersome. A dermatologist may easily remove during or after pregnancy, skin tags that are bothersome typically.

 

Although skin tags are generally not associated with any other diseases, there seems to be a group of obese individuals who, along with many skin tags, develop a condition called acanthosis nigricans on the skin of their neck and armpits and are predisposed to have high blood fats and sugar.

 

Certain structures resemble skin tags but are not. Accessory tragus and an accessory digit occasionally can be confused with skin tags. Pathological examination with a biopsy of the tissue will help distinguish skin tags if there is any question as to the diagnosis.

 

WHEN SKIN TAGS CAN BE A PROBLEM?

Skin tags are harmless and do not usually cause pain or discomfort. However, you may consider having skin tags removed if they’re affecting your self esteem, or if they snag on clothing or jewellery and bleed. You’ll usually need to pay to have this done privately. This is because skin tag removal is regarded as cosmetic surgery, which is rarely available through the NHS. Cosmetic surgery is usually only available on the NHS if the problem is affecting your physical or mental health. Sometimes, skin tags fall off on their own if the tissue has twisted and died from a lack of blood supply.

 

HOME REMEDIES FOR SKIN TAGS

 

Skin tags don’t usually require treatment or a visit to the doctor. If you choose to remove a tag, it may be possible to do so with products already in your medicine cabinet or kitchen. Most at-home remedies involve drying out the skin tag until it shrinks in size and falls off.

 

Tea tree oil

Tea tree oil, which has antiviral and antifungal properties, is safe to use on the skin when diluted in a carrier oil.

 

First, wash the affected area. Then, using a Q-tip or cotton swab, gently massage the oil over the skin tag. Place a bandage over the area overnight. Repeat this treatment for several nights until the tag dries out and falls off.

Banana peel

Don’t toss away your old banana peels, especially if you have a skin tag. The peel of a banana can also help dry out a skin tag. This may be due to the antioxidant properties found in them.

Place a piece of banana peel over the tag and cover it with a bandage. Do this nightly until the tag falls off.

 

Apple cider vinegar

Soak a cotton swab in apple cider vinegar and place the cotton swab over the skin tag. Wrap the section in a bandage for 15 to 30 minutes, and then wash the skin. Repeat daily for a couple of weeks. The acidity of apple cider vinegar breaks down the tissue surrounding the skin tag, causing it to fall off.

 

Vitamin E

Ageing may contribute to skin tags. Since vitamin E is an antioxidant that fights wrinkles and keeps the skin healthy, applying liquid vitamin E over a skin tag may cause the growth to vanish in a couple of days. Simply massage the oil over the tag and surrounding skin until it falls off.

 

Garlic

Garlic helps improve the appearance of skin by reducing inflammation. To naturally get rid of a skin tag, apply crushed garlic over the tag, and then cover the area with a bandage overnight. Wash the area in the morning. Repeat until the skin tag shrinks and disappears.

 

Over-the-counter products for skin tags

Along with home remedies, several over-the-counter (OTC) products at grocery and drugstores can safely remove a skin tag. Freezing kits use cryotherapy (the use of extremely low temperatures) to destroy unwanted skin tissue. Benign lesions, like skin tags, require temperatures of −4°F to −58°F to destroy them.

Looking for an OTC wart or skin tag removal kit that will reach the lowest temperature when used appropriately. Finally, it has been points out that removal creams and cryotherapy can cause irritation and contact dermatitis, but they can still be effective for short-term use.

 

SKIN TAG TREATMENT

As skin tags are usually harmless, removal is normally for aesthetic or cosmetic reasons. Large skin tags, especially in areas where they may rub against something, such as clothing, jewellery or skin, may be removed due to irritation. Removing a large skin tag from the face or under the arms can make shaving easier. Some processes of removal may include:

 

Surgery

The following procedures may be used:

  • Cauterization: The skin tag is burned off using electrolysis
  • Cryosurgery: The skin tag is frozen off using a probe containing liquid nitrogen.
  • Ligation: The blood supply to the skin tag is interrupted
  • Excision: The tag is cut out with a scalpel

A dermatologist, or specialist skin doctor, or a similarly trained medical professional should only do these procedures. Skin tags on the eyelid, especially those close to the eyelid margin, may have to be removed by an ophthalmologist, or specialist eye doctor.

Removing a skin tag at home is not normally recommended, due to a risk of bleeding and possible infection. However, very small tags can be removed by tying dental floss or thin cotton thread around the base of the tag to cut off circulation to the tag.

 

Over-the-counter solutions

Over-the-counter (OTC) solutions are available at pharmacies. These freeze the skin tag, and it will fall off after 7 to 10 days. These may also be purchased online, although it is recommended that professional medical advice is sought before using these treatments.

These medications are similar to those used for wart removal. There is no evidence that removing skin tags encourages more of them to develop.

 

 

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