If you’re seeing fleshy small pieces of soft growths hanging from your skin, you likely have skin tags. These little raised bumps and flaps are medically termed acrochordons. They are an outgrowth of normal skin and are harmless. According to the U.S. National Institutes of Health, approximately 46% of people have skin tags and they are especially common after the age of 50. Around 59% of people have skin tags by the time they are 70 years old.
What Causes Skin Tags
Although they can appear anywhere on the body, skin tags usually occur in sites of friction, particularly the underarms, neck, and groin areas. It is believed that irritation of skin on skin or clothing rubbing on the skin may cause them. They are also believed to be genetic. They are also more common in those who are obese or overweight, have diabetes and women who are pregnant. Skin tags affect both men and women equally.
Treatment of Skin Tags
Treatment of skin tags are for cosmetic purposes or if bothersome. Skin tags can become red and irritated when caught on jewelry, rubbed by clothing or when shaving. Sometimes they become twisted on their blood supply and turn red or black.
If skin tags are getting in your way, you may be tempted to rip them off yourself. That is a bad idea. They can easily be removed at a dermatology office. The doctor will either snip them off or freeze with liquid nitrogen. Generally, you won’t need any anesthesia, but if you have a larger skin tag, local anesthesia (such as a topical anesthesia cream) may be applied.
If your skin tags are bothering you, visit one of our dermatology offices located in the Fairfield County, CT towns of Danbury, Norwalk, and Ridgefield. We specialize in general medical, surgical and cosmetic dermatology in Connecticut including acne, skin cancer, eczema, warts, hair loss, rashes, shingles and scars.