Are you tired of feeling self-conscious about the small, fleshy growths hanging off your skin? Do you find yourself constantly hiding them under clothing or jewellery? Fear not, because those little pesky nuisances are most likely skin tags or acrochordons.
In this article, we’ll explore everything you need to know about skin tags, including what they are, what they look like, and the most effective treatments to get rid of them for good. So, let’s dive in and say goodbye to those irksome little growths once and for all!
What are Skin Tags (Acrochordons)?
Skin tags or acrochordons are benign growths that typically occur in areas where there is friction or rubbing. This friction can cause the skin to fold or crease, which can lead to the formation of a skin tag. Obesity and pregnancy are also factors that may increase the likelihood of developing (acrochordon) skin tags.
Skin tags are most commonly found on the neck, armpits, groin, and eyelids. They can also appear on other parts of the body, including the face, chest, and back. While skin tags are harmless, they can be bothersome and may cause discomfort if located in an area that is constantly rubbing against clothing or jewellery. Skin tags are typically painless and do not require medical attention.
What do skin tags look like?
(Acrochordon) Skin Tags can vary in size and shape, ranging from a few millimetres to a few centimetres in length. Skin tags usually have a flesh-coloured appearance, but can also appear slightly darker than the surrounding skin. They may be smooth or wrinkled and are typically attached to the skin by a small, thin stalk or stem.
In some cases, acrochordon may have a round or oval shape, while others may be long and thin. In addition to their size and shape, skin tags can also vary in texture. Some may feel soft and smooth to the touch, while others may be firmer or more irregular in texture.
Skin tags can also change in appearance over time. They can become more noticeable as they grow or change colour if they become irritated or inflamed. Some skin tags may even shrink or disappear on their own without any treatment.
It’s important to note that while skin tags may resemble other skin conditions, such as moles or warts, they are usually much softer and more pliable in texture. If you notice any changes in the appearance of skin growth, it’s always a good idea to have it checked by a healthcare provider. At Skin and Hair Academy, we offer a directory of dermatologists across various locations. This can help you find a local dermatologist who can provide accurate diagnosis and treatment options for your skin condition. Remember, early detection and treatment of any skin issue is important for maintaining healthy skin.
What are the Causes of Skin tags?
The precise cause of skin tags is undetected, but several factors are believed to contribute to their development. Here are some potential causes of skin tags:
- Friction and rubbing of the skin
- Hormonal changes (during pregnancy or in people with certain medical conditions)
- Genetics may also play a role, as some individuals may be more prone to developing skin tags than others.
- Age is also a factor, as skin tags tend to be more common in middle-aged and older adults.
- Obesity or being overweight may increase the likelihood of developing skin tags.
- Certain medical conditions, such as diabetes, may also be associated with skin tag development.
What are the Symptoms of Skin Tags?
Most skin tags are painless and don’t cause any symptoms, but they can become sore and bleed if they rub against clothing or jewellery.
Acrochordons have a distinctive appearance that sets them apart from other types of skin growths. Unlike warts, which tend to be flat, acrochordon skin tags are connected to the skin by a small, thin stalk or stem. They may be smooth or wrinkled, and their shape can vary from round or oval to long and thin.
While skin tags don’t usually cause physical pain or discomfort, they can be bothersome for cosmetic reasons. In some cases, they may become irritated and red from bleeding or twisting, causing blackening or necrosis of the skin tissue. Snagging of skin tags by clothing, jewellery, or seat belts can also cause pain or discomfort.
Occasionally, a skin tag may spontaneously fall off without any pain or discomfort. This happens when the tag twists on itself at the base, disrupting its blood supply.
What are the treatment options available for Acrochordons?
You must be wondering, “how to remove skin tag” or “is there any way that it can be treated”? Calm down! Fortunately, there are several treatment options available for acrochordons, depending on the size, location, and number of skin tags. Some common treatment options include:
- Surgical Removal: This involves cutting off the skin tag with a scalpel or surgical scissors. This is typically done under local anaesthesia and is a quick and simple procedure.
- Cryotherapy: This involves freezing the skin tag with liquid nitrogen. The freezing destroys the skin tag and it falls off within a few days.
- Electrosurgery: This involves using an electric current to burn off the skin tag. This method is typically used for larger skin tags.
- Ligation: This involves tying off the skin tag at the base with a thread or dental floss. This cuts off the blood supply to the skin tag, causing it to eventually fall off.
- Topical treatments: There are some over-the-counter creams and ointments that claim to remove skin tags. However, their effectiveness is not well-established and they may cause skin irritation.
In addition to the above-mentioned treatments, some natural remedies such as tea tree oil, apple cider vinegar, and aloe vera are also claimed to help remove acrochordon skin tags. However, there is limited scientific evidence to support their effectiveness. Apart from this, acne scar removal treatment by laser surfing also helps in removing any scars caused by removal of skin tags.
In a Nutshell
It’s always advisable to consult a dermatologist to determine the best course of action based on the size, location, and number of skin tags. If you are experiencing skin tags or any other skin condition, seek medical advice from a qualified dermatologist.
At Skin and Hair Academy, we aim to provide informative resources on skin and hair health. Skin and Hair Academy can help you connect with local dermatologists through their website’s directory, making it easy for you to find a qualified dermatologist near you. Don’t hesitate to visit the Find Local Dermatologist webpage on our website to book an appointment and take the first step towards healthier skin.
FAQs on Skin Tags
1) Is acrochordon the same as skin tag?
Yes, an acrochordon is another term for a skin tag. Both terms are used interchangeably to describe the same benign growths that protrude from the skin’s surface.
2) What happens if you pick off a skin tag?
It is not recommended to pick off a skin tag as it can cause bleeding and increase the risk of infection. The best way to remove a skin tag is to seek medical advice or use a safe and effective over-the-counter treatment.
3) Is there a cream for skin tags?
Yes, there are various over-the-counter creams and ointments available for the treatment of skin tags. However, it is important to choose a safe and effective product and follow the instructions carefully.
4) Can I cut off a skin tag with nail clippers?
Cutting off a skin tag with nail clippers is not recommended as it can cause bleeding and increase the risk of infection. It is best to seek medical advice or use a safe and effective treatment.
5) Do skin tags grow back?
There is a chance that skin tags may grow back after removal. However, the likelihood of this happening depends on various factors, such as the size and location of the skin tag and the method of removal.
6) Can Acrochordon spread to other parts of the body?
No, skin tags or acrochordons are not contagious and do not spread from one person to another or from one part of the body to another. They are benign growths that occur due to friction or rubbing of the skin.