What Can I Do about Skin Tags?
If you're wondering how to remove skin tags, you're not alone. We often meet with people who want to know what they can do about these frustrating little growths. Medically speaking, skin tags are acrochordon or fibroepithelial polyps. They are benign and composed of normal skin tissue. They may not be medically concerning, but they can be unappealing. Here, we discuss what makes a person prone to skin tags, and what we can do about them.
What, Exactly, Is a Skin Tag?
Skin tags are extremely common. These fleshy overgrowths can develop anywhere on the body. We see them on the face and neck, but more commonly on areas in which there is frequent friction. Examples include the groin folds, inner thighs, armpits, and under the breasts. They do not need to be removed, but many people choose to try home remedies or get professional skin tag treatment from their dermatologist. Usually for cosmetic reasons, but there are times when a skin tag may cause discomfort. In some areas, they are difficult to shave around. In others, they may get twisted or caught in clothing or jewelry, causing discomfort.
Why Do Some People Seem to Get All the Skin Tags?
Some people just get to have all the fun. And some get all the skin tags. If you have multiple tissue overgrowths on your body, you may feel like you’re the only one. You’re not, but we understand that is no consolation. Some of the reasons why people get skin tags include:
- Weight. Excess weight can increase the areas in which friction occurs, which in turn increases the chances of skin tags.
- Pregnancy. During pregnancy, a woman’s entire body is affected by growth. As a woman’s body changes, she may develop more areas of friction. If her blood sugar increases with gestational diabetes, she may have an even higher risk of getting skin tags.
- Diabetes. It isn’t just gestational diabetes that can increase the risk of skin tags. People with diabetes tend to have more of these growths, though doctors don’t fully understand why. One theory is that insulin resistance is somehow involved.
Treating Skin Tags
One recommendation for decreasing the potential risks of future skin tags is to eat a healthy, low-sugar diet. This is beneficial for people without diabetes, as well as those with the chronic condition.
A dermatologist can remove existing skin tags as needed. Small growths may be treated with liquid nitrogen. A few sprays of ultra-cold gas usually cause skin tags to fall off within a few days. Larger skin tags may be “surgically removed” in the office. The doctor injects a small amount of lidocaine in the area, then uses a sharp medical instrument to snip the growth. It is not advisable to cut a skin tag with nail scissors or standard scissors. Doing so could result in inflammation and pain.
Skin tags can be an unattractive problem. We can help you eliminate them. Contact us at 206-859-5777 or schedule an appointment here.