Skin tags, or acrochordons, are fleshy growths that can appear on the skin. They’re extremely common, and it is estimated that around 50% of all adults will develop at least one in their lifetime. What causes skin tags?
Bunches of collagen or blood vessels that become trapped inside thicker areas of skin are the primary reason why people get skin tags. This build-up happens as a result of skin rubbing and causes a growth that is usually of the same pigmentation as your skin.
The most important thing to know is that they are not a medical concern. They are benign tumors, which means they cannot develop cancerous properties and are not harmful to your health in any way at all.
The most common recommendation is that they are not medically treated. However, this opinion may change as a result of several separate factors; if the skin tag grows to a large size, it bleeds easily, or its existence is causing a psychological impact on the individual. Apply some Australian tea tree oil – they’ll dry up and fall off within 3 to 6 weeks.
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Doctors are so convinced of they’re harmlessness that any operation to remove them is classed as a cosmetic procedure, rather than a medical one. This does, however, mean that any professional help you seek is likely to cost more. Other names used to refer to skin tags medically include an acrochordon, fibroma molluscum, papilloma colli, cutaneous tag, and Templeton skin tags.
What Causes Skin Tags to Occur?
Most places that tags are prone to develop are not entirely visible, in areas that can be covered up very easily. However, they can grow in areas such as the face and upper neck, which aren’t as easy to cover up.
If you regularly choose to wear tight clothing that rubs against skin, then this can increase the chance of skin tags appearing in that particular area. Jewelry can also be a similar cause, and if your skin is irritated by a chain, then skin tags may form.
Who is Most at Risk of Skin Tags?
Although anyone can get them, skin tags are more prevalent in specific groups:
- Individuals that are obese or overweight are more likely to experience skin folds that rub together and cause friction, which is the primary cause of skin tags developing.
- Women who are going through pregnancy are more likely to develop them than the average person. The extra hormones that are being secreted by her body, which can have a variety of different implications aside from skin tags.
- Those that suffer from diabetes. This can be commonly linked to individuals that are also medically obese, as previously mentioned.
- Individuals that use, or have used steroids may find that development of skin tags is more pronounced. Because of the nature of many steroids, it can help to form buildups of collagen and allow skin fibers to bond and form skin tags.
There also is a genetic component to the likelihood of an individual developing one or multiple skin tags. If close family members that have skin tags, it may be a sign that you are also susceptible. That’s why you need to know what causes skin tags.
Age is also a critical factor to consider. As a general rule, the older a person is, the more likely they are to have developed skin tags on their body. This could be a result of two different reasons. As you grow older the likelihood of skin tags increases, meaning that you are more likely to get a skin tag.
Furthermore, body chemistry changes as you grow older and results in the increased likelihood that you will develop a skin tag. According to statistics, almost 60% of people will have experienced at least one skin tag by the age of 70 years.
Fast & Safe Removal of Skin Tags at Home
If you want to remove skin tags at home, then there are a variety of ways you can go about doing this. You can either choose to consult your doctor and ask them about the possibilities of removal time and cost or seek to eliminate it manually at home.
Some doctors will cut off skin tags with a scalpel or scissors, which may require some anesthesia to numb the area before removal. This will ensure that you won’t experience any pain during the procedure.
Other doctoral procedures available may be cauterization, which is another word for electrolysis. Other prefer to freeze off skin tags, which inhibits oxygenation of the tumor. Whichever method is used, it is likely to be very quick and safe.
If you’d like to skip the hassle of scheduling an appointment and traveling to a doctor’s surgery, then you may want to tackle the problem at home. Some over-the-counter skin tag removal products have been designed to get rid of them, with varying effectiveness. Ensure you do thorough research into average review scoring for each product before any purchase; this is the most accurate barometer of whether a product will be useful as a skin tag removal solution.
Manufactured skin tag creams can cost around $20. If your budget doesn’t extend this far, then there are always cheaper alternatives you can try. If you have any dental floss at home already, try tying off the skin tag tightly with it or use the TagBand. This will restrict blood supply, and hopefully cause the skin tag to die and fall off. This process will take about seven days, and requires thorough cleaning of the skin tag area both before and after treatment. Other prefer all-natural solutions, such as applying tea tree oil directly to the skin tag.
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Skin tags can develop on almost anyone, in some different areas of the body. Despite being considered unaesthetic, they aren’t harmful and removing them is regarded as a cosmetic procedure. Some groups such as those that are pregnant, overweight or diabetic are more likely to develop skin tags.