1. What are skin tags and how harmful are they?
2. What do skin tags consist of?
3. What causes the appearance of skin tags?
4. Where on the body are skin tags most commonly found?
5. Who are most at risk from getting skin tags?
6. What are the most common/most popular skin tag removal options, and how are they performed?
Skin tags are small benign growths that can hang from your skin. They are relatively common and are not harmful. However, some people with skin tags prefer to have them removed if they do not like their appearance, or if they are located in a place that causes irritation (e.g. near bra straps or on the neck close to jewellery). Skin tag removal involves either freezing or burning them off, or removing them surgically.
Skin tags are generally made up of a mixture of fat, collagen fibers, tiny blood vessels, and nerve cells.
Skin tags appear on one's skin when the fat, collagen fibers, nerve cells and blood vessels mix together within a layer of an individual's skin.
Skin tags most typically appear on the neck, in the armpit area, under the eyelids, as well as beneath the breasts.
Although not proven, various studies have demonstrated that people who suffer from diabetes, who are overweight, and/or who are pregnant, are at a higher risk of getting skin tags on some area(s) of their skin.
As mentioned above, skin tags are not harmful, and thus, need not be removed. However, if one's skin becomes irritated as a result of the appearance of a skin tag, there are various different options available for patients who wish to have their skin tag(s) removed from their skin. One such option is cryotherapy. Cryotherapy consists of a dermatologist freezing off the skin tag via the use of liquid nitrogen, which is a highly effective, generally painless way of removing skin tags.
Other skin tag removal options include surgical excision or snipping; where a tiny hole is cut around the skin tag and it is removed by the surgeon; as well as electrocautery. where an electric probe or needle is used as a way to burn off the skin tag.
What does skin tag removal surgery consist of and which specialist is responsible for performing it?
Skin tag removal surgery is an outpatient procedure. Before the procedure takes place, the dermatologist will numb the area of skin where the skin tag is located with a local anaesthetic. Once this has effectively set in, the dermatologist will then slowly and carefully remove the skin tag.