Have A Skin Tag? Here's What You'll Want To Know

No matter what they're called—acrochordons, cutaneous tags, or soft fibromas—having skin tags can be a major annoyance for many people. These fleshy growths can show up just about anywhere and grow up to a half-inch in length. If you're stuck with one or more of these growths, then you'll want to read up on the following information about them.

What Causes Skin Tags?

No one really knows what causes skin tags to form. Recent medical studies have shown a connection between skin tags, warts, and low-risk forms of human papillomavirus (HPV). Genetics may also be involved, since the likelihood of developing skin tags seems to be dependent on your family history.  

Should You Be Concerned?

As unsightly as they might seem, skin tags aren't much to worry about. The good news is that these growths are not harmful, nor are they early indicators of skin cancer. However, skin tags can be irritating depending on their size and prominence. It's not unusual for skin tags to cause some slight discomfort and irritation as they rub against clothing or get stuck on jewelry. You may want to have your skin tags removed for these and other cosmetic reasons.

Your Options for Removal

A trip to your dermatologist can be the quickest and most effective way of getting rid of unsightly skin tags. There are several avenues your dermatologist can take when it comes to the removal process:

  • Your dermatologist may simply cut off the skin tag with a scalpel or pair of surgical scissors. Some skin tags may have deep-set moles that require a deeper cut, which could affect healing time and leave some slight scarring.
  • Your dermatologist can also freeze the skin tag with liquid nitrogen. The same treatment is also used for removing warts and other unsightly moles. This technique may cause a small blister, but it'll eventually clear up with time.
  • Skin tags can also be removed through cauterization, where the tag is burned away using an electrical heat source. Cauterization also seals the resulting wound, which minimizes bleeding.
  • Your dermatologist can also remove the skin tag by starving it of its blood supply. The process, known as ligation, causes the small portion of unwanted skin to die and eventually fall off. However, this process could take several days to complete.

There are also plenty of natural remedies that are said to help reduce or even eliminate skin tags. Oregano oil is considered the most effective of these natural remedies. In many cases, daily applications of the extract can help dry up benign skin tags in a matter of weeks.

For more information, contact a dermatology center like Refined Dermatology.