Perhaps you have met someone with these unsightly looking growths and thought that they were contagious or that it had to be something very serious, like cancer. But skin tags, medically termed acrochordons, are nowhere contagious or cancerous even. What they are is small pieces of skin hanging from a tiny stalk attached to places such as the armpit, eyelids, neck or groin area. Although you may get them in the genitals, it is not a sexual transmitted disease. The only thing here is that it may be embarrassing because of where it is.
Skin tags are a common type of skin condition that is found in people over the age of 40, or those that are overweight and has some form of diabetes. Women tend to have skin tags more than men. There can be 50-100 tags on a person’s body. They are brown or black and do not grow to more than a few millimeters.
There are no treatments necessary as skin tags are quite harmless and painless too. If irritated though, they may itch. If you scratch it and it becomes aggravated and begin to hemorrhage, you should seek professional help immediately. A dermatologist is the one who normally does a diagnosis for this as it is related to the skin. If you feel the need to remove your skin tags, whether it has erupted or for cosmetic purposes, the removal procedure is considered to be an outpatient type. Removing them is not considered a serious procedure. Removal may be by surgery in which a sterilized scalpel is used to cut off the skin tissue. A bandage is placed over the wound for healing. Cryotherapy is using liquid nitrogen to freeze the tags. The other method might prove to be more effective than the rest. The process is cauterizing. It is using an electric needle and applying heat to the skin tags. The heat not only sears the tag but also any pending tags beneath the surface of the skin.
Sometimes, there may be abnormalities or suspicion in the way the skin tags look. In this case your dermatologist will do a screening or a biopsy may be taken for laboratory testing. Although not cancerous, it is prudent to be certain so that the necessary precautions can be taken before it is too late.
Should you find that you have a couple of skin tags, there is nothing to worry about as they are harmless.
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