Do you have little flesh colored growths on you arms, neck or armpits? Are you worried that these growths may potentially cancerous moles or the start of skin cancer? Do not be! Skin tags are harmless benign growths that occur due to obesity or just because it is in your genes.
Breath easy that you are not forming skin cancer. However, skin tags are rather unsightly, especially if you are unfortunate enough to form them in a highly visible place.
What Are Skin Tags
Skin tags are refered to in the medical field as acrochordons. They are typically very small pieces of flesh that expand from the surrounding flesh in elongated stalks. Skin tags are usually only a few millimeters long, but can get as big as a half an inch.
They appear frequently at the base of the neck, underarms, armpits, eyelids, groin fold or under the breast. Skin tags most commonly appear anywhere where a lot of rubbing can occur. Usually, because of all the rubbing in the area, the skin tags will get rubbed for long enough that they become twisted and fall off.
They are frequent occurences on those who are overweight, because the increase in fat stretches the skin and causes more of it to rub. However, thin people cannot escape these unsightly blemishes either. A lot of people are genetically prone to forming skin tags. Both males and females are equally prone to skin tags, though females have a higher risk because of their breasts.
How To Remove Skin Tags?
Removing a skin tag is a lot like removing a mole. The traditional home removal techniques are valid here.
A popular method is wrapping thin dental floss tightly around the base of the skin tag. This shuts the blood flow off to the growth. When skin tags fall off naturally, it is often times because it became twisted and the blood flow has shut off. When the blood flow is stopped, the skin tag dies and falls off. If the tag has turned black but has shown no signs of falling off, cut it off with a pair of sharp scissors. This method is a little uncomfortable, but far from painful.
You could also go to the store and purchase a small kit to freeze the skin tag off. Any wart remover with liquid nitrogen will work just fine. Follow the directions on the kit and the skin tag to just come right off.
A less recommended option is to burn the skin tag off. You can do this a variety of ways. You can do this by using a knife tip heated over the fire or by using a soldering iron. This method is not recommended unless done by a doctor. It hurts rather badly and because of this if you are doing to to yourself it is very likely you will flinch and burn something else. If not done right, this can also cause scarring and what is the point of removing a skin tag if you are just going to have a massive scar there instead.
You can also just snip it off with a pair of small sharp scissors. This again may be slightly painful and again it may cause scarring. Skin Tags, like moles also have at least one nerve ending in them, so cutting it will be a little painful and will bleed slightly.
Will The Skin Tag Come Back?
If you have removed moles from yourself before, this is probably a question you will ask. Moles, even if you cut, burn and freeze them away will almost always grow back. They are so pesky like that. This is because the moles have cells deep in your skin. Unless you burned particularly deep into your skin and destroyed all the mole cells, they will most likely come back.
Rest easy though. Skin tags are not like that.
Skin tags do not grow back.
There are no abnormal cells that cause skin tags to grow and then regrow when they are taken off. They may regrow in that area again, but that is because friction is still being caused there. There is no evidence that states that cutting off a skin tag will cause it to come back.
Cutting off a skin tag will also not cause more skin tags to grow in that area.
Do Skin Tags Cause Problems?
Skin tags cause no other problems other than being ugly. On occasion a skin tag will become irritates and bleed from too much friction. This causes it to be come painful, thus it should be removed. However regular skin tags are often not painful at all. If it is painful, it may be something other than a skin tag and you should see a dermatologist.
Skin tags will also on occasion turn black when they have become twisted. This would be a good time to snipe it off with a pair of scissors. Do not worry, it will not hurt. The black tissue is dead skin, dead skin has no feeling.
Other than getting snagged easily on things like jewelery and seatbelts, skin tags cause no problems other than being a blemish on your skin.
Are Skin Tags Contagious?
Skin tags are not contagious. Some diseases like Herpes and HPV are highly contagious and can cause warts that sometimes look like skin tags all over the body. If someone has accused you of spreading your 'strange lumps' to them, it may be one of the above contagious diseases and you should get tested immediately.
Do the same if you notice what you thought were skin tags spreading to your lover. Perhaps you lover is just prone to skin tags too and you can both have a good laugh about it later, but it is best to be safe rather than sorry.
If you are going to the doctor to have a skin tag removed, they may also suggest you send it in for a biopsy. Let them. Skin tags can look strangely similar to moles and cancerous moles are often raised up and rough like skin tags are. Again it is best to be on the safe side.