Skin tags are a common benign skin condition. In your lifetime, there is a good chance you’ll experience at least one of these fleshy growths, perhaps more. However, you may not even realize it, depending on where it shows up and how many you have.
We want to understand the causes of skin tags. Specifically, why do people develop skin tags when they get older? The truth about the cause remains a mystery.
Most medical professionals agree that skin tags are most likely caused by friction. This can be from skin rubbing against skin, clothing, jewelry, etc. That’s why some suggest people who are overweight are more prone to skin tags.
- Fact: According to the National Institute of Health, 59% of people will have at least one skin tag by the time they are 70 years old.
So, is age a factor? Do we just become more susceptible to bodily changes, illness, and weight gain as we get older? Let’s take a closer look.
Why Do More Skin Tags Appear with Age?
Most people will experience skin tags after ‘midlife.’ While children and young adults aren’t immune, people over the age of 50 are more likely to develop them. Several factors play into this connection with age. While you won’t be able to do anything that is ‘guaranteed’ to prevent the growth of skin tags, knowing the possible causes can help you to take steps to avoid them.
Weight Gain & Diabetes
Skin tags are often caused by friction. As we age, it’s common for people to gain weight. Any folds in the skin can become a prime area for skin-on-skin rubbing. You don’t have to gain much amount of weight to get these ‘folds.’ Any area of your body where you notice your skin rubbing together, such as around the eyes and armpit area, can be affected. And people who do carry excess weight are also more likely to have health problems.
Diabetes can affect almost anyone at any age. But diabetes is ‘associated’ with weight gain, and even sometimes with age. People with the condition are often more prone to benign skin growths. If you have diabetes or pre-diabetes symptoms, you’re more likely to get skin tags on the face and body.
Getting older can also cause changes to our skin. It can begin to ‘sag,’ which makes getting these growths more likely. Anywhere on your body where your skin is ‘loose,’ or prone to rubbing against something, you might notice skin tags.
Family History & Genetics
Acrochordons can be a genetic or hereditary condition. Simply put, if skin tags run in your family, you’re far more likely to get them. Sometimes, there are no other factors than genetics, so there isn’t that much you can do to avoid getting them.
Keep in mind, however, that if your parents or other members of your family have skin tags, it doesn’t guarantee that you will. It’s a hereditary trait that may or may not get passed on to you, just like many other health ailments.
Women are known to get skin tags more than men, especially at certain points in their lives. This is typically for two reasons, but both have to do with hormonal shifts. Women going through pregnancy are more susceptible to skin tags. As women age, however, going through menopause can cause more changes in their hormone levels. Again, this can sometimes lead to skin tags appearing.
Treatment is simple, regardless of your age. It isn’t necessary. Unless you spot signs of an infection, inflammation, etc., several factors potentially cause skin tags are harmless.
People choose to get rid of skin tags to enhance their appearance. Treatments don’t change, no matter your age. To remove skin tags, you must ‘cut off’ the blood flow to the skin tag itself. Here are some effective methods:
- Medical: Skin tags can be removed by a doctor. This is done by scalpel surgery, laser removal, cryogenics, or burning the skin tags off. This is an outpatient service that is considered a cosmetic procedure that’s not covered by insurance.
- Products: Products like the TagBand, etc., are designed to cut off blood flow with a small band that you leave attached. Many people have enjoyed success, and there are no side effects.
- Home remedies: You’ll find dozens of natural solutions, but one of the most potent is Australian tea tree oil.
Skin Tags at Any Age
Several factors can potentially cause skin tags as we get older. There is nothing to fear from these small flaps of skin, even if they don’t look nice. If you are concerned that there’s a problem, a doctor can perform a biopsy and send it away to a laboratory for further testing.
Should you notice that skin tags are starting to appear on your body, you can seek out removal options. If appearance isn’t important to you, you can live with skin tags forever with no problems. Just be aware that they’re unlikely to go away on their own unless they somehow become twisted and deprived of oxygen.
You do need to make the correct medical diagnosis. And, if you do have many skin tags, get a full health check up from a doctor. You need to check if you should make a few lifestyle adjustments to lose weight or help deal with diabetes. It’s worth checking, if only for peace-of-mind.