What is a Skin Tag?
A skin tag is a small, benign skin growth, occasionally attached to a stalk under the skin. Skin tags are harmless, and are likely to be the most common type of skin bump.
Potential Causes of Skin Tags
Skin tags generally occur in areas where clothing or skin-to-skin contact causes friction; typical places include the underarms, eyelids, neck, chest and groin. They are more common in those who are overweight or obese due to the increased skin contact. Hormonal changes during pregnancy can also result in an increased growth rate of skin tags. While skin tags can be found on children, middle-aged and older adults tend to have them more often.
Appearance of Skin Tags
Skin tags may appear flesh-colored or brown, unless it has become twisted in which case it may turn red or black. Most are small, but they can vary in size from 1 mm to the size of a grape.
Removal of a Skin Tag
While skin tags are generally painless,some may be located in bothersome areas. If a skin tag is becoming irritated or if a patient wishes to have them removed for cosmetic reasons, they should contact their dermatologist. Also, if a growth on your skin changes in appearance,this may be a mole rather than a skin tag and your doctor may need to do a biopsy.
At this time, there are no medically approved creams for the removal of skin tags; this is one reason why it’s important to visit your dermatologist for treatment. When patients attempt to remove skin tags at home, they can suffer from complications such as bleeding, infection, scarring, and unnecessary pain.
Your dermatologist has several options for the removal of skin tags, and they can recommend the best option for you. These include:
- Cyrotherapy, or freezing a skin tag. Your doctor will use liquid nitrogen and tweezers to freeze the growth. Within 1-2 weeks the skin tag will change colors and fall off.
- Cutting the skin tag off. First, your dermatologist will numb the affected area, and then they will use a scalpel to remove the skin tag. This is especially useful in cases of larger skin tags. When this is done at home patients can experience excessive bleeding, however, when treated by your doctor bleeding is minimal.
- Cauterizing, or burning the skin tag. This method utilizes an electric current, which passes through a wire, which makes it extremely hot. This method burns off the upper layers of skin and skin tags are removed by burning through the narrow stem, which attaches them to the skin. Cauterization helps to prevent bleeding but may leave a scab, which will drop off in time.
Common Misconceptions about Skin Tags
- Removal of skin tags will not lead to the growth of more skin tags.
- Skin tags are not contagious.
Skin Tag Removal in Miami, FL
Let the professionals at Miami Skin Dr. provide you with the professional and attentive care you deserve. Call us on 305-735-9474 or click here today for a free consultation!