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The most common bump on adult skin is probably skin tags. They are generally harmless, but many people find them bothersome.

What Is a Skin Tag?

Skin tags—also known as acrochordon—are common, benign (noncancerous), painless, skin-colored skin growths that resemble a small, soft balloon hung on a slender stalk. They consist of fibers, nerve cells, fat cells, and a covering or epidermis. Skin tags may have a smooth or irregular appearance on their surface, with a diameter from 2mm to 1cm, or even 5cm in some cases. They can be soft and round, or they may be wrinkly and asymmetrical. 

What causes skin tags?

The precise cause of skin tags is not clear exactly. They may occur when clusters of collagen and blood vessels get stuck within thicker pieces of skin. They can also be caused by skin rubbing against skin, as they are more common in creases or folds.

Some people tend to be predisposed to developing skin tags. They tend to happen more often during pregnancy, in obese people and people with diabetes. The presence of multiple skin tags was linked to insulin resistance, a high body mass index, and high blood sugar, according to a 2010 report.

Skin tags are more likely to appear in people who have:

  • obesity
  • dyslipidemia (high cholesterol levels)
  • hypertension, or high blood pressure

Where do skin tags occur?

Skin tags may develop on any part of the body. They’re most typical in the skin’s creases and folds. Chubby babies may also develop skin tags in areas where skin rubs against skin, like the sides of the neck. Still, the most common areas generally are the neck and armpits. Skin tags tend to also occur on the eyelids, neck, armpits, groin folds, and under breasts. Younger children may develop them in the upper eyelid areas, often in areas where they may rub their eyes.

Who is more likely to get skin tags?

Both men and women are prone to developing skin tags. Skin tags are generally acquired (meaning they are not present at birth), and more often, they arise in adulthood. They are much more common in middle-aged people, and they tend to increase in prevalence up to age 60. 

Skin tags tend to be more common in:

  • people who are obese
  • those with diabetes
  • women during pregnancy, possibly due to hormonal changes and high levels of growth factors
  • those whose close family members also have skin tags
  • those who have HPV

Signs and symptoms

Skin tags, apart from their cosmetic appearance, seldom cause pain or discomfort. These small skin growths generally cause symptoms when they are repeatedly irritated. 

Since it’s difficult to diagnose skin tags on your own, it’s critical to see a dermatologist if something on your skin is developing, bleeding, itchy, crusty, flaky, or changing color. Skin tags that have changed color or bled may need to be evaluated by your doctor. Clotted skin tags are sometimes a symptom of another condition and should be biopsied.

You may need skin tag removal if the tag has become either irritated and red from bleeding (hemorrhage), black from twisting, or it’s become necrotic.

How Are Skin Tags Removed?

what causes skin tags

The majority choose to remove large skin tags—especially in areas where they may rub against something, such as clothing, jewelry, or skin—since they can be irritating and bothering. However, as skin tags are usually harmless, removal is generally done for cosmetic reasons.

A doctor may remove your skin tags by the following procedure:

  • Cauterization/Electrosurgery: Electrolysis is used to remove the skin tag.
  • Cryosurgery: A probe containing liquid nitrogen is used to freeze the skin tag off.
  • Ligation: The skin tag’s blood supply is cut off.
  • Excision: A scalpel is used to remove the tag.

Removing a skin tag at home is not commonly recommended due to a risk of bleeding and possible infection. The benefit of surgical removal is that the skin tag is gone; however, there is a chance of slight bleeding. Only a dermatologist, specialist skin doctor, or a properly qualified medical professional should perform these procedures. An ophthalmologist or specialist eye doctor may need to remove skin tags on the eyelid, especially those near the eyelid margin.

Skin Tags Removal UK

If you develop a skin tag, it may not be a cause for concern. Skin tags are an annoyance for the majority of people. If you have a tag that bleeds, itches, or changes color, you should see a doctor right away. At Aventus Clinic, our prices for skin tag removal start from £195. For any questions, you can contact us or book your consultation!

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