As humans, we all have the same features, right? Eyes, noses, mouths, limbs… The overall structure of our bodies is more or less the same. It is difficult to imagine what we humans would look like if any of these features weren’t present at all among our species. Like, let’s take an instance. Our nose. If you think about it, noses look pretty weird. But how much weirder would us humans look without it? Or maybe we just wouldn’t know how we would look like with a nose, so it wouldn’t bother us as much.
However, despite our collectivist features, we also have some individual features that give us uniqueness in our sameness. And I am talking about things like freckles, dimples, heterochromia, and even skin tags.
In this day and age, all it takes is 5 minutes for you to access any kind of information you need via the Internet. The Internet generation is blessed in a plethora of ways. While my parents had to research for things page by page at a public library and still end up with no accurate answer, I can look up the information I want in a span of a few minutes.
So, what I mean is that nowadays it’s much easier to raise awareness on different matters. When people have access to information, then they will be more educated, which leads to them being more cautious in everyday life.
Amazing, right? The power of the internet.
So what I want to talk to you about today is something that has caused controversy over time. Skin tags. Many people aren’t aware of what skin tags are, their nature, and how we should take care of them. So, let’s begin.
Breaking down the basics
So, what exactly are skin tags? Skin tags look like a bit of ‘loose hanging’ skin and are present usually in adults. Although in some cases, children might have skin tags too, they occur more often in middle-aged people. Skin tags are completely harmless and noncancerous.
Skin tags come in various sizes and colors, but more often than not, they have a similar color with your skin and don’t grow too big. However, in some cases, skin tags can grow up to one or two inches.
Being harmless, people with skin tags can live a stress-free life and they won’t be a problem.
They grow on different parts of the body, such as eyelid:
On the back:
Even on groin folds, neck, and on the upper chest. And in women, under breast skin tags occur very often.
Why do they occur?
The exact reason as to why skin tags develop is unknown. However, considering the places that they grow, science says that they occur in places where there is a lot of friction. So, chances are higher for skin tags to develop in places where there is skin fold, such as armpits, under breasts, in the groin folds, etc. This is why people who are overweight or pregnant are more prone to skin tags.
However, according to a study done in 2008, the human papillomavirus might be related to skin tags. The empirical study analyzed 37 skin tags from different parts of the body. What they found was that 50% of the cases of people who had skin tags also had the human papillomavirus.
Moreover, there is another theory that skin tags are related to insulin resistance. People who have insulin resistance do not absorb glucose from the blood effectively. That is why a study conducted in 2010 argues that “the presence of multiple skin tags was associated with insulin resistance, overweight, and hypertriglyceridemia, irrespective of the presence of other known risk factors.”
Should you remove skin tags?
As I mentioned previously, skin tags are harmless and don’t cause any disturbance. But they can also be annoying. If your skin tag is disrupting your daily routine, then you can go ahead and remove it.
Let us take an example. Skin tags can occur in the same place where your bra strap falls. Regardless of how painless your skin tag is, hurting it with a bra strap can cause for it to bleed. So, if your skin tag is snatching on clothes or even jewelry, then you can consider setting a doctor’s appointment.
Moreover, if your skin tags are affecting your self-esteem, there is no reason as to why you shouldn’t go ahead and get rid of them. Skin tag removal can be done professionally or at home, however, bear in mind that you shouldn’t try to remove a skin tag before speaking to a doctor.
Skin tag removal can be costly due to the fact that it is considered a cosmetic surgery and your insurance will rarely ever cover it. But, the good news is that skin tags can fall off by themselves over time. Since they are connected to the skin by a thin stalk, when the blood flow is restricted, then they ‘die’ and fall off.
Removing skin tags
So, you have thought it through and you want to go ahead and remove your skin tag. The first thing you need to do is contact your doctor. The doctor, then, will examine the skin tag and make sure of the diagnosis.
There are several methods to get rid of skin tags. And if your skin tag is small enough or loose enough, then your doctor might suggest that you remove it yourself.
Skin tags can easily be burned off, or even frozen off, like moles. However, these methods aren’t 100% effective, as the skin tag might not fall off completely, and you might experience skin irritation. But, surgical assistance ensures that the skin tag is removed completely.
If your skin tag has a narrow base, then you can remove it yourself. With the help of a thread, tie a knot tight enough to ensure blood flow restriction. After a couple of days, the skin tag will dry and fall off itself. You can also use a pair of sterile surgical scissors and cut it off to the base.
However, as I mentioned before, do not attempt to remove them by yourself before the doctor makes sure of the diagnosis.
Is it a skin tag, a wart or a mole?
To be completely honest with you, skin tags, warts, and moles are all annoying. However, skin tags and warts are harmless, while moles can become problematic. So, it might always come in handy to know the difference between the three.
So, let’s begin with skin tags.
Skin tags differ from warts and moles in a quite visible way. How the loose skin is attached to the body says everything. The thin stalk shows us that what we are dealing with is a skin tag.
Moving over to warts.
Warts develop mostly on knees, feet, and hands. They are very contagious and spread quickly. So, it is safe to say that if you have a single wart, chances are other warts will grow in that area. More often than not, if you have warts it means that you caught the virus from shaking hands with a person who already had the virus, or maybe shared the same hand towel.
And finally, moles.
Moles are a most serious skin condition. They form quite slowly. If they become cancerous, they change in shape, color, and symmetry. The difference between moles and warts is that moles have pigment and might have hair, while warts don’t.
Skin tags cannot be prevented. They will grow regardless of how much you try to avoid them. Keep in mind that if you have a skin growth that keeps changing in shape, color or it bleeds, you need to contact your doctor as soon as possible.
Disclaimer: The contents of this article: text, graphics, images, and other materials contained are strictly for informational purposes only. The Content is NOT intended to be used as a substitute for professional medical diagnosis, advice, or treatment. Please ALWAYS seek the advice of a qualified health provider with all the questions that you have related to, or about, a medical condition.