As your largest organ, your skin goes through a lot of changes as you get older. One of the most common changes is the development of small, flesh-colored growths called skin tags.
While they can certainly be unattractive, the good news is, skin tags are benign, and in most cases, they don’t cause any symptoms apart from their appearance. Better still, when they do cause symptoms — like mild irritation or bleeding — they can be easily removed.
At Luminary Dermatology, our team uses a variety of methods to get rid of skin tags for patients at our practice in Arcadia, Florida. Here, learn why skin tags develop and steps you can take to get rid of them, so you can enjoy smoother, clearer skin.
Also called acrochordons, skin tags typically form in places where your skin is subjected to rubbing. That could be an area near your collar or waistband, for instance, or in a fold or crease of your skin.
As many as 60% of people develop at least one skin tag at some point, often in these areas:
Typically, skin tags don’t cause symptoms, but depending on where they’re located, continual rubbing by clothing or jewelry can lead to soreness or bleeding.
Skin tags may also occur more often in people with a family history of skin tags and those who are overweight, pregnant, or have significant loose skin. Metabolic syndrome and diabetes also increase your risk.
Because skin tags are benign, they’re usually left alone unless they’re causing irritation or bleeding. Skin tags that form on your eyelids are removed when they block your vision. We offer several options for eliminating skin tags.
For excision, we use a scalpel or other surgical cutting tool to snip off the skin tag once the area is thoroughly numbed. Afterward, we apply a solution to prevent bleeding, followed by a bandage.
With cryosurgery, we “freeze” the skin tag using a special solution of liquid nitrogen. We apply the solution only to the tag while leaving surrounding skin unharmed. The treated tag falls off a few days later.
Cauterization is similar to cryosurgery, except instead of using freezing “energy” to eliminate the tag, we use targeted heat or a mild electrical current to destroy the skin tag. Afterward, the treated tag falls off within a week or so.
Skin tags that don’t cause symptoms can also be removed for cosmetic reasons; however, it’s important to note that in these instances, your health insurance probably won’t cover the cost of treatment.
Many people attempt to treat skin tags at home using a variety of unproven remedies that can wind up causing a lot more irritation without having any effect on the tag itself.
You should never try to remove a skin tag by cutting it off, since you could be left with a serious skin infection or other complication, like bleeding or scarring. Incomplete removal can also lead to the tag growing back.
Don’t let skin tags cause discomfort or embarrassment. To learn how we can help, book an appointment online or over the phone with our team at Luminary Dermatology. We have offices in Arcadia, Miami, Bradenton, Homestead, Sarasota, Venice, Longboat Key, Bradenton, and Northport, Florida, and Midwest City, Oklahoma.