What Causes Skin Tags?
Skin tags are small skin growths that are benign in nature and develop based on a variety of risk factors. These include:
- Insulin resistance (ex. Diabetes)
- Skin chafing
Who Gets Skin Tags?
Just about anyone can develop a skin tag. However, skin tags tend to be more common among:
- Older individuals
- Overweight or obese individuals
- Patients with a family history of skin tags
How Can I Prevent Skin Tags?
In some cases, you can prevent skin tags through avoidance of specific clothing or jewelry that can irritate your skin. You can also prevent skin tags by ensuring your skin stays dry and does not rub in skin fold areas. You may even find it beneficial to apply baby powder to areas that are prone to chafing. However, you may simply be genetically prone to skin tags, in which case there is not much that you can do to prevent them from forming.
Why Treat Skin Tags?
Skin tags are benign, meaning that they do not pose a health risk. However, you may wish to have a skin tag removed because it is physically or cosmetically bothersome. Often, our patients choose to remove skin tags because they frequently catch on clothing or jewelry. Regardless, it is best to have skin tags removed by a board-certified dermatologist rather than attempting to treat them yourself at home in order to avoid infection, excess discomfort, or bleeding.
How Can I Treat Skin Tags?
Your dermatologist may remove a skin tag in one of several methods. Prior numbing of the skin with a topical or injectable anesthetic will be performed if needed. Skin tag removal methods include:
- Excision, or carefully cutting the skin tag off with a scalpel or scissors
- Cryotherapy, or freezing the skin tag using liquid nitrogen
- Electrocautery, or applying heat to the area
Once your skin tag is removed, your dermatologist will then apply bandages as necessary. The entire process can be completed in a matter of minutes.
Schedule an Appointment
If you have a skin tag that you are not happy with because it is irritating, catches and pulls on clothing, or you simply do not like the look of it, a board-certified dermatologist can evaluate the growth and effectively remove it using the best treatment option for you.