What are skin tags? Are at-home skin tag removal methods safe?

What are skin tags? Are at-home skin tag removal methods safe?

What are skin tags - Healthians
Contributed by – Healthians team

Acne, psoriasis, eczema, sunburn – the list of common skin issues is long. But most of them can be avoided because we know what causes them. What about those skin issues causes of which are not clearly known? If you are wondering what we are talking about – it’s skin tags. They are so common that most of us experience them at some point. But the thing is, the cause of skin tags isn’t yet clear which might make preventing them a little tricky. So, here we talk about everything you need to know about skin tags – from what they are to whether you ought to remove them at home. 


What are skin tags?

They are nothing but extra pieces of skin sticking out beyond the surface of the body. They usually tend to occur on eyelids, armpits, under the breasts, groin, upper chest or neck. Most of the time they go unnoticed unless they are in a prominent spot. Sometimes they rub off or fall painlessly or they may burst under pressure. Once formed, they typically don’t get any bigger, but if they continue to grow in size or change color, then see a dermatologist immediately.


What causes skin tags?

There are many possible theories, but it’s unclear exactly what causes skin tags. They are commonly seen in skin folds, so it is believed that friction may play a role. Insulin resistance is also thought to be a possible cause of these tags. Besides, they are also a common side effect of pregnancy. Pregnancy hormones and weight gain may be the cause here. And in rare cases, they can be a sign of hormonal imbalances


Are skin tags a sign of cancer?

If you are wondering whether skin tags are a sign of cancer, then the answer is no. They are not a sign of cancer. They are benign and harmless. These tags can appear on just one spot or you may notice a group of them. But they are normal and absolutely nothing to be afraid of.

[Also read: Not every tumor is cancerous]


Skin tags, warts and moles - Healthians

Are skin tags, warts, and moles the same?

Skin tags, warts, and moles are often confused to be the same but they are not. Skin tags look like flaps of skin usually connect by a thin stalk. Whereas, warts feel like a hard bump and go deep in the skin. Although they may be smooth on the top, they are thick and scaly. Unlike skin tags, they are contagious and start from a virus. And lastly, moles take a long time to grow and are the most serious of these three. Moles are pigmented and have hair on them. What makes them dangerous is the fact that they have the potential to turn into skin cancer. 


Are skin tags painful?

They aren’t typically painful but they can be bothersome due to the friction caused by clothes and accessories you wear. If in case your tags are painful and are bleeding, you should get them checked by a professional.


How to get rid of skin tags?

While tiny tags may fall off on their own, you’ll be forced to remove the ones that bother or irritate you. While in the vast worldwide web there are hundreds of suggestions for at-home skin tag removal methods but mind you, it’s not a good idea. Some of the popular home remedies to get rid of those tags that may end up causing bleeding, burns, and infections. So make sure that you research their safety and hygiene factors before taking a plunge. If you are really bothered and want to do something then we suggest you consult a doctor who’ll probably use one or a combination of these procedures to get rid of skin tags:

  • Cauterization: The skin tag is burned off using electrolysis
  • Cryosurgery: The skin tag is frozen off using a probe containing liquid nitrogen
  • Ligation: The blood supply to the skin tag is interrupted
  • Excision: The tag is cut out with a scalpel
  • Over-the-counter solutions: These freeze the skin tag and it falls off after 7 to 10 days.

While getting rid of these tags is a personal choice, why poke something that isn’t causing any harm?


Do you know your health status? 

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