Skin Tags, or Acrochordons, appear as small pieces of soft, fleshy growths or flaps protruding or hanging from your skin. 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, and on both men and women, skin tags usually occur in sites of friction, particularly the underarms, neck, and groin areas as it’s believed that irritation of skin on skin or clothing rubbing on the skin may cause them. They are also believed to be genetic and are more common in those who are obese or overweight, have diabetes and women who are pregnant.
Treatment of Skin Tags
Skin tags are benign and pose no harm but may be treated for cosmetic purposes or if bothersome. For some patients, these tags can become red and irritated when caught on jewelry, rubbed by clothing or when shaving.
If skin tags are getting in your way, seek treatment from a trained Dermatologist and do not attempt to remove them yourself. A Dermatologist or Plastic Surgeon can apply a topical numbing agent and 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 applied in the office may be applied.
You should always seek a formal diagnosis of skin tags from a trained medical professional, especially if you have any doubt or concern. A proper diagnosis will help to rule out other skin conditions or skin cancers.