Wondering about skin tag removal?
Here’s how skin tag removal works, the best ways to remove skin tags, and why doing it yourself isn’t a great option.
What Causes Skin Tags?
The exact cause of skin tags isn’t known, but they’re usually nothing to worry about. They are small, benign skin growths connected to the skin’s surface by a narrow stem, are not cancerous, and pose no risk.
Skin tags appear when the body produces extra cells on the skin’s top layers. They’re made up of loose collagen fibers and blood vessels surrounded by skin and can be as small as a millimeter or up to five centimeters.
They most commonly appear on the neck, arms, eyelids, and in skin folds like under breasts or in the groin area. Friction plays a role in their development, and they can rub against skin, clothing, or jewelry, causing discomfort.
Around half of all adults will experience skin tags at least once in their lifetime. Obesity and genetics may increase their likelihood, as can diabetes, skin disorders, and hormonal changes like those occurring during pregnancy.
They are more common in older adults and are not contagious. Other names for skin tags include acrochordons, soft fibromas, and fibroepithelial polyps.
How to Get Rid of a Skin Tag
Skin tags most often will not go away on their own. If they don’t bother you, there’s no need to do anything about them.
But while harmless, they can be irritating, rubbing against other skin, clothing, or jewelry, sometimes to the point of bleeding. They can also be unsightly, causing self-consciousness and emotional distress. In these cases, you may seek to remove your skin tags.
Do not try to remove your skin tags on your own. There are home remedies and over-the-counter products available for skin tag removal, but they are not safe and can cause problems like scars, bleeding (since the skin tags include blood vessels), infection, incomplete removal (so the skin tag may grow back), and damage to the healthy skin around the skin tag. Don’t try to tie off your skin tag with dental floss, as this method can also cause problems.
The best way to remove a skin tag involves medical professionals. Let’s explore the skin tag removal process.
The Best Way to Remove Skin Tags
The safest way to get rid of your uncomfortable or unsightly skin tags is by seeking the help of a medical professional. Various health experts are qualified to help you eliminate these small growths.
But when there may be complicating factors, a dermatologist should be the one to remove skin tags.
A dermatologist who removes skin tags can properly diagnose a skin tag, making sure it isn’t something else, like a wart, mole, or skin cancer. In rare cases, multiple skin tags can indicate a hormonal or endocrine problem, such as polycystic ovarian syndrome.
An ophthalmologist, an eye specialist, may need to be involved if the skin tag appears in a sensitive area like an eyelid, so as not to damage the eye or surrounding skin.
Never try to remove a skin tag yourself. The removal process requires the aid of professionals in a sterile environment. Methods for removing skin tags include:
- Freezing with liquid nitrogen (a cold gas)
- Electric burning or cautery
- Sterile surgical scissors or scalpel
Small tags probably won’t need any anesthesia, but larger tags or multiple tags may require local anesthesia. If the base of the skin tag is wide, surgical excision may be necessary.
Once removed, a scab will form, eventually falling off. There may be a slight discoloration of the skin that can fade over time.
American Family Care: For Your Urgent Care Skin Tag Removal
American Family Care has the right care, right now, for your skin tag removal and more. We offer warm care and convenience for your whole family at our neighborhood walk-in clinics.
At most of our clinics, you can walk in during normal business hours and be seen by a medical professional without a long wait, an appointment, or a referral.
For accessible, affordable, and convenient care for you and your family, visit your nearest American Family Care. Find a location today.