Skin tags can be referred to as polyploidy outgrowths of the epidermis and dermal fibrovascular tissue. They usually appear as thin bits of skin that protrude above the healthy skin and have a structure that has a clearly visible stalk and a head-like feature. They are hence very easy to notice, especially adding the fact that they appear darker or redder than the normal skin with a tone of grey. They are growths, yes, but they are not cancerous in any way. In fact, they are completely benign.
What actually happens within the skin to cause skin tags? Constant friction on a part of the skin causes the blood vessels within it to get entangled with collagen and get trapped within thin bits of skin. This causes the skin to protrude on these areas and become skin tags.
There has been a lot of research over the years by scientists trying to determine what the exact cause of skin tags are. So far, none have been determined. The only factors that are known are ones which increase the risk of one developing skin tags.
Top among these factors is obesity. Overweight individuals have a lot of fat within the skin and this causes the skin to form folds which are potential friction spots. The more the friction on these folds, the higher the chances of developing skin tags in these parts of the body.
There have also been many cases of body builders with skin tags. In fact, these cases are growing and researchers have found the most probable reason to this and it is steroid use. Most body builders have a goal of bulking up using any means whatsoever and they end up buying and using the illegal types of steroids because those are the most effective in gaining muscle mass. Constant use of these steroids leads to rapid tissue build up which is a perfect recipe for skin tags development.
Pregnancy is another condition that has been known to increase the chances of one developing skin tags. This is because it brings about tissue expansion as the belly gets bigger hence a chance of blood vessels and collagen getting trapped within thin bits of skin. It may also lead to genital skin tags due to the friction during child birth.
Please note that there are many exceptions to all these cases. Falling into any of the above categories does not necessarily mean that you will develop skin tags.