Last updated date: 11-May-2023
Originally Written in English
SKIN TAG - harmful or not?
In dermatology, any medical disease that could impact the skin, hair, nails, or mucous membranes is studied, researched, diagnosed, and treated.
The medical professional with expertise in this field is called a dermatologist.
Being the largest organ in the body, the skin is essential in shielding the internal organs from germs and damage, similar to a barrier. In addition, it is considered to indicate the health level of the entire human body, which is why dermatology is so essential for detecting and treating various medical conditions.
Many people suffer symptoms of one or more dermatological conditions at some point. These conditions might affect the hair, skin, or nails. Skin issues are the reason for almost one in every six visits to a medical practitioner. The following are some of the most common dermatologic conditions: acne, dermatitis, eczema, psoriasis, fungal infections, warts, and skin cancer.
A skin tag turned black or purple can be referred to as a thrombosed or clotted skin tag. When the skin tag's blood supply is insufficient, this happens. These skin tags typically disappear on their own between 3 to 10 days.
What are skin tags?
Small, benign growths known as skin tags (acrochordons) usually have the same color as the skin. They frequently resemble a mass of skin tissue growing from a little stem. They can occasionally be darker and resemble a raised mole. Most skin tags range from 1 to 5 mm, although some can reach a few centimeters.
According to research, half of all adults will get at least one skin tag throughout their lifetime.
An individual's general health should be unaffected by skin tags. However, they may not be very aesthetically pleasing and may cause one to feel self-conscious if they are on the face or neck.
A medical professional's skin tag removal method may be helpful. Sometimes a growth resembling a skin tag could be something else, such as a wart, skin condition, or skin cancer. One should consult a dermatologist or a licensed healthcare professional to receive an accurate diagnosis.
What does a skin tag look like?
Skin tags are typically tiny, soft, and skin-colored skin growths. They can range in size and color from a few millimeters to five.
Skin tags are typically found on the neck, the breasts, the genital area, or the armpits. They may also develop on the eyelids or beneath the buttock creases. Skin tags can look like warts, but they are usually described as smooth and soft and hang off the skin.
Skin tag types
One can develop various types of skin tags. Traditional skin tags, keratoses, and benign lesions are listed among the most common types.
Traditional skin tags
This type represents the majority of skin tags. They typically don't require medical treatment, they don't usually hurt or feel uncomfortable, and they stay little.
Due to this skin problem, one may get pimples on their buttocks, cheeks, or upper arms. The spots feel dry to the touch and have a rough appearance, but they don't usually hurt.
Skin lesions are noncancerous lumps or pimples on the skin. They can appear anywhere on the body but are most frequently found on the chest, arms, and stomach.
Another classification can be done depending on the area of the body where the skin tag is located on.
Skin tag eye /skin tag eyelid
A large skin tag by the eye can impair eyesight even if it is safe. Thus some people may wish them removed, and others could want to get rid of them for aesthetic purposes. A skin tag near the eye can occasionally disappear by itself, and this could occur if the stalk twists and cuts off the blood flow to the skin tag. Before consulting their doctor, people shouldn't try to remove skin tags themselves, especially if a skin tag on the eyelid is the case. In the office, doctors can easily remove skin tags, lowering the risk of infection from poor removal. Skin tag eyelid removal can be done using different techniques.
Skin tag ear
Ear tags, which can also be referred to as accessory tragus or branchial cleft remnant, are benign growths made of skin and occasionally cartilage. Ear tags are typically found on the face or in front of the ear.
Skin tag buttocks/ anus
A skin tag on the anus is a benign skin growth. Hemorrhoids and anal fissures are the most frequent anus disorders that produce this. These tags may not annoy or disturb some people, but for others, they may raise worries about appearance or hygiene.
One might feel soft hemorrhoidal tissue on the exterior of the anus when having external hemorrhoids. Although it is frequently painless, a skin tag hemorrhoid could develop. The blood clot will spread over this patch of skin until it is absorbed by the body, turning it into a skin tag. The skin flaps are frequently the same shade as the rest of your skin or, sometimes, a little lighter. The soft hemorrhoidal tissue is typically spherical and won't get much bigger than a fingernail in size.
Anal skin tags can be simply and swiftly removed, much like typical skin tags on other body parts. They are also frequently seen linked to internal hemorrhoids. When left untreated, internal hemorrhoids offer a skin tag itchy sensation and can become unpleasant. Therefore it may be advantageous to seek treatment. However, skin tags from hemorrhoids are frequently ignored because so many people don't realize how simple it is to treat and eliminate them. They could also feel too ashamed to ask a doctor to remove them.
Skin tag hemorrhoid removal typically takes place in-office. Because skin tags are on the anus' outer surface, the doctor can access and remove them. Patients seldom ever need to go to a hospital. The dermatologist will inject a painkiller around the skin tag during the surgery to lessen any discomfort.
Skin tag on the nipple
Skin tags can appear everywhere on the body, including the breast region, which is why they are frequently found on the nipple. One can relax knowing that a skin tag on their nipple is not dangerous at all. They develop as a result of skin wrinkles pressing against one another.
Skin tag on tongue
Skin tags on the tongue are common, but before they can be treated, they must be separated from other medical disorders. Human tongues are considered to be muscular organs rather than skin. A skin tag that develops under the tongue can be seen in various ways than one that does so elsewhere. Before confirming that it is a skin tag, there are a few things to consider. If so, the next step is to treat it effectively.
Skin tag nose
A skin tag in the nostrils or nose can be unpleasant and ugly. For this reason, many people opt to remove skin tags with over-the-counter products. This can be done on one's own time at home (even though it is not recommended) or with a dermatologist's assistance.
Other body areas
For example, skin tags under the breasts and skin tags in the armpit are also possible.
How skin tags form- what skin tags are caused by?
Friction is one of the leading skin tag causes. According to studies, skin tags frequently develop in regions where skin scrapes against other skin or fabric. So, suppose one finds them in areas like their armpits, under their breasts, in the creases of the thighs, or on the region of the neck that frequently rubs against the shirt collar or a necklace. In that case, it is not considered a reason to be alarmed.
Additionally, because of the friction caused by skin on the skin, obesity raises the risk of developing skin tags.
Moreover, type 2 diabetics are more likely to experience them, which, according to research, is likely due to the weight relation than the disease itself.
Individuals should be aware of skin tags because they may indicate early-stage diabetes. According to researchers, skin tag growth may be related to insulin resistance.
More than others, certain families amass these growths. Although there isn't yet a "skin tag gene," if a number of one's close relatives have them, they could end up having them one day due to genetics.
According to multiple researchers, the cause is likely that tension increases with time. Age-related skin elasticity decrease is another factor, and firm skin is less likely to chafe than sagging skin.
Is skin tag removal possible?
As previously mentioned, skin tags are harmless and typically do not hurt or feel uncomfortable. However, if one's self-esteem is affected or if they catch on clothing or jewelry that leads to skin tag bleeding, they might think about having them removed.
If somebody wants this done discreetly, they require professional dermatological treatment. In cases where the tissue has twisted and died due to a lack of blood supply, skin tags may come out on their own. It is essential not to try to remove a skin tag without talking to a dermatologist first.
Similar to how warts are removed, skin tags can simply be burned or frozen off. Additionally, they can be surgically removed, occasionally with a local anesthetic. Skin tags may not fall off after being frozen or burned, necessitating additional treatment. Freezing or burning skin tags may also irritate the skin and temporarily discolor it. The advantage of surgical removal is that it totally removes the skin tag. However, there is a chance of mild bleeding.
Regardless of why the skin tag removal is desired or needed, multiple skin tag remover methods can be used, including cryotherapy, electrosurgery, surgical excision and ligation.
A range of benign (noncancerous) skin conditions can be effectively treated with cryotherapy. Using liquid nitrogen, it is possible to remove tiny skin tags and warts. This method has the benefits of being rapid and having a low risk of infection or scarring.
Liquid nitrogen is an icy substance, and the top layer of skin quickly freezes when sprayed on. The icy spot will undoubtedly be red and swollen when the patient leaves, and as it thaws, it can sting and itch.
Over the following few days, the site will likely seem worse before it improves. After receiving therapy, swelling and blistering frequently appear within a few hours. A scab will likely develop 2-3 days after treatment and take 7–10 days to come off, leaving a pink, smooth region.
In electrosurgery, the skin tag is burned off using an electric current. The dermatologist will first apply a topical numbing cream to the area before inserting the electrode tip into the skin tag to burn through the surrounding tissues and remove the stalk. The skin tag will disappear after treatment.
Skin tag excision is similar to any other surgery that involves cutting the skin. With larger skin tags, it could cause slight bleeding. However, the surgery itself doesn't cause much discomfort. The likelihood of scarring increases with the size and thickness of the stalk of the skin tag.
However, due to the accuracy and speed of the cut, any scars will be minor and eventually disappear. It is recommended to be careful not to disrupt the region while healing. Sharp scissors or knives can be used to remove skin tags. Occasionally, it is even carried out using specialized scissors or a narrow razor (Dermablade). The skin tag and its surroundings are numbed before any cuts are made. A local anesthetic or an anesthetic cream is typically used for this. The medical professional will promptly remove the skin tag after numbing the region(s). If there is any bleeding, the doctor will apply pressure to the area to stop it.
The outcomes are immediate, and skin tags don't typically regrow from the same stalk. Although a skin tag cannot grow back once it has been removed, it can develop another one nearby or in the exact location. The skin tag at the stalk will be removed during excision, allowing the patient to return home skin tag-free.
Suppose the skin tag that needs to be removed is small and has a narrow base. In that case, medical professionals may even suggest the patients remove them alone. For instance, they may advise tying off the bottom of the skin tag with dental floss or cotton to cut off the blood supply and make it drop off.
Skin tag laser removal
The doctor may first numb the region before using a specific laser to remove the skin tag. A minor wound from laser removal may develop, but it will heal.
The skin tag removal cost varies mainly depending on the technique used. A dermatologist can remove skin tags during an office visit that typically costs $150 out of pocket because cosmetic procedures are not covered by health insurance.
Can skin tags be cancerous?
The main concern that people who have developed skin tags have is "Are skin tags cancerous?". Even though the exact causes of skin tag development remains unknown, the good news is that skin tags are not cancerous and do not present any other health risks, as skin tag and cancer are not scientifically linked.
Is skin tag contagious?
Researchers have demonstrated that skin tags do not spread to oneself or the people around, meaning that this dermatological issue is not contagious.
Skin tag VS. mole
Moles, also known as nevi, are benign tumors that develop when melanocytes, which are skin cells, create masses of the more intense pigment known as melanin. Congenital moles are present at birth, whereas new moles might appear as individual ages.
To figure out whether an individual has a skin tag or mole, it is essential to understand the differences between the two. To make a comparison (mole with skin tag), moles typically develop deeper beneath the skin. In contrast, skin tags usually appear on the skin's surface. Skin tags cannot sprout hair, but moles can. The fact that some moles are precancerous and can develop into melanoma is what distinguishes moles from skin tags.
Skin tag VS. HPV / Skin tag VS. genital wart
Two typical skin problems are genital warts and skin tags. Because of where they grow and how they seem, they can be mistaken for one another.
The human papillomavirus (HPV), a common sexually transmitted infection (STI), is the main factor that causes genital warts. Genital warts often appear as lesions or pimples on the skin's surface that are flat or slightly elevated. They may resemble cauliflower and typically feel lumpy or rough. Genital warts, like skin tags, are neither harmful nor malignant, but they indicate an infection. Genital warts can disappear on their own, but treatment helps prevent them from spreading and ease any pain they may be causing.
The following are the primary distinctions between a skin tag or genital wart: Skin tags are often smooth, whereas genital warts are typically scratchy to the touch. Skin tags hang from the skin, whereas genital warts are generally flat or hardly elevated. Skin tags often form alone, although genital warts can occur in clusters.
Skin tag VS. Hemorrhoids
Hemorrhoids, commonly known as piles, are defined as enlarged veins located in the lower rectum and anus, resembling varicose veins. When these form inside the rectum, they are called internal hemorrhoids.
Nearly three out of every four adults will get hemorrhoids occasionally.
There are numerous causes of hemorrhoids. However, frequently, the reason is not known. Fortunately, there are treatments for hemorrhoids that work. Home remedies and alterations in lifestyle help a lot of people.
Hemorrhoids are uncomfortable, which is how they vary from perianal skin tags. Most of the time, perianal skin tags don't bleed, but hemorrhoids do when even minor irritation causes them to. Additionally, warts and perianal skin tags shouldn't be mistaken.
Skin tag during pregnancy
Due to changes in hormone levels, pregnant women may also be more prone to developing skin tags. In places where the skin scrapes against itself, such as the armpits, groin, and neck, skin tags frequently grow.
Skin tag growings are soft, noncancerous "bumps" that typically appear in the folds of the skin on the neck, under the arms, between the breasts, in the groin, and on the eyelids.
These lumps are loose collagen fibers stuck inside the skin's thicker layers. Nearly half of the population has skin tags, which are also very prevalent.
According to studies, older individuals, those who are overweight, and those who have diabetes are also more likely to experience them.
These skin lesions are often painless, but they could become uncomfortable if caught between skin, jewelry, or clothes.
Skin tags can resemble other skin disorders, including moles and warts.
The best action is to have the skin tags inspected by a licensed dermatologist because certain moles could be cancerous. Medical professionals or general practitioners can identify skin tags. They'll most likely conduct a visual examination in person, though telemedicine is also possible.
Most skin tags are benign growths, but if one is unusual or seems suspect, the doctor might take a biopsy just to be safe.
Since skin tags tend to be aesthetically unpleasing, especially if they develop on certain visible body areas, many individuals desire skin tag removals, which can be done using various techniques.
The most popular medical procedures that are used include cryotherapy, electrosurgery, surgical excision, and ligation. Since some skin tags can be safely removed at home, it is important to remember that large ones require professional treatment and consulting a dermatologist before doing so is the best option.