Skin tags, medically known as acrochorda, are considered acquired, benign skin growths which resemble a small piece of hanging skin. They are quite common and harmless. Some people are more prone to skin tags than others. The condition affects both genders equally. The occurrence of skin tags is associated with hereditary factors and it is believed that being moderately overweight or having large breasts carries a higher risk for these benign growths. The occurrence of skin tags increases as a person gets older.
Even though skin tags may fall off due to frequent rubbing of the affected skin and clothing, many of them remain in their original site. Skin tags protrude from the affected skin and can be found on any part of the body. Still they are most commonly found on the eyelids, neck, chest, groin area, under the breasts and armpits. Skin tag consists of blood vessels and collagen which are trapped and eventually form a benign growth.
What Causes Skin Tags?
Being such as common condition, many people wonder what causes skin tags. Although the actual cause of skin tags has not been identified yet, it is believed that these benign growths occur due to various factors.
One cause of skin tags is definitely excessive rubbing of the skin. Rubbing of the skin and friction generally affect skin folds. Extreme and excessive friction of the skin is typical for obese people and it also affects the skin of the abdomen and lower part of the breasts in women with large breasts. Furthermore, pregnant women as well as patients suffering from type 2 diabetes are at higher risk of developing these benign growths. And finally, in some people there is a genetic predisposition to skin tags.
How to Get Rid of Skin Tags?
It is not recommended for a person to remove skin tags by himself/ herself prior consultation with a doctor. These benign growths first need to be confirmed. Only a well experienced dermatologist can confirm the diagnosis.
Once the diagnosis has been set a patient is explained available treatment. Even though there are many non-surgical treatments patients generally opt for surgical removal of skin tags. Surgical procedure for skin tag removal includes cauterization, cryosurgery, surgical ligation or excision of the skin tag.
Yes, the surgical removal is definitely the most efficient way to get rid of skin tags but there are also alternative treatments. The doctor may recommend an over-the-counter solution that causes skin tag removal. This solution freezes the skin tag and the benign growth falls off within 7-10 days.