Skin tags, tiny, benign flaps of skin that typically are connected to the underlying skin by a thin stalk. They look like small pieces of hanging skin. They are not present at birth, but commonly occur as we age, and scientists believe that they are an inherited trait and therefore can run in families.
If you have small, flesh-colored growths on thin stalks that grow out from your skin, you may have skin tags (acrochordon). Don’t worry though. Skin tags are basically harmless lesions. You’ll often find them on the eyelids, neck, armpits and groin area, and they can be small or large. Although skin tags are not harmful, they can become an annoyance when irritated by rubbing against jewelry or clothing.
What Causes It?
You are more likely to grow skin tags if you also have diabetes (insulin resistance), acromegaly (growth hormone excess), acanthosis nigricans (areas of skin that become thick and smooth) and/or diabetes.
Skin tags are not harmful and usually do not require treatment, but sometimes can resemble other conditions like seborrheic keratoses (a noncancerous tumor), warts or molluscum contagiosum (a skin virus). Riverchase Dermatologists advise that you seek evaluation if you are not sure what the lesion is, if the skin tag changes color or appearance, or if it becomes irritating or painful.
It is important to note that you should not try to cut or otherwise remove the skin tag yourself. It can bleed a lot and is susceptible to infection. Instead, seek the help of a Riverchase dermatologist.
Your healthcare provider may choose to treat the skin tag by snipping with scissors, freezing with liquid nitrogen (cryotherapy) or destroying it through the application of a small amount of electrical current (electrodesiccation, or electrocauterization). Factors in this decision may include the size and location of the skin tag on your body, your medical history, your personal preference and other considerations. Skin tag removal may not be covered by insurance, so talk to your Riverchase provider if you have a skin tag that bothers you.