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SKIN TAGS: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Understanding the condition and ultimately finding out 'How to get rid of Skin Tags'.

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SKIN TAGS: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Skin tags are small brown or flesh-coloured growths that hang from the surface of your skin. They are made of loose collagen fibres and blood vessels surrounded by skin. Although skin tags are common they are completely harmless and are usually only a few millimetres in size. They do not usually cause any pain or discomfort, however, depending on where they are on your body, they can snag on clothing or jewellery and bleed as a result.

Skin tags can affect anyone and most commonly occur where the skin folds or creases. They are more likely to affect people who are overweight for this reason. Skin tags can be hereditary, and people who are diabetic or pregnant are also more prone to them. Some people develop them for no apparent reason.

WHAT CAUSES SKIN TAGS?

The most common causes that explain why you develop skin tags on areas of your body are the following: 

  • Genetics
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Pregnancy

SKIN TAGS SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS

Skin tags are usually flesh-coloured or may appear brown if you have light skin. They are smooth or wrinkled and range in size from very tiny - 1 mm - to approximately the size of a grape. Although it is usually possible to recognize a stalk that attaches the skin tag to your underlying skin, very small skin tags may appear as raised bumps on your skin.

HOW CAN I PREVENT SKIN TAGS

You can minimise developing skin tags on your skin by following these tips: 

  • Losing weight
  • Avoid eating saturated fats and sugar
  • Avoid wearing tight clothing

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What happens when you cut off a skin tag?

Before trying to remove your skin tag, you should speak first to your GP. Your General Practitioner may explain how to remove a skin tag by yourself only if your skin tag is small and with a narrow base.

Can a skin tag grow back?

Although the removed skin tag doesn't grow back, new skin tags may form.

Are skin tags contagious?

There is no strong basis with regards to skin tags being contagious.

TREATMENTS FOR SKIN TAGS

At sk:n we use several techniques for skin tag removal. Upon your consultation your doctor will advise you of the best option for your individual case.

Excision Removal

The skin tag is carefully cut away using a scalpel. The skin tag will be completely removed and there will only be a small white or pink scar in its place.

Cryotherapy

The skin tag is frozen by applying liquid Nitrogen, a gas that produces freezing temperatures, to the area. The cold temperature kills the cells within the skin tag, blocking the blood supply to the area, causing it to naturally fall off. (This treatment is also used for wart and verruca removal).

Hyfrecation

An electrical pulse is passed through the skin tag to damage the cells, causing the skin tag to fall off.

Whichever treatment method you choose, the procedure often will only take a few minutes to complete. An anaesthetic will be applied before removal and treatment will be relatively painless.

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