Removing skin tags is fairly common — the National Library of Medicine estimates that up to 60 percent of us will get at least one of these meaty little ones skin growths at least once in our lives. Skin tags (also called acrochordons) are technically tiny, benign tumors, but generally they are no reason to worry. Still, it’s worth seeing your doctor if you notice them popping up. skin tags could be a sign diabetes, high blood pressure, increased risk of heart disease and metabolic syndrome, according to a study published in BMC Research Notes.
Most people choose to have skin tags removed simply because they don’t like the way they look or, depending on where they appear on your body, the hanging parts of it Skin can be irritating. Here’s what dermatologists want you to know if you want to get rid of skin tags.
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What are skin tags?
skin tags look like small bumps of tissue that extend from your skin — typically thinner at the base and wider at the top, according to experts at the Cleveland Clinic. “TThey look like a little bump on the skin,” adds Jennifer Gordon, MD, a board-certified dermatologist at Westlake Dermatology in Austin, TX. “They have a fibrovascular stalk surrounded by flattened skin cells and tend to appear in areas that rub — on the neck, under the arms, in the groin, and around the eyes,” she explains. But they are not one size fits all: skin tags are often the same color as your skin but may appear darker or look like a raised mole. (Although if you have a mole removed, Here’s what to expect.)
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Why do you get skin tags?
People prone to skin tags will most likely they will appear later in life, although they can appear at any age. genetics plays according to Dr. Gordon likely played a role in the development of skin tags. However, weight gain, pregnancy and diabetes are also known to trigger these benign skin growths. Friction can also cause skin tags to grow over time, which is why they’re most commonly found in areas like the skin armpit, neck and groin. dr However, Gordon says that in most cases no single cause can be identified. (But look at these scientific explanations 25 Other Strange Body Reactions.)
Are skin tags dangerous?
In general, skin tags are harmless. “They can be seen in diabetes, so you might want to check if you suddenly see a lot of tags,” says Dr. Gordon. “Skin tags can strangle and become painful and sometimes become infected. If this happens, removal is recommended, and a visit to your dermatologist to make sure antibiotics are not needed,” she says.
How to get rid of skin spots
Skin tag removal should not be done in your home bathroom. Many people will look up how to get rid of skin tags online and try to do it themselves, but you should always go to a dermatologist to have them removed. People have used all sorts of crazy methods to remove skin tags themselves, says Atdarling RossiMD, a Assistant to the dermatologist at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. He’s heard of people tying strings around them, burning them, trying to rip them off with their fingers, and even banging books against them. “It’s wild what people do,” he says. Check out more terrible skincare advice dermatologists wish you’d stop following.
A dermatologist, on the other hand, can cut away skin tags quickly and cleanly. Sounds like you can learn how to get rid of skin tags yourself, right? Not so fast. “It’s like trying to cut your own hair,” says Dr. rossi “It never goes the way they want it to.”
For one thing, dermatologists have sterile instruments, but using your own could result in infection. Plus, while derms can use local anesthesia and have supplies to stop the bleeding, at-home skin tag removal methods could leave you bleeding uncontrollably.
Don’t trust drugstore remedies
Even over-the-counter medications that claim to dissolve skin tags could be bad news, says Dr. rossi “They could burn the skin or leave marks. It could have unintended consequences,” he says. If you hate the idea of someone cutting off your skin, ask a doctor to freeze or burn it instead.
But there’s an even more important reason why you should see an expert. After dermatologists remove a growth, they look at it under a microscope. “There are things that look like skin spots but are cancerous,” says Dr. rossi That doesn’t mean you should freak out when you find a skin tag. Most will just be harmless, but you won’t know for sure until you ask. Also, checking a skin tag is a “good excuse” to get your doctor to examine the rest of your body skin cancer and atypical or malignant growths, says Dr. rossi Before you start thinking you know how to be your own dermatologist, educate yourself on these things you should never do to your skin.
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