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What Are Skin Tags and How Do You Get Rid of Them?

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What Are Skin Tags and How Do You Get Rid of Them?


Q: As I’ve gotten older, I’ve seen increasingly more pores and skin tags sprouting in odd locations on my physique. What are they, precisely? And is there something I can (and may) do to do away with them?

They’ll pop up in uncommon locations: in your neck, below your arms, perhaps even round your groin.

And for many individuals, they are often extraordinarily irritating — particularly in the event that they get caught on jewellery or clothes, or in the event that they often bleed.

Analysis means that greater than half of adults will develop not less than one pores and skin tag throughout their lifetime.

The excellent news, mentioned Dr. Angela Lamb, a dermatologist at Mount Sinai in New York Metropolis, is that they’re innocent. “They’re utterly benign,” she mentioned. “They’ve zero malignant potential.”

However as a result of pores and skin tags will be related to different situations, it’s essential to grasp the right way to determine them and when to talk with a well being care supplier.

Pores and skin tags are smooth growths that protrude from the floor of your pores and skin. They’ll range in look however are often concerning the measurement of a small pebble or a grain of rice, and will be flesh-colored or darker.

As a result of pores and skin tags can generally resemble the lesions related to pores and skin cancers, it’s typically sensible to see a health care provider should you’re undecided what sort of development you may have. “Something that’s regarding you, any new development that’s extending from the pores and skin, it’s a good suggestion simply to get it checked out,” Dr. Lamb mentioned.

As for what causes pores and skin tags, no one actually is aware of, Dr. Lamb mentioned. They’re extra prone to pop up as you age and have a tendency to look on components of the pores and skin that rub in opposition to one another.

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They’re extra widespread in those that are pregnant, so hormones may play a job, Dr. Lamb added. Additionally they are usually genetic, so “in case your dad and mom had pores and skin tags, you’ll in all probability have pores and skin tags,” she mentioned.

Some analysis means that the presence of pores and skin tags is related to insulin resistance, a precursor to Kind 2 diabetes.

“In case you’re getting plenty of them,” mentioned Dr. Whitney Bowe, a dermatologist primarily based in Westchester County, N.Y., “you may wish to convey it to the eye of your physician,” who might suggest blood work.

As a result of they don’t pose any hurt, there’s no must take away pores and skin tags, Dr. Lamb mentioned. Nonetheless, some individuals prefer to take away them as a result of they discover them unattractive or annoying.

The most secure solution to take away a pores and skin tag is with the assistance of a dermatologist, Dr. Bowe mentioned, although she famous that pores and skin tag elimination sometimes shouldn’t be coated by medical insurance.

One technique entails numbing the encompassing space with a shot of lidocaine, then slicing the tag off with sharp, curved scissors. The wound is then handled with a chemical substance that stops any bleeding and helps to forestall an infection.

One other widespread in-office elimination strategy is electrodessication, Dr. Bowe mentioned, which entails numbing the realm with lidocaine after which utilizing a particular instrument to direct {an electrical} present to the pores and skin tag, killing the tissue, she mentioned.

In a 3rd strategy, generally known as cryotherapy, a doctor dips a tweezer-like instrument into liquid nitrogen and pinches the bottom of the pores and skin tag, which primarily destroys it and causes it to fall off inside a number of days, Dr. Bowe mentioned. The freezing itself doesn’t damage, she mentioned, however you may expertise some ache because the tissue thaws afterward.

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After a pores and skin tag is eliminated by a health care provider, it’s greatest to cowl the wound with a skinny layer of an ointment reminiscent of petroleum jelly and a Band-Support. The pores and skin will often heal inside per week, Dr. Lamb mentioned.

There are a handful of in style house cures for eradicating pores and skin tags, however dermatologists don’t suggest them. One entails slicing off a pores and skin tag’s blood provide by tying a bit of string or dental floss across the base, inflicting it to die and fall off.

“The issue with doing that’s that there’s a excessive threat of an infection,” Dr. Bowe mentioned, as a result of germs typically infiltrate the wound after the pores and skin tag falls off.

One other in style but ill-advised house strategy entails dabbing an acid, reminiscent of apple cider vinegar or salicylic acid, on a pores and skin tag. “You’re actually burning the pores and skin tag off the pores and skin,” Dr. Bowe defined. However “you additionally are inclined to burn the encompassing pores and skin,” she mentioned, inflicting harm that may result in a darkening of the pores and skin, which may persist for months.

Dr. Lamb added that individuals can even expertise sturdy reactions to the acid, together with allergic reactions, which may trigger scarring or an an infection.

Though many individuals favor to have their pores and skin tags eliminated, managing them can generally really feel like a recreation of whack-a-mole, Dr. Bowe mentioned.

“In case you’re vulnerable to pores and skin tags,” she mentioned, “they may in all probability develop again, otherwise you’ll get new ones.”


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