The first thing we will be doing is clarifying what exactly a skin tag is so that you do not end up confusing it with a mole or a wart. A skin tag is essentially a harmless growth on the skin. They usually exist as folds or small flaps on the skin and are benign most of the time.
Skin tags are pretty common in both genders and can occur at any age group, however, they become more common after adulthood as we grow older. What separates a skin tag from a mole or a wart is the fact that a skin tag will hang out via a stalk which is known as a peduncle. So, the skin tag is connected to the skin essentially via the stalk, differentiating it from any other type of growth.
Skin tags can be found anywhere on the body, but they are most commonly found in areas where the skin folds in itself. This is why skin tags can be found in places like armpits, under the breasts, around the groin, on the neck, and other places.
Being obese is also believed to increase the likelihood of your developing skin tags as well. Skin tags can grow in size a little over time since they can start out being as small as 2mm, but it does not spread.
Now skin tags are usually harmless and are benign growths, but in case you want to clear your doubts or if you have a skin tag that bleeds at times or has suddenly changed in physical appearance, you can get a biopsy of the skin tag done to rule out any possible cancer.
Once that possibility is ruled out, you can continue to ignore to live with the tags as they are, but if they are causing you problems or if you are not happy with how they look, you can choose to get them removed or try to remove them using a skin tag remover product yourself.
When a Skin Tag Might Become a Problem
As we have mentioned many times before, a skin tag is relatively harmless and does not cause any problems, however, if you are experiencing any of the following problems with your skin tags then you might want to consider getting them removed:
- If you happen to have a cluster of skin tags around a certain area that might be affecting your ability to do things, for example, a cluster or a large skin tag near your eye.
- If you happen to have large skin tags that might be rubbing against your clothes or the rest of your body, causing irritation and even possible bleeding.
- In case your skin tag is making it difficult to shave or wax yourself.
- If you are unhappy with the skin tag and find that it is affecting your confidence and self-esteem.
These are just a few situations that warrant getting a skin tag removed. Even if you do not have any problems and still want to get your skin tag removed, then you can do that as well.
Getting a Skin Tag Removed
When it comes to getting skin tags removed, you can go either go to a doctor and get it removed professionally or you can try to remove it yourself at home. Now there are some home remedies like using apple cider vinegar, tea tree oil, lemon juice, or vinegar over the skin tag.
However, there is no evidence to back them up, so the effectiveness of these remedies can be easily questioned in that regard. So, as of now, there are no home remedies or solutions that can deal with them effectively.
Some people also tend to try and remove their skin tags themselves at home, and this is not something we would recommend doing hastily. Trying to surgically remove the skin tag yourself can be complicated and it can hurt because your skin tag is still part of your skin and it does have blood flowing there, so cutting it off hastily can end up causing you to bleed and even get a scar.
The issue with trying to remove skin tags at home is that there is a risk of you not doing it correctly and leaving a mark, or not being able to disinfect properly and causing a possible infection in the area later on.
There are now different products that are created to remove skin tags at home, and while they might be effective, it is still advised to get a doctor’s approval before actually attempting to do the procedure on your own because you do not know about the type of skin tag you have and sending one for biopsy should always be done as an added precautionary measure that can benefit you in the long run.
If we talk about getting skin tags removed properly, then your doctor can use several different techniques depending on the nature of your skin tag and your doctor’s preference.
So, we will be going through some of the possible techniques down below:
- Cryotherapy: Cryotherapy involves the doctor using liquid nitrogen to effectively freeze the skin tag, and once that is done, they then go ahead and remove it.
- Electrotherapy: Electrotherapy is essentially the opposite of cryotherapy in the sense that it uses electrical energy to burn off the skin tag.
- Surgical Removal: This is a standard procedure that involves using surgical scissors and surgical scalpels to remove the skin tag.
- Ligation: This procedure involves tying the skin tag with a string and waiting for the blood supply to be cut off from the skin tag before actually removing it.
These are all relatively quick and painless procedures so you do not have to spend a lot of time in either the removal or recovery process. Local anesthesia can be used to reduce any pain, but it is generally not a procedure that requires any extra preparation or extensive recovery process. You can get it removed and then be back in your regular business an hour later.
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