Skin Tags: What Are They and Why Am I Getting Them?
While many of us may have them, none of us exactly love them. Skin tags can be a real annoyance to those people who suffer from them and can really affect self-confidence. But what exactly are skin tags? We take a look at why they occur and how to get rid of them once and for all!
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What are they
Skin tags are extremely common, skin coloured, small, soft growths that are attached to the skin. Appearance may be smooth or irregular and they can vary in size. They are comprised of loose collagen fibres and blood vessels and surrounded by skin. They can have a similar appearance to warts but are not contagious. While usually completely harmless new research is linking having numerous skin tags to high blood sugar.
Usually occurring where skin rubs against itself or in skin folds, they are most common in areas such as the neck, groin, under breasts, armpits and eyelids. They may also appear where abrasive or tight clothing rubs against the skin. Although they may occur for no apparent reason, they are most common in overweight and obese people or those with type 2 diabetes. Pregnant and breastfeeding women may develop them due to changes in hormone levels.
Although completely harmless, they may be removed for cosmetic reasons or if they are getting caught in clothing or jewellery. In rare cases, skin tags may fall off on their own. This can happen when the tissue is twisted and the blood supply is cut off. If you notice any changes in a skin tags appearance or if you are considering removing a skin tag always consult a GP or dermatologist first. Skin tags may bleed heavily when they are removed.
Your GP may opt to surgically remove the skin tag using a local anaesthetic or cut it off with sterile scissors. Cryotherapy is another option which will freeze the tag off. If your skin tag is small enough your GP may suggest you remove it yourself by cutting off its blood supply. This is achieved by tying thread or dental floss around the base causing it to fall off. Your local pharmacist can also advise you on a number of products available over the counter to help you remove skin tags.