A skin tag (skin tag ) is a small, harmless growth that hangs from the surface of the skin on one leg or base. Skin tags are usually the color of your skin or slightly darker. They are painless, but can be irritating if rubbed against clothing or jewelry.
Skin tags can appear more frequently with age. It is estimated that about half of adults will develop one or more skin tags in their lifetime.
They usually do not need treatment, but can be removed if desired or not.
This article looks at the known risk factors for skin tags, where these lesions are commonly found, how they are diagnosed, and the treatment options available.
how do they look
The skin tag may be in the shape of a small patch of skin or a tiny mushroom with a wider end. The skin tags hang from a stem called a peduncle.
Skin tags are typically 1 to 5 millimeters (mm) in size, but can sometimes be several centimeters (cm) in size.
They are usually the color of your skin or slightly darker.
Where they are located
Skin tags can form anywhere on the body, but are often found in skin folds (where the skin rubs against itself).
Common places for skin tags include:
- Chest / Under Breast
- Groin or thighs
Skin tags form when extra cells form on the outer layer of the skin. They are not cancerous.
The exact causes of skin tags are unclear, but there are known risk factors and related conditions that can increase their likelihood. This includes:
Skin tags are not only harmless, they will remain so over time.
In the 1980s, it was speculated that skin tags were more common in people who developed colon polyps or colon cancer . However, subsequent research published in the Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology found no link.
Skin tags are small, harmless patches of skin or fungal-like growths that usually develop in areas where the skin rubs against itself, such as the armpits, neck, or groin.
You are more likely to develop skin tags if you have a family history or health conditions such as diabetes or skin conditions.
It is important to have your height examined by a dermatologist or other healthcare provider to make sure it is a skin symptom and not the result of another condition that may require additional monitoring or treatment.
Your ISP can diagnose a skin tag just by looking at it. They may also ask about your medical history to see if you have risk factors for developing skin tags.
If your doctor is unsure about your growth and suspects another condition, he or she may take a small sample, called a biopsy , and send it to a lab for testing. Alternatively, they may ask you to 'watch and wait' and come back to report any changes.
If you think you have a skin tag, be sure to have it examined by a doctor to make sure it is not another potentially more serious condition.
Other conditions that can be similar to skin tags include:
Many people who design skin tags simply choose to leave them alone. However, if you find the skin tag to be aesthetically undesirable, or find it irritated or bleeding from shaving or rubbing against clothing or jewelry, your doctor may remove it.
Common removal methods include:
- Cryotherapy: the label is removed with a freezing solution.
- Cauterization: the brand burns.
- Incision or excision: the mark is cut with a scalpel or other instrument.
Topical medications can be used to numb the affected area before the growth is removed.
You can find homemade kits to remove skin tags. They are not considered safe or very effective.
Trying to remove the tag yourself can lead to complications such as excessive bleeding, infection, irritation, scarring, or damage to nearby skin. The removal is also more likely to be incomplete, which means the tag is more likely to grow back.
Always consult your doctor if you want to remove a skin tag, especially if the tag is large or in a sensitive area such as near the eye or on the eyelid. Dermatologists know how to remove blemishes on delicate skin.
Removal of skin tags should always be done by a doctor to make sure the growth is completely gone and to avoid skin damage and other complications. Methods include freezing, heating, and scissors.
Skin tags are common, especially with age. In about half of adults, one or more skin tags appear.
They are harmless and do not require treatment. However, if you have irritations or you don't like the way they look, you can ask your dermatologist or other healthcare provider to remove them. Self-extraction is dangerous and is not recommended.