What are skin tags?
Skin tags are growths on the skin, and while usually small they can be up to 5cm in width. A typical skin tag is soft, skin coloured or brown and will be raised or protrude from the skin and often will hang off the skin.
Skin tags are made of loose collagen fibres and blood vessels surrounded by skin and while skin tags are normally harmless, many people choose to have them removed for cosmetic reasons, as they don’t like the look of them or they can get in the way and cause discomfort.
What causes skin tags?
You can get a skin tag on any part of the body, although they are most common on the neck, armpits, around the groin and under breasts. Other areas can be eyelids or under the folds of the buttocks, in fact anywhere where skin rubs against itself or creases.
Who gets skin tags?
Both men and women can get skin tags with nearly half the population having a skin tag. The chance of getting a skin tag is more common among certain groups for example the elderly, overweight and obese, due to excess skin and chafing. Pregnant women often develop a skin tag due to hormone and body changes. There may also be a genetic link, as skin tags seem to run in families too.
How to remove skin tags?
While skin tags are harmless and benign, so they don’t signal cancer, they can be irritating if they get caught up in clothes or jewellery for example. In addition, they may become uncomfortable in certain areas of the body. Skin tag removal can be performed in a variety of ways, depending on the size and location. The two main methods for removing skin tags are shaving and excision.
Shaving – Using local anaesthetic around the area the skin tag can be shaved using a scalpel. This method is unlikely to require stitches but may leave a flat pink or white patch as a scar in the area.
Excision – Again using local anaesthetic around the area, a scalpel would be used to cut the skin tag off along with a tiny area around it. Small stitches may be required. This will leave a small line scar.
Both procedures can be carried out by a private dermatologist without the need for a GP referral and avoiding waiting lists. At Diamond Skin Care, our qualified Dermatologists and trained dermatology specialists provide detailed dermatology consultations at our Norfolk clinic in Norwich and our Essex clinic in Colchester. During a pre-procedure consultation or at the beginning of your appointment, both methods will be explained fully, and we’ll discuss the best skin tag removal option for you.
While skin tag removal can be performed relatively simply, by a trained dermatology specialist, you should never try to a remove a skin tag yourself and should always speak to someone qualified.
We’re happy to answer any questions you may have, call us on 01603 819125 or email us at [email protected] for more information on how to remove skin tags.