What is a skin tag? Skin tags are basically areas of excess skin that form on the stalk. Skin tags usually develop around areas of loose skin such as the neckline, under the arms, in the groin area, and under the breasts (for men and women).
Nobody really knows why skin tags develop, or why some people have them and others don’t. They are definitely more common in areas of friction between skin and clothing, and people who are overweight tend to have them as well.
Other factors that are proposed include family history, hormonal changes, and other diseases that can affect the skin chronically. Diabetes is a great example of such a disease in the latter case.
Even though skin tags are harmless, they are also extremely common. They can also become very irritated when rubbing up against clothing or jewelry.
There are lots of home remedies for skin tags, but most are either ineffective or are potentially dangerous. Some of them even make the person more prone to infection, especially if the skin tags are removed and the open skin is prone to infections.
Topical creams and even freezing techniques done at home can also leave scars and discolorations of the skin if not done properly. As you might imagine, using a pair of scissors and a bandage is not a good idea either, and could result in an infection.
Even though skin tags seem like a relatively minor problem, your best bet is to go to a medical setting where the provider has expertise in skin care. When someone comes to Maine Laser Skin Care with skin tags, we have a variety of treatment options available.
If the skin tags are small, they can be clipped off using sterile surgical scissors, which will leave minimal scarring and will also make infection much more unlikely. If the skin tags are larger, we may use a laser, which will make the likelihood of a scar or pigmented spot also less likely.
As with any skin growth, it is important to consult a skin care professional with what you think may be a skin tag, as it could be something more serious. It would be terrible to remove what you think is a skin tag and have it turned out to be a sign of a more dangerous ailment, such as skin cancer.
As always, if you have any questions concerning skin issues like skin tags, please call our Augusta office at (207) 873-2158 or our Scarborough office at (207) 303-0125 to schedule a free consultation to evaluate the areas of concern. Removing or diagnosing skin tags are part of our mission to “beautify Maine one face at a time”.