Skin tags are the growth of a small piece of skin that hangs onto the body by a thin stalk. They’re medically known as an acrochordon. So, are skin tags dangerous? They’re benign. They may grow on the eyelids, on the neck, in the groin area, or under the armpits. They are non-cancerous, but they may cause discomfort depending on where they are growing. They vary in size and shape and are usually darker than the skin.
Some skin tags are significantly raised off the skin by a peduncle. This refers to the small piece of skin which creates a branch-like appearance on the skin where it is hanging. They are benign but are still called tumors because they are an ‘abnormal’ growth on the body.
They may cause discomfort and could even lead to a painful infection when they grow on a body part that encounters a lot of contact with other skin or fabric. This may irritate the tag, causing it to become infected, sore or painful. Even if they are not sourced deep into the skin, they will still cause you to pain during skin tag infection treatment or removal.
Skin Tags & What Causes Them
[two_third_first]There are no definite causes of skin tags. But upon microscopic infection of this growth, tags look as though they are a layer of skin wrapping under another layer of skin, forming a lump that causes skin tags. They don’t even have to be removed unless you’re bothered by their discomfort or appearance.
If you do want to get rid of an unsightly skin tag, you’ll probably prefer to use a natural method. Most people have found that tea tree oil is a highly- effective way to remove them, and you don’t have to worry about any scarring.[/two_third_first]
Who Is Most Likely to Get Them?
Skin tags are often found in almost anyone, and you can be at risk of skin tags whether you are young or old, a man or a woman. They may be caused by genetic conditions and are passed on from one generation to the next.
However, parents having skin tags do not automatically mean that their kids are guaranteed to grow skin tags too. In most cases though, these skin tags start to show later in life. They often start to show around 45, but they are not confined to affect the older population.
Common Skin Tag Infection Symptoms
Skin tags are often fresh-colored or brown growth, in the case of light-skinned people, on the skin. They may be wrinkled or smooth and may be as small as 1 mm or as protruding as a grape. While it may be hard to spot that very thin stalk attaching the skin tags to the skin, they all look like small raised bumps. This is one of the skin tag infection symptoms to take note of.
Twisting the skin tag may cause it to change color as you’re cutting off its blood supply. This skin growth is not usually painful and is not linked to any other symptoms or skin conditions. But people with diabetes or who are suffering from acanthosis nigricans are more prone to getting skin tags.
Potential Risks That They Pose
Skin tags growing in the groin area or skin tags on inner thighs may be associated with genital warts. These are viruses caused by a sexually transmitted disease that manifest as skin tags around the groin. The infected tags may appear on the penis, vagina, vulva, anus, scrotum, or inner thigh. About 1% of the population suffers from genital warts, which can be transmitted through physical intimacy.
It might help if you know the difference between skin tags and genital warts. Skin tags are small skin growths connected to the underlying skin by a slim and short stalk. Genital warts, on the other hand, are flat, raised or cauliflower-shaped skin growths with a pink or flesh-colored appearance. They may be large or small and may grow alone or with a cluster.
Are they contagious? No, common skin tags are not contagious. People don’t get them from other people and do not transmit them either.
Unlike warts that are contagious as they are caused by human papillomavirus (HPV), skin tags are not triggered by HPV.
Other Associated Problems
Aside from their appearance, tags usually don’t cause discomfort or pain. They only show symptoms when they are frequently irritated when rubbed against cloth, skin or jewelry. Most people have them removed due to cosmetic reasons. They may also be removed when they start bleeding or become black overnight from repeated twisting or death of the tissues. There are times when they get snagged by jewelry, clothing, seat belts or pets. Other than that, skin tags are benign growths.
Treatment of Skin Tags
After getting a skin tag checked and making sure that it is benign and not related to any other medical condition, treatments should be applied. There are treatments available for removing this growing skin. It can be frozen using liquid nitrogen to help knock it off the skin fast, a treatment called cryotherapy. Some burn or cauterize the growth, while others snip it off using surgical scissors. There are procedures that even require the use of anesthesia in the case of small tags. Larger skin tags are often removed with the help of a topical numbing cream.
[two_third_first]However, there are also home remedies that you can use to easily and cheaply remove skin tag infection. You may use castor oil, lemon juice, garlic juice, banana peel, apple cider vinegar, tea tree oil, black walnut hull, and oregano oil, among others. Some people use nail polish for skin tags, with varying levels of success.
Some people worry that removing skin tags may cause more skin tags to grow. However, there is no definite evidence to prove this. There is no proof that skin tags spread during removal. It’s just that some people tend to develop more skin tags during treatment and may get new growths, with or without the skin tags removal. In some cases, people need periodic tag removals, following an annual or even a quarterly schedule.[/two_third_first]
Skin Tag Prevention Methods
There are no solid steps that you can follow to guarantee that skin tags won’t appear. But when they developed after a significant weight gain, losing weight may help.
The removal of the tag is often enough to treat it, but some people find that they return or others appear. That’s why you need to continue using the best way to get rid of skin tags if and when they do return.