Skin Tags

Skin tags

Last Updated July 29th, 2019

There is no one specific cause for skin tags to arise. These may occur as a result of hormonal elevation (during pregnancy), obesity, and diabetes. The most common areas of skin tags occurrence are underarms, groin, neck, under the breasts, and eyelids. These rarely cause any medical complications. But these may lead to cosmetic concerns if they occur anywhere on the face. Depending on the need and severity, a person may opt to get skin tags removed.
There are two ways to go about it – you can either opt for cosmetic procedures for skin tag removal or look into few chosen home remedies. The following are the common cosmetic procedures used by dermatologists to remove skin tags. Cryotherapy or use of liquid nitrogen to freeze and remove the skin tag. Electrosurgery where the skin tag is heated and removed (to avoid excessive bleeding). Ligation process where the blood supply to the skin tag is cut off so that it dies and falls off. Surgical removal of the skin tag by the help of scalpel and scissors.
• Apple cider vinegar – Soak a cotton swab in the vinegar, keep it on the skin tag, cover and tie this for 15-30 minutes, and then wash it. In a few weeks, you might observe the skin tag may get gradually removed. Garlic – This works best in case an aging skin is a reason for skin tag formation. Crush 1-2 cloves of garlic, apply it over the skin tag, keep it covered and tied overnight, and wash it off the next morning. The compounds in garlic can help in shrinking these tags.
Regularly massaging vitamin E oil/liquid on the skin tags may help in reducing the size of the skin tag. This is because vitamin E naturally fights aging and may help remove signs of aging such as skin tags and wrinkles.
Yes, this can be used in the same way as apple cider vinegar. Use a tea tree oil soaked cotton swab and bandage it on the skin tag. This should be kept covered overnight and washed off the next day
Yes. Natural home remedies for skin tags work by slowing breaking down the tissues surrounding the skin tag. Over the course of the remedy, it falls off the skin would causing any lesion or tears along the skin.

Overview of skin tags

Aging is associated with several skin ailments which are in many cases benign. The most common among these are warts, moles, freckles and skin tags. Skin tags are a very common occurrence in aged people and are more prevalent in elderly men, especially the ones above 65. These tags are normally formed as portions of the existing skin and do not cause any harmful effects. At present, there is a lot of controversy regarding whether skin tags are indicators of skin cancer or not. But in most cases, they have been found to be completely benign and do not interfere with healthy living. Numerous techniques for removal of skin tags are recommended by dermatologists. But the effectiveness of such techniques has not been verified in several cases.

What are skin tags?

Skin tags womanSkin tags medically termed as “acrochordons” are benign outgrowths of the skin that are found in elderly people and are often mistaken for moles or other skin outgrowths. They are usually manifested as soft, pedunculated (comprising of an elongated stalk of tissue), brownish or flesh-colored skin tumor (benign) that hang from the eyelids, neck or the armpit. Extensive research has revealed that these tags are closely linked to Diabetes, Insulin resistance, senility or obesity or few metabolic syndromes. These are essentially normal outgrowths of the skin and may be pigmented or non-pigmented. They appear to be loosely attached to the skin surface by a narrow stalk. A skin tag typically varies from 1 to 5 mm in length. But in a few cases, it might be larger in size.

Recent studies have revealed that skin tag forms on those parts of the body that are subjected to frequent friction such as armpits, the inner portion of thighs, eyelids, breasts etc. In numerous cases, the skin tag detaches and falls off from the skin surface due to lack of blood supply (due to irritation caused by rough clothing, jewelry etc). Skin tags are not indicators of diseases or associated complications. In some instances, skin tags have also been observed in young people.

What causes skin tags?

A skin tag may or may not arise due to specific etiological factors. Research findings have revealed that the following factors may increase possibilities of skin tags in aged people or even in young adults-

  • Degeneration of skin cells due to aging
  • Irritation and frequent friction in few parts of the skin (such as underarms, thighs, breasts and in some cases the genitals)
  • Hormonal fluctuations especially elevated estrogen and progesterone level during pregnancy or increased growth hormone (somatotropin) in few medical conditions such as Acromegaly.
  • Epidermal growth factor and alpha tissue growth factor
  • Obesity
  • Human papillomavirus infection
  • Autosomal dominant disorders such as Birt-Hugg-Dube syndrome, that are manifested as benign tumor outgrowths of hair follicles such as in fibrofolliculoma or trichodiscoma conditions
  • Existing tumors of the gastrointestinal tract and kidneys which cause the release of skin factors that lead to skin outgrowths and skin tags
  • Type 2 Diabetes mellitus
  • Reduced glucose tolerance and insulin resistance
  • A family history of skin tags
  • Abnormalities in carbohydrate and lipid metabolism
  • Enzymatic dysfunctions
  • High blood pressure and hypertension
  • Overactivation of the mast cells and tumor necrosis factor
  • Abnormally high levels of cholesterol (LDL cholesterol)

Symptoms of skin tags

Skin tagsSkin tags are basically benign tumors made up of fibrous connective tissues. They are usually manifested through the following symptoms-

  • Formation of tiny to large elevated lumps on the skin, usually with a pointed tip
  • Size of lumps may vary from 1-2 mm on the eyelids to 1-2 cm on the trunk
  • Colour of lumps may vary from pinkish white to brownish black
  • Presence of pigmentation in a few cases
  • The stalk-like appearance of the lumps that hand very loosely from the skin surface
  • The surface of the papules or lumps are rough
  • Occasional bleeding from the papules on scratching
  • Itching and irritation of the papules
  • Occasional hair growth on or around the papules
  • Presence of clotted blood in a few cases, which are visible as black dots on the lumps
  • The stalk-shaped lumps can be moved back and forth with the finger
  • Lumps may get detached from the skin surface on being irritated or rubbed
  • Formation of lumps at the same site after old papules fall off

Types of skin tags

According to the size and growth pattern and also the region of growth, skin tag may be classified into the following categories-

  • Furrowed papules: They are the small papules mainly present on the neck and armpit (axilla) and are usually 1-2 mm in diameter and length.
  • Filiform lesions: They may be present singly or in groups and can occur at parts of the body other than the ones mentioned above. They vary from 2 mm in width to 5 mm in length.
  • A pedunculated tumor: They are usually larger in size and are usually manifested as nevoid and tender fibromas (made of connective tissues). These types of skin tags are normally found in the lower portion of the trunk.

Some other varieties of skin tags are also discussed here-

  • Lymphedematous: They are usually present on the male genitals.
  • Vulvovaginal: They normally arise due to itching or irritation caused by clothing or jewelry.
  • Perianal pyramidal: These are particular forms of infantile protrusions and are usually found in the anterior portion of the anus, along with the midline.

Diagnosis

Diagnosis of skin tags may be carried out in few cases if abnormalities like bleeding from skin tags or progressive enlargement of papules are observed. Biopsy of tumors may be recommended in such cases to rule out possibilities of cancer. Blood tests can be carried out to detect the physiological causes of skin tags like Diabetes or hormonal disorders.

Treatment and prevention

Skin tags removalTreatment 

  • Surgery – Surgery is done to remove the skin tags, which are present on the eyelid(s) or eyelid margin. An ophthalmologist will be needed to conduct the surgery. While the skin tags that are present in other areas can be operated on by a dermatologist or a skin specialist.
  • Over-the-counter medication – These medications are similar to the ones that are used to treat warts. These medications will freeze the skin tag and treat them within 7-10 days.

Prevention

  • Consume a healthy diet that is high in fiber and whole grains.
  • Avoid wearing tight clothes.
  • Use powder to avoid friction.
  • Maintain a healthy BMI since obesity is one of the key risk factors for getting skin tags.

Facts

  • Skin tags are non-cancerous overlaps of outer skin and inner skin.
  • Skin tags do not shrink on their own and need to be removed surgically.

Facts

  • Skin tags are common in those who are in their 2nd or 3rd trimester of pregnancy, obese individuals, type 2 diabetics, and individuals above the age of 50.
  • Skin tags do not need to be removed unless they cause irritation.

Facts

  • They occur in skin folds. Skin tags can form over the eyelids, on the neck, in the armpit, and in groin folds. They are caused due to friction.
  • Skin tags are not the same as moles.

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There is no one specific cause for skin tags to arise. These may occur as a result of hormonal elevation (during pregnancy), obesity, and diabetes. The most common areas of skin tags occurrence are underarms, groin, neck, under the breasts, and eyelids. These rarely cause any medical complications. But these may lead to cosmetic concerns if they occur anywhere on the face. Depending on the need and severity, a person may opt to get skin tags removed.
There are two ways to go about it – you can either opt for cosmetic procedures for skin tag removal or look into few chosen home remedies. The following are the common cosmetic procedures used by dermatologists to remove skin tags. Cryotherapy or use of liquid nitrogen to freeze and remove the skin tag. Electrosurgery where the skin tag is heated and removed (to avoid excessive bleeding). Ligation process where the blood supply to the skin tag is cut off so that it dies and falls off. Surgical removal of the skin tag by the help of scalpel and scissors.
• Apple cider vinegar – Soak a cotton swab in the vinegar, keep it on the skin tag, cover and tie this for 15-30 minutes, and then wash it. In a few weeks, you might observe the skin tag may get gradually removed. Garlic – This works best in case an aging skin is a reason for skin tag formation. Crush 1-2 cloves of garlic, apply it over the skin tag, keep it covered and tied overnight, and wash it off the next morning. The compounds in garlic can help in shrinking these tags.
Regularly massaging vitamin E oil/liquid on the skin tags may help in reducing the size of the skin tag. This is because vitamin E naturally fights aging and may help remove signs of aging such as skin tags and wrinkles.
Yes, this can be used in the same way as apple cider vinegar. Use a tea tree oil soaked cotton swab and bandage it on the skin tag. This should be kept covered overnight and washed off the next day
Yes. Natural home remedies for skin tags work by slowing breaking down the tissues surrounding the skin tag. Over the course of the remedy, it falls off the skin would causing any lesion or tears along the skin.

 

Dos and Don'ts

Dos
  • Remove the skin tags on the eyelids early. They can grow in size and put strain over your eyes.
  • Identify the area of your skin tag if you wish to get it removed.
  • Eat foods that are low in saturated fats. Also, consume a low-carb diet.
Don'ts
  • Rush into getting your skin tags removed; removal is only required if your skin tags cause any irritation or if they get injured and pain consistently.
  • Pull out a large skin tag by yourself, as it can lead to excessive bleeding and infections.
  • Cut off skin tags, it can lead to bleeding and infections.

 

 

 

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Bubble Tea: Bubbling with nutrition or a hidden sugar mine? The tapioca pearls present in the tea looks like bubbles and hence the name bubble tea became popular.…
Tissue Transglutaminase Antibody (tTG) Test Transglutaminase is an enzyme present in our body and is involved in protein metabolism. A tTg test is…
anoscopy
Anoscopy Anoscopy is an invasive diagnostic procedure where a small device known as anoscope will be inserted in the…
ureteroscopy
Ureteroscopy Ureteroscopy is the diagnostic procedure which is used for the detection of the kidney stones in addition to…
Diabetes blood test
Diabetic Profile The diabetic profile is a set of tests used for testing and monitoring the various kinds of Diabetes…
hidden benefits walking
9 benefits of walking we bet you didn’t know! Did you know walking can be the miracle pill for eternal youth? Everyone knows walking is good for…
Jack in the box fast food
Jack In the Box : The perils of surging fast food culture in the USA Jack in the Box - How a culture of fast-food can clog your arteries, weaken your heart, fatten…
L-theanine attention
L-Theanine: Better sleep, higher focus, and many other benefits Did you know that L-theanine found in green tea can make you sleep better and be focused at…
Salt dangers
Sodium chloride: The wonders and dangers of the simple table salt Sodium chloride is a salt containing sodium and chlorine ions at a 1:1 ratio. It is edible and…
Find all the instant ways to get rid of blackheads Blackheads - Not only are they aesthetically unappealing but if left untreated these can cause bacterial overgrowth on…
Tattoo Aftercare: The best practices to follow once you get inked Planning getting permanently inked? Make sure you follow these critical tattoo aftercare techniques to avoid infectious agents attacking…
11 unbelievable health benefits of thyme you didn’t know! Thyme is a herb that has been used in alternative medicine.It is a well known seasoning in the…
Barium-enema
Barium Enema Barium enema is also known as colon x-ray. Here, the patient is asked to consume small amount of…
thyroid_scan
Thyroid Scan Thyroid scan is a diagnostic procedure that aims to view the thyroid gland and detect any growths or…
hepatitis B envelope antigen
Hepatitis B Envelope Antigen (HBeAg) The HBeAg or hepatitis B envelope antigen test is a screening test used to diagnose the onset of…
beta 2 glycoprotein 1 igm
Beta 2 Glycoprotein 1 IgM The Beta 2 glycoprotein 1 IgM test detects IgM class of antibodies in the blood.The presence of beta-2…
lp-pla2
LP-PLA2 Test The LP-PLA2 test is a test which is carried out to assess the levels of Lipoprotein-Associated Phospholipase A2…
macadamia nuts in food
Proven health benefits and nutrition of macadamia nuts Know all about scientific, amazing health benefits of macadamia nuts, its nutrition, recipes, how to consume, price and…
macadamia nuts in food
Proven health benefits and nutrition of macadamia nuts Know all about scientific, amazing health benefits of macadamia nuts, its nutrition, recipes, how to consume, price and…
fitness routine fun
10 fantastic ways to make your fitness routine more fun! Are you too bored to exercise? Do you avoid gym cause it's too monotonous? Looking for fun and…
kefir bottle
Kefir: Top reasons why this probiotic drink should be consumed by you Yet another remarkable fermented food, kefir is a much healthier version of yogurt. These chewy white grains can…
Agave nectar: The bitter truth about this sweetener revealed Agave nectar is considered to be sweeter than the normal table sugar and even contains higher amounts of…
Bromelain: 11 reasons why you should start adding pineapple to your pizza! If you didn't love pineapples already, here are some of the top health benefits that bromelain can bring…
The complete “what to eat” guide for gluten intolerance Does eating breads and pastas often makes you nauseous? Gluten intolerance is a common reason why you might…
How accurate is the hair follicle drug test? Hair follicle drug test is one of the best ways to identify drug use in professional circles. But…
Inversion Therapy: The anti-gravity way of healing chronic back pain Inversion therapy involves suspending a person upside dow using different types of equipment. This works by taking the…
Appendix pain: Recent findings on this not-so vestigial organ The exact function of the appendix is still not clear. Some consider it as an organ that once…
liver cleanse detox
14 go-to foods that are best for a complete natural liver detox Liver cleanse can be achieved by just choosing or avoiding certain types of food. Liver itself is a detoxifying…
GGt test
GGT – Gamma-Glutamyl Transferase Test GGT or gammaglutamyl transferase test is a liver function test that is used to detect the extent of…
complement c4 test
Anemia Profile Anemia Profile test (Basic) is a blood screening test that measures the levels of important components of the…
Tachycardia heart
Cardiac Profile Cardiac profile is panel of blood tests performed to check cholesterol level and other heart disease markers to…
Smiling-happy-pretty-woman-with-flowers
Laughter Therapy– The Best Medicine for Healthy Living Read how laughter influences your stress hormones, belly fat, heart health, and more. Use these simple tips to…
sleep deprivation
Don’t let your sleep deficit grow into memory loss or heart attack Why is sleep important for us? How could sleep deprivation harm you? We bet you didn't know about…
aspartame or sugar
Aspartame – Hidden truths about this storm in a teacup Aspartame, the artificial sweetener, has gone under the scanner on several occasions for allegedly doing more harm than…
Elderberry: More than just a folk medicine for cold and sinusitis While the raw elderberry can be a hazard, when consumed in the form of teas and syrup, elderberry…
Pescatarian Diet 101: What are the inherent health advantages of this diet? People opt to become a pescatarian in order to enrich their bodies with the essential health benefits that…
Oxidative Stress: Understanding the most lethal phenomenon happening in your body right now Free radicals cause damage to the body, which is known as oxidation.  The amount of oxidation caused by…
Tamarind: The top health benefits of this staple Asian ingredient Did you know this sweet and sour pulpy fruit does more than just add a tangy flavor to…
Gua sha: Scraping away layers of pain with this ancient healing tool Gua sha is an ancient oriental healing method which focuses on scraping the body with specific tools to…
Oxalates: How healthy greens can sometimes be bad news for your kidneys Oxalates are compounds present in a majority of healthy foods. However, at times an overconsumption of these could…
SIBO Diet: The important dos and don’ts of this gut-healing diet A SIBO diet is a diet that works by eliminating certain sugars from your diet and adding fibers…
Internal bleeding brain
Beware: Ignoring these tell-tale signs of stroke could cost a life The signs and symptoms of a stroke differ depending on which part of the brain has been affected.…