Skin tags are annoying skin-colored benign growths that are often attached to the skin with a stalk. Though they are harmless, these small soft outgrowths are probably the most common type of skin bumps found on the skin of adults. Their size can range from anything between 2mm to an unsightly 5cm.
Skin tags develop in most people usually after middle-age, with obese people being more prone to them. These fleshy bumps basically consist of skin tissue and fat and don’t present a medical emergency. They are usually found on the neck, underarms, groin folds, under the neck and even on the eyelids. However you must keep in mind that skin tags aren’t dangerous.
Some possible causes for skin tags are thought to be due to friction action or due to the HPV virus. A genetic component has also been suggested as skin tags seem to run in families. It’s also been linked to obesity, pregnancy and chronic conditions like diabetes. They are however, harmless and don’t need to be removed unless for cosmetic reasons. Other than this, these skin tags can sometimes also get irritated and inflamed due to frequent rubbing against cloth in which case you might want to have it removed.
Though there are many DIY ways available online to get rid of skin tags, it’s safer to see a cosmetologist or dermatologist who has the proper know-how and technology to remove them safely. The doctor can easily remove it in their office itself as it’s a minor procedure and you can go home within a short while. Some of the methods used include freezing, snipping, cauterization, ligation, etc.
If it’s a small skin tag, a common practice is to spray it with freezing cold liquid nitrogen gas stored at -3200F. This is a safe non-toxic substance. Your doctor will probably wait for another few seconds before spraying it once again. It might sting for a few seconds and the area could turn red with inflammation. The tag will eventually fall off by itself within a week’s time.
For larger skin tags with thicker stem bases, your doctor will probably first inject the area with an anesthetic to numb the skin. The tag can then be cut off with a sterile scissor followed by cauterization or ‘burning’ to form a scab and seal off the blood supply to prevent bleeding.
The doctors at Dr Dixit Cosmetic Dermatology Clinic in Bangalore are experts at tag removal procedures, with zero recovery time required – so you can get back to routine immediately.
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The information provided in Dr. Dixit's answer is for educational purposes only and is not intended to constitute medical advice. The information provided should not be relied upon as a substitute for consultations with a qualified health professional who may be familiar with your individual medical needs.