Skin tags—fleshy, raised bumps and flaps on your skin—are a common condition we treat in our office. While they are completely harmless, they can easily become irritated and inflamed when scratched or caught on something. Plus, many patients don’t like the way they look. Read on to learn more about skin tags and the different treatment options available.
What Are Skin Tags?
Skin tags, medically known as “acrochordon,” are soft, small skin growths that look like bits of flesh-colored or darkly pigmented tissue. They can crop up almost anywhere on the body, but the neck and underarms are the most common locations, followed by the eyelids, upper chest, and groin folds. Skin tags typically occur in places where skin rubs against itself or clothing. You may have just one skin tag, or a small cluster of harmless bumps—they can vary in number from one to hundreds.
Who Gets Them?
If you have skin tags, you’re not alone—they are extremely common. In fact, about one in four people will develop skin tags at some point in their lives, and although they may occur in anyone at any age, they most often arise in adulthood and become more prevalent after age 50. They’re usually genetic, and are more common in overweight people (since there is more flesh capable of rubbing against itself, which causes new tags to develop).
How to Treat Them: Skin tags do not typically require treatment, but many of our patients choose to have them removed. Treatment options include:
- Freezing (using liquid nitrogen or nitrous oxide)
- Burning (using medical electric cautery, such as Lamprobe, at the physician's office). Done in 15-minute increments, this is a safe and gentle treatment to correct ruby points, skin tags, milia, cholesterol deposits, fibromas, cherry angiomas, and broken capillaries on the face and body.
- Laser removal
Most patients receiving laser skin tag removal say they experience very minimal discomfort, even after the treatment is completed. Removal takes less than 20 minutes, and you can see the results immediately. For most clients, only one treatment is necessary to remove a skin tag.
We always advise getting a skin tag checked out by a skin care specialist, as attempting to remove one yourself can lead to infection. Small tags can usually be removed easily without anesthesia, while larger tags may require anesthesia to ease discomfort.
At Leah Nickie ADVANCED AESTHETICS, a consultation is always free. If you have skin tags, contact a member of our team today and discuss the various treatment options available with a skin care specialist. We will work with you to design a treatment plan customized for your unique skin type.
Feature photo via Christopher Campbell/Unsplash