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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

Persistent or Recurring Rash? We Should Talk

A rash can be a frustrating little problem. The itching, irritation, redness, and swelling that come with the average rash could be triggered by any number of things, from temperature to allergens and even by stress. Sometimes, a rash indicates that there is something more going on, such as eczema. If you have a rash that returns or persists, your dermatologist can help you determine its true cause.

So, what is eczema, exactly?

Eczema is a kind of dermatitis, or rash. It is a condition that causes the skin to look red and bumpy and to feel itchy. At first glance, eczema may look no different than a normal rash. It isn’t. Eczema is an ongoing problem that will return periodically. For this reason, it is a type of rash that needs to be managed.

Facts About Eczema

  • More than 18 million adults have this condition, equaling approximately 7% of the adult population.
  • More than 9.5 million, or approximately 13% of children have eczema.
  • Eczema favors nooks and crannies, such as the bends in knees and elbows.
  • Itching begins before visible symptoms. The rash comes after the itch.
  • Itching causes the skin to become crusty and scaly.

Is Heat Rash Eczema?

Heat rash and eczema are not the same thing. In fact, heat rash is not considered a form of dermatitis at all. This condition, in which skin irritation occurs in a heat-sensitive area such as the groin or neck, relates to the sweat glands. When the body becomes extraordinarily hot, some sweat glands may become blocked. Without an exit, sweat permeates the tissue around the blocked gland where it causes inflammation.

Are all rashes eczema?

Many of the rashes that occur are a form of contact dermatitis. This means that irritation and itching are caused by something that has touched the skin. Common triggers of contact dermatitis include:

  • Detergents including laundry soap, body soap, and shampoo.
  • Prolonged time in a wet diaper or even a bathing suit can cause a rash.
  • Fabric softener.
  • Chemicals in cleaning or grooming products.

Schedule a Consultation for a Persistent Rash

If a rash continues, becomes severe, or periodically returns, there is good reason to have your skin examined. Most rashes are not a significant concern. However, excessive itching does pose a risk of skin infection or scarring. We’re here to help you understand what may be causing a frustrating rash. Call 206-859-5777 to schedule a consultation and skin exam in our Renton or Seattle office.

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Thank you for choosing Pacific Dermatology & Cosmetic Center, we look forward to providing you with the very best skin care.