Skin tags are bits of flesh-coloured bumps of tissue that connect to the skin’s surface via a narrow stalk. Also known as soft fibromas, fibroepithelial polyps or acrochordons, these small, non-cancerous growths are very common, especially as people age. They don’t pose any concerns to your health and don’t need to be removed, except in rare cases where they develop on the ear of children, increasing the risk for hearing problems.
Causes of skin tags
Skin tags are commonly located where the skin rubs against clothing or skin, like on the neck, eyelids, and underarms, as well as within body folds such as the groin area or under the breasts. They may also be linked to obesity and genetics, though there is no sure way to reduce the risk of developing skin tags.
Removing skin tags
Skin tags generally don’t cause any symptoms unless you repeatedly irritate them by rubbing them against clothing, jewelry or other items. Though they are harmless, they don’t go away unless you get treatment.
If you want to get rid of them because of the irritation or because you don’t like how they look, you should consult your dermatologist to make a proper diagnosis, because other benign skin conditions can imitate the appearance of a tag, such as warts, moles, and seborrheic keratoses. Skin tags can also indicate the presence of malignant skin cancers like melanoma and endocrine or hormonal syndromes such as acromegaly or polycystic ovary syndrome. So, it is best to seek medical evaluation and diagnosis before you attempt any home or professional treatment.
If your dermatologist determines that you have benign skin tags, there are simple and effective ways to remove them, including:
To avoid unnecessary health risks, these techniques should only be performed under the guidance of your dermatologist. No anaesthetic is necessary to remove small tags, though you may require local anaesthesia for larger growths, anaesthetic cream for multiple tags or surgical excision for tags with a broad base.
If you choose to remove your skin tags, you should be aware of the risks involved. For instance, there may be minor bleeding or a local infection when the tag is snipped. Procedures such as burning and freezing are not instant and they could result in skin discolouration; plus, you may need repeat treatments if the tag grows back or if new tags grow in other areas.
"Great service and experience. I went in for a microdermabrasion treatment and they did a wonderful job! I would recommend Fairview to anyone!"
"I had a great experience at Fairview Laser. I was interested in a few laser treatments to treat surface discolouration on my skin and she took the time to explain each option and recommend ones that would best suit my needs."
"I had such a wonderful experience at Fairview Laser Clinic. Dr. Jain is really experienced and I saw the results I was looking for right away."