The skin tag is the harmless, small benign growth of skin cells in areas where the skin folds and rubs itself. The skin tags commonly appear in the areas such as the neck, eyelids, armpit, or groin. These are skin-colored growth on the skin that ranges from a few millimeters to a few centimeters. Both men and women can develop skin tags, and people who are obese or have type-2 diabetes are more likely to develop skin tags.
Before you think of doing anything regarding the removal of the skin tag, you must be aware that these tiny flesh-like skin growths do not create any harm to the skin and do not resemble the malignin skin cell growth.
What Does a Skin Tag Look Like?
Skin tags can occur in people of any age group, regardless of gender and health conditions. The skin tag, also known as acrochordons, looks like a cluster of skin tissues expanding out of the skin from a tiny stem. It may often be considered a mole, but its formation does not resemble a mole in any way. Some skin tags can even grow up to a few centimeters.
Skin tags are usually formed when the extra skin cells are produced and gathered in the top layer of the skin, most of the time in the places where organs naturally rub against the skin.
Although skin tags or Acrochordons are not painful or alarming for human health, they may look slightly disturbing or bothersome, especially in visible places such as the face or neck. You put on your favorite neckpiece but unfortunately, you get an uncomfortable feeling when the jewelry piece gets snagged by the skin tag. It can be slightly painful and affect your self-esteem, as any irregular skin formation may invite unwanted comments.
Risk Factors for Developing Skin Tags
You will be surprised to know that almost half of adults get at least one skin tag in their lifetime. Although any person can develop a skin tag at any point in their life, it is more likely to develop in overweight people as they have extra fat folds which rub against the skin.
Skin tags are more common in those who are:
- Type-2 diabetic
- Having hormonal imbalance
- Inherited by the genes
- Obese and having high cholesterol level
Difference Between Warts and Skin Tags
A Skin tag and a wart may look similar in appearance, but they have differences that make them easy to differentiate.
- The wart has a rougher and irregular surface, while the skin tag may look soft and smooth.
- The wart is raised above the skin but has a flat surface, while the skin tag has a hanging surface.
- A wart spreads quickly and can even lead to clusters. On the other hand, the skin tag is not contagious and does not spread throughout.
How to Remove the Skin Tag?
The skin tag is not related to any health concern; however, your doctor might recommend removing it if it looks weird or causes any pain when caught on clothing. A skin tag may get removed naturally on its own, but if you want its immediate removal or if it’s taking too long to go away, you may go through various medical and cosmetic procedures.
Many patients opt for surgical and non-surgical treatments to get rid of skin tags. In any surgical procedure, local anesthesia is applied to the area to numb it. Some popular skin tag removal treatments are as follows:
During this surgical procedure, chemicals or electricity are used to heat the skin tissue that burns the skin tag.
The electric current is passed during this treatment that destroys abnormal tissue growth such as skin tag.
The process of cutting down the blood supply towards the skin tag through the surgical thread. Ligation results in dropping off the skin tag by tying off the skin base through dental floss or any surgical thread.
During cryosurgery, a cold liquid nitrogen or an instrument called a cryoprobe is used to freeze and break down the growth of skin tags. The cold substances used in cryosurgery include liquid nitrous oxide, liquid nitrogen, or compressed argon gas.
The surgical cuts are performed with the help of scissors or blades to remove a skin tag by applying local anesthesia to numb the skin.
Home Remedies for Skin tag Removal
If you hesitate to visit the doctor to treat skin tags, there are various home remedies that you may try to remove a tag. The DIY home remedies are cost-effective and can be made using products already available in your home.
Tea Tree Oil
Tea Tree Oil has exceptional skin-friendly properties; applying it on the skin tag can be used effectively to remove it. Wash the area where you have a skin tag. Use a cotton swab and apply some oil with it on the tag. Put on a bandage and leave it overnight. Repeat the process for several nights. You will see the tag dropping off on its own.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apply the apple cider vinegar on the affected surface with the help of a cotton swab. Place a bandage on it for 30 minutes. Repeat the process for a couple of days.
Vitamin E has excellent skin rejuvenating properties and can be applied to the skin to keep it healthy and youthful. Since age could contribute to the skin tag’s formation, applying Vitamin E can be effective. Massage the Vitamin E oil on the tag and keep repeating the process till the tag starts dropping off.
Garlic has anti-inflammatory properties; when applied to the skin tag, you can naturally get rid of it. Apply crushed garlic over the skin tag and cover it with a bandage overnight. Wash the area in the morning and repeat the process till you see the results.
OTC Treatments to Remove Skin Tags
Many OTC products are available in the pharmacy to treat the skin tag effectively. The Over Counter (OTC) bandages and kits vary in functioning and cost but have proven helpful in treating skin tags.
The skin tag removal kit puts the rubber band around the skin tag and cuts the blood supply toward it.
One-step skin tag removal bandages having a premium composition and medicated pad in the middle to put over the skin tag. Samsali is proven to get off the skin tag within the first days of its use.
A great way to help heal the skin and give it a smoother appearance. With the help of essential oils, these medicated pads effectively remove unsightly skin tags.
Things to Consider Regarding the Removal of the Skin Tag
The skin tag is not harmful; however, if you plan to get rid of it using medical treatments, follow healthy measures to avoid a scar and heal faster. If the treated area starts bleeding or has a painful sensation, consult your doctor immediately.
Freezing the skin tag to remove it can cause temporary skin discoloration. There are rare chances that the skin tags will not respond to any medical treatment, and you may need to go through another session. Through surgical procedures, the tag will be removed permanently and instantly; however, you may witness minor bleeding in the affected area.
If you are following a home remedy to remove the skin tag, do not forget to apply antibiotic ointment and cover the area with a bandage to mitigate the chances of infections.
The medical treatments are great for getting rid of unwanted skin tissue growth. But removal is one of many options in the case of the skin tag. Due to its nature, it will eventually fall off its place, and you don’t necessarily have to invest in removing it. However, you may consider removing it surgically if it pains while getting in touch with the clothes or the jewelry piece.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- What is the other name of the skin tag?
The skin tag is also known as Acrochordons.
- How are skin tags diagnosed?
Your doctor may perform a quick examination by looking at the tag carefully. He may also ask about your health conditions, history, or other concerns that raise your chances of developing skin tags.
- Does the skin tag require treatments?
If the skin tag does not hurt you in any way and is not quite visible, you don’t have to undergo medical treatments to reduce it. A skin tag may fall off on its own, so you may not need to perform any procedure for its removal.
- How much does it cost to remove a skin tag?
A dermatologist may remove a skin tag at the cost of nearly $150 as insurance policies do not usually cover cosmetic procedures such as skin tag removal.
- Is there any way to diagnose skin tag?
There is no specific test to diagnose skin tag. However, if you feel something else regarding the skin tag, you may ask your doctor for a biopsy and lab testing.
- How much does cauterization cost?
Cauterization costs around $90 to $100.
- What are the complications involved in the surgical removal of skin tag?
In very rare cases, the surgical removal of skin tag may cause scarring or nerve damage at the treated area.
- Why do the insurance policies not cover the expenditure of skin tag removal?
Since skin tag removal is a cosmetic procedure, many insurance companies do not provide its coverage. However, if its removal is necessary or related to any serious medical complication, you may show the signed document in order to get insurance coverage.
- Are skin tags common?
Yes, skin tags are common. According to research, almost half of all adults get at least one skin tag in their lifetime.
- What are the common places where skin tags may occur?
The most common areas where skin tags may occur are the armpits, groin, eyelids, under the breast, and neck.
John Davis is a passionate content writer with a knack for crafting engaging narratives across various subjects. With a keen eye for detail and a love for storytelling, John brings ideas to life through the power of words. His dedication to delivering high-quality and informative content has made him a trusted voice in the digital realm. When he’s not at his desk, you’ll find John exploring new hobbies and seeking inspiration in the world around him.