Skin Tags - Causes, Symptoms and Treatment
Skin tags are also called as pedunculated papillomas or fibroepithelial polyps. These are small benign tumors that form primarily in areas where the skin forms creases, such as the neck, armpits, and groin. They also occur on the face, usually on the eyelids. They range in size from two to five millimeters, although larger ones have been seen. Skin tags typically appear as people age. They are quite common in people 60 and older. They are more common in women. A tendency to develop skin tags may run in families. Skin tags also develop commonly after pregnancy. It is generally not recommended that you remove skin tags yourself because of the increased risk of infection and excessive bleeding. In addition other skin growths can resemble skin tags and should only be removed by a doctor. Occasionally they fall off of their own accord but this isn't common.
- Exact cause of skin tags is unknown.
- Age may be a risk factor. They are much more common with age beginning in middle age.
- This is more common in females as compared to males.
- Overweight and diabetes may also be the causes of skin tags. Cutaneous skin tags are more common in people who are overweight or who have diabetes.
- They may be irritated from rubbing by clothing or other materials.
- A skin tag at first may appear as a tiny soft bump on the skin. Over time, it grows into a flesh-colored piece of skin.
- The skin tags are usually very small and benign but sometimes in complex situations they may be half an inch long.
- They are generally present on neck, armpits, trunk and body folds. Yet they can occur anywhere on the whole body.
- The skin tags may have a narrow stalk.
- The color of the skin tags is usually skin colored and occasionally darker.
- Skin tags are usually asymptomatic but may be irritating.
- A skin tag is painless, although it can become irritated if it is rubbed a lot.
- A blood clot can develop within a skin tag and it may become painful.
- Skin tags are usually harmless and painless and need no special treatment. However in some severe condition and for cosmetic reasons some treatments are done.
- Cryotherapy: Your doctor may destroy skin tags and some small, early skin cancers by freezing them with liquid nitrogen. The dead tissue sloughs off when it thaws.
- Tying off the tag with a thread or suture so as to cut off the blood supply may also be the treatments which are done.
- Doctors remove skin tags with sharp scissors, a sharp blade. This need a lot of care and a risk of infection is always there. So, this should always be done by a regular practitioner.
- Bleeding can be stopped with a chemical such as aluminum chloride or electric treatment. Because skin tags are only a cosmetic concern, not a medical problem, most health insurance plans will not pay for their removal.
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