Skin tags, also known as acrochordon is a fleshy growth on the top layer of the skin. It is extremely common and occurs in almost 50% of the adult population at least once in their lifetime. While most people don’t know much about skin tags, they must have seen one.
Facts you should know about skin tags
- They are formed because of rubbing of skin against skin and they occur in the places where skin forms creases like neck, armpit, and groin. They can sometimes occur on the eyelids too.
- Although it can occur to anyone, they are more common in women than in men. Also, elderly and obese people are more prone to this skin condition.
- Skin tags are a benign tumor that forms in the upper layer of the skin and there’s no definitely known involvement of any kind of pathogen in its formation.
- They are usually not painful and do not grow much in size. In fact, it may remain unnoticed for a long time unless you look at it. However, it can get irritated by clothes, jewelry, shaving or eczema.
- These are benign tumors and cannot develop into a cancerous tumor. Bottom line, they aren’t harmful at all.
Myths surrounding the skin tags
- Many people believe that its skin tag removal might cause more skin tags to grow. This is the major reason many people don’t think of removing it. This is a misconception since its removal has no such implications.
- A lot of people also think that a skin tag can be benign as well as malignant. To make sure which one they have, they need to get it checked with a dermatologist. As mentioned above, these can never be malignant.
- No, they’re not infectious. Since they are not caused by any kind of pathogen, it cannot get spread from one person to another by any means.
- Thinking that it is a genetic disorder if it occurs to a youngster is another big misconception. Youngsters are also very much likely to get skin tag. It doesn’t have to be genetic.
- Some people think that its removal can be painful. This is also not true since mostly the process is painless or causes very little pain. Whether you will experience pain or not depends on the method used to remove it.
What problem can a skin tag cause?
In reality, a skin tag can cause no harm to you. The problems that you may face because of a skin tag can be either irritation due to rubbing/catching on clothes or its aesthetic appearance. It can be a cause of embarrassment to some people which may lower their confidence.
What are the available treatments of a skin tag?
Below is a list of some of the common methods used by doctors to remove a skin tag.
- Cutting it off with a surgical scalpel or scissors: A plastic surgeon or a dermatologist uses a scalpel or scissor to cut the tag off from the skin. It may require stitching if the tag is big. Doctors may recommend antibiotics after this surgery.
- Freezing it off using liquid nitrogen: Your doctor may use liquid nitrogen to freeze off the skin cells. This will make them dead and the skin tag will get removed by itself.
- Burning off the tag: An electric current may be used by your doctor for burning the skin tag. The stem of the skin tag is burned off, thereby making it narrow. The burning helps in preventing bleeding.
Removal of skin tag might form a scar as the skin will get broken. But the scar will fade with time. The scar will always be preferable than the skin tag itself.
You should make sure the dermatological clinic you are choosing have experienced doctors and plastic surgeons, for example, London Dermatology Clinic.