A skin tag has a number of other names like an acrochordon, cutaneous tag, cutaneous papilloma, Templeton skin tag, fibroma molluscum, fibroepithelial polyp, papilloma colli, fibroma pendulum and soft fibroma. This is actually a small tag of skin which may have a stalk (peduncle) so that it looks like a small and soft hanging blob of skin. A skin tag removal cream or other natural remedies can be applied to get rid of them.
Where Do Skin Tags Appear?
Skin tags can arise on any part of the skin. However some parts are more prone to skin tags because the skin on these parts keeps rubbing. These are:
- Upper chest
- Under breasts
- Armpits (axillae)
Skin tags are always benign tumors and show no symptoms, unless they are rubbed harshly or scratched, like it may happen when clothing or jewelry rubs against them or while shaving. Sometimes if a skin tag is very large, it may burst due to pressure.
Structure and Appearance
The core of a skin tag is made of fibers, ducts, fat cells and nerve cells, and it is covered with epidermis. Their surface may be smooth or rough to look at. They are usually elevated from the skin surface with the help of a fleshy stalk and are of the same color as that of the skin or slightly brownish. In the beginning, they are pretty small and flattened resembling a pinhead bump. Their diameter can range from 2 mm to 1 cm. In rare cases, they may reach the size of 5 cm.
Skin tags are more seen in some people either because they are overweight or because of heredity. But most of the time the reason is unknown. Sometimes it is also seen that pregnant women and diabetic people develop skin tags more. As they occur more commonly in folds of skin, it is believed that they are formed due to the rubbing of skin folds against each other. According to dermatologists, skin tags can appear both in men and women in equal proportions.
Sometimes people develop skin tags but are unaware of them. They may be rubbed off and fallen without causing any pain. However, they don’t fall so easily in most cases.
Skin tags are more common after midlife. They are considered to occur due to clusters of blood vessels and collagen that are trapped within thicker parts of skin.
Risk factor is one which increases the chances of developing a disease or condition. Risk factors in case of skin tags are:
- Being overweight or obese, perhaps because there are many skin folds in overweight and obese people
- Pregnancy – here the cause is probably the increased hormonal levels
- People having the human papilloma virus
- Using steroids illegally – these steroids interfere with the muscles and body, leading to bonding of the collagen fibers in the skin, thus forming skin tags
- Also a genetic component is considered to exist, that the susceptibility can be genetic. Those who have family members with skin tags are more susceptible to develop skin tags.
Skin tags are rarely connected with:
- Polycystic ovary syndrome
- Birt-Hogg-Dube syndrome
Removing Skin Tags
Skin tags are harmless and so removing skin tags is done mostly for cosmetic purpose. Skin tags can be disturbing when they are frequently rubbed against something, like jewelry, clothing or other parts of skin, and in that case they should be removed. Sometimes a man may have a sizable skin tag right on his face and it may be a big problem while shaving. In this case too, the skin tag needs to be removed. Another problematic area from where the skin tag should be removed is eyelid, where it creates a lot of problems while rubbing eyes.
Procedures that are used to remove skin tags are:
- Cauterization: With electrolysis, skin tag is burned off. Here skin tag is removed using heat.
- Cryosurgery: Using a probe consisting of liquid nitrogen, the skin tag is frozen.
- Ligation: The blood supply to the skin tag is interrupted in ligation.
- Excision: Skin tag is cut with a scalpel.
Remember that these procedures should be done only by a dermatologist or an equally qualified medical professional. Removal of a skin tag on an eyelid should be performed by an ophthalmologist.
OTC Solutions for Removal of Skin Tag
You can get medicines and creams at a pharmacy, which freeze the skin tags. After being frozen, the skin tag falls off after about 10 days. These medicines are identical to those used for wart removal.
Sometimes if the skin tag is very small, it can just be scratched off. But it is better to consult a healthcare professional for this.
Natural Remedies for Skin Tags
Natural remedies are less invasive. Their only disadvantage is they take a bit more time to remove the skin tag. Following are some simple home remedies.
Tea Tree Oil: With tea tree oil, you can control and cure several skin problems, including moles and skin tags. To remove skin tags, with a cotton ball soaked in water, clean the skin. Add three drops of the oil to the cotton ball and apply it to the affected area in circular fashion. Repeat once or twice daily for 7 to 10 days or till the skin tag vanishes.
Castor Oil: This can be used internally as well as externally. Mix some oil with some baking soda to form a paste. If you want you can add some citrus oil to this mixture so as to remove the characteristic odor of castor oil. Apply the paste to the skin tag and cover it with a band. Repeat for 2 to 4 weeks or till the skin tag vanishes.
Apple Cider Vinegar: Apply apple cider vinegar on the affected area by soaking a cotton ball in it and applying it. There will be a stinging sensation for some time. Repeat for 2 to 4 weeks.
Lemon Juice: The citric acid contained in lemon juice helps destroy cells in the skin tags. Dab a cotton ball in lemon juice and apply directly to skin tag. Leave it for some time till it dries. There will be some changes in the skin color after which the skin tag will dry out and disappear.
Visit SkinTagsGone.com to find still more tips to get rid of skin tags effectively and make your life easy.