You have probably seen those odd little raised nodules of skin that hang off various parts of the body – either on other people or perhaps on yourself. I have several around my neck and I find them quite annoying! These are known as skin tags and they are harmless and benign but sometimes they can be a bit of a nuisance and it is possible that they will grow larger. The term ‘skin tag’ describes this condition perfectly.
What Causes the Appearance of Skin Tags?
Skin tags are not contagious – they are simply a common skin abnormality. The medical name is Ancrochordons or Cutaneous Papilloma. More common in women and after the age of 40, skin tags can also be genetically passed on; are often found in the overweight or obese; can be a sign of the presence of diabetes type 2 and of insulin rejection; are sometimes as a result of chafing and irritation when skin is constantly rubbing against other skin, and perhaps become noticeable during pregnancy when hormones start reacting in a different way.
Approximately 50% of the adult population are likely to develop skin tags for one reason or another and usually when they reach middle age. Another cause of skin tags is the use of steroids as this interferes with the body and muscles, which in turn can affect the skin causing the collagen fibres to bond in such a way that skin tags are formed.
How to Identify Skin Tags
When skin tags first appear, they are small and you can easily twist them. This is the ideal time to treat them of course, especially if you don’t like the look of them or they get in the way. It is easy to remove skin tags. Your doctor can freeze them off using liquid nitrogen or cut them off under surgical conditions with a local anaesthetic to dull the pain.
Will this removal process hurt?
You are probably wondering if this process will hurt? As there are nerve endings in the skin tag, you will feel a strong stinging sensation. You will also question if a skin tag will bleed? A skin tag has a blood supply in order to survive. Therefore with these methods, you may expect some bleeding. Also, both these methods although effective can be painful and even leave a small scar.
There is an alternative…
Skin Tag treatment is available. You can remove them yourself at home with an essential oils product from Healing Natural Oils, such as the H-Skin Tags Formula, without the risk of pain, bleeding or scarring. Never try to remove skin tags by snipping off with a pair of scissors as this can be very risky and dangerous because of the chance of infection and bleeding as well as mistaking the skin tag for some other kind of skin growth.
Very occasionally, skin tags can be an indication of a rare disorder called Birt-Hogg-Dube syndrome in which there are multiple non-cancerous tumours of the hair follicles, particularly on the face, neck and upper chest. This condition typically emerges between the ages of 20 and 40.
Sufferers have an increased risk of developing kidney tumours, either cancerous or non-cancerous as well as tumours in other parts of the body. Cysts may form in the lungs and then air may collect in the chest cavity, sometimes resulting in a collapsed lung. I would emphasize again that this is a very rare disorder.
If you are at all unsure about whether you have skin tags, make an appointment to see your doctor or a dermatologist so that they can make a definite diagnosis. It could be that you have another skin condition which might need different treatment such as moles, warts or general skin damage from the sun or from toxic chemicals.