Skin tags, also called cutaneous tags, soft fibromas, acrochordons, or other names, look like small pieces of soft skin hanging from the body. They may have a “stalk” and may appear on the face, neck, armpits, thighs, or under the breasts.
Invariably, skin tags are benign, or non-cancerous, growths. These flesh or brown-toned protrusions will typically produce no uncomfortable symptoms, unless repeated scratching or rubbing occurs should a tag have consistent contact and friction with jewelry or clothing. They are not contagious.
The National Institute of Health reports that approximately 46 percent of Americans have skin tags. There is no precise cause that has been determined, although there do seem to be links to genetics and also to obesity. Though pregnancy hormones may be an underlying cause for the development of some skin tags in women, research shows that men are at an equal risk.
A tag may appear irregular in shape and texture, ranging from just a few millimeters up to 5cm. Though not a health concern, skin tags may become a nuisance. Because these growths do not diminish or disappear spontaneously, professional treatment is necessary for their removal. Self-treatment is not recommended for skin tag removal due to the risk of bleeding and infection.
Skin tags that have become annoying can be removed quite simply and easily with an electric needle, or sometimes liquid nitrogen. The skilled team at Center For Dermatology Cosmetic And Laser Surgery is dedicated to patient comfort. Skin tag removal is quick and virtually painless. The risk of scarring from these forms of treatment is negligible.
Removing skin tags is not necessary but may be done to improve comfort or aesthetics. Undergoing treatment to eliminate unwanted skin tags does not lead to “seeding” or spreading. Once a skin tag has been removed, it should not grow back. However, some people are simply prone to the development of these small growths and may develop others.