What Causes Skin Tags?
Skin tags can appear anywhere on the body, including the underarms, thighs, bra line, neck, and eyelids. They are most common in skin folds and friction areas, and your chances of getting them are increased if your parents have them. Skin tags are not dangerous, consisting of normal skin and fat tissue. They can, however, be irritating or itchy or become swollen and painful. The cause of skin tags is not always known; however, they are easily removed.
- Skin tags grow from a thinner stalk of skin hanging off the body.
- They are mostly skin tone but can be darker.
- They are usually millimetres long but can grow to centimetres!
- Some people get one lesion, while others get multiples (sometimes hundreds).
- Skin tags affect about 25% of people starting in their 50s.
Skin tags affect both men and women at the same rate. However, there are a few factors that are linked to the risk of developing them.
- Being overweight increases the risk of skin tags simply because the skin is more likely to rub against itself or clothing. For example, under the arms, between the thighs, under the bra area, or on the neck where necklaces rub.
- Pregnancy not only increases the risk of friction and rubbing but also appears to make you more prone to an increase in the number and size of existing skin tags.
- Diabetes makes people more prone to skin tags, but there is no clear explanation for why this occurs.
Skin Tag Removal
The best way to remove skin tags is determined by their size and location on the body. Skin tags, seborrhoeic keratoses, senile warts, and cosmetic mole removal are among the many conditions treated by our doctors. Skin tag removal is easy with a radiofrequency surgical loupe, no stitches, and a simple dressing procedure safe for all skin types. Other methods for removing skin tags include diathermy, cryotherapy, and freezing.
Any pigmented moles removed for cosmetic reasons, on the other hand, must be sent for pathology testing. Therefore, it would be best if you did not allow anyone to remove moles unless they had been cleared by a skin cancer doctor first. Skin tags and seborrhoeic keratosis, on the other hand, go through a different procedure.
The Ellman Surgitron with radiofrequency shave is ideal for removing both small and large skin tags. Unfortunately, because skin tag removal is classified as cosmetic, Medicare does not cover the removal of these benign lesions.
Removal of Large Skin Tags
Skin tags that are larger than a couple of millimetres in diameter have a broader base. Diathermy, radiofrequency shave, or surgical snipping at the base are usually the best ways to remove without bleeding under local anaesthesia. You’ll end up with a shallow sore that needs to be covered to heal but has a good chance of not recurring.
Neurofibromas and seborrheic keratoses Both of these are harmless skin conditions that can look like skin tags. The good news is that both of these can be treated similarly to skin tag removal.
Removal of Small Skin Tags
Skin tags can be removed by freezing. This stings briefly; you can expect a blister and redness, and then the lesion will heal.
What to expect with Skin Tag Removal
Dr Andreina attempts scarless removal using the Ellman Radio Frequency. It is impossible to remove a lesion without leaving a scar, but Ellman strives for imperceptibility. Skin tag removal, step by step:
- Our doctors will examine your skin lesions to see if they are candidates for Ellman Surgitron removal.
- Local anaesthetic is applied before the procedure to allow the loupe excision without discomfort.
- Healing takes between 7 and 14 days.
- Scarring and a slight colour difference may occur at the site of treatment. However, this is imperceptible with very narrow base skin tags.
- In most cases, one treatment is sufficient to remove each lesion, though more may be required in some cases.
- Our Doctors also offer seborrheic keratosis removal and cosmetic mole removal.
Call us on 3350 5447 to book a consultation with Dr Andreina or Book Online.
Skin Tag Removal at Home
There are many sites on the internet that have recommendations for the removal of skin tags at home. They fall into three camps:
- Cutting most likely will not work as you will not get the root of the skin tag; there can be significant bleeding afterwards and a small risk of infection.
- Tieing off the tag with dental floss or other fine thread. Sometimes this will work, but you will need to go through a period of inflammation and swelling and discomfort. This approach is not likely to impact larger skin tags.
- Although harmless-will, cider vinegar or tea tree oil does not work as you need to remove the skin tag physically. No harm in trying this, although it can cause irritation and redness.