What is a skin tag? It is normally a small piece of skin, most of the times darker than an individual’s complexion, which appears as protruding from the skin. A more scientific description of it would be a polypoid outgrowth of both epidermis and dermal fibrovascular tissue. It can appear on any part of the body but quite common where there are joints or skin folds. This is mainly attributed to the fact that they are a result of skin rubbing against skin, therefore trapping collagen and blood vessels against thick bits of skin.
There are several factors that increase the risk of a person developing skin tags. Among these are obesity, steroid use, diabetes, pregnancy and presence of the human Papilloma virus in the body among other things.
People who develop such are often very concerned about their state of health. Sometimes, they may even go into depression with concerns of having a type of skin cancer, courtesy of the skin tag.
So, can a skin tag really turn cancerous? In other words, are they cancerous? There are many scientific researches which have been done as pertaining to this. So far, there has not been any evidence that has proven the possibility of skin tags turning cancerous. Why is this so?
Although skin cancer appears as a growth on the skin, it is normally due to an accumulation of the cells as opposed to skin tags that are as a result of the trapping of collagen fibres and blood cells within thick skin bits. Any cancer on the skin is also most of the times accompanied by sores that do not seem to heal. Although they may not be painful, they may occasionally ooze fluid or bleed. This is a phenomenon that definitely does not apply to skin tags.
Another characteristic of any cancer on the skin is the fact that they occur to places where the skin is most exposed to sunlight. This is in contrast to skin tags that mostly occur where there are folds and friction.
It is however, very important that you seek immediate medical attention if you notice a growth on the skin. Do not shrug it off as a skin tag. A dermatologist would be in a better position to examine and determine if its one or not. After that, he or she can then treat you accordingly depending on the type of outgrowth you may have.
Skin tags do not just apply to the above cases. Perfectly healthy people or children can also develop them.
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