Skin tags (sometimes called fibroepithelial polyps, acrochordon, cutaneous papilloma, and fibroma molluscum) are growths of skin tissue that extend above the skin’s surface, usually supported by a slim stalk.
Skin tags form most often in areas where the skin is subjected to a lot of friction or rubbing caused by clothing or skin. The most common locations for skin tags are the neck, eyelids, groin, underarms, and inframammary fold (the fold beneath beneath the breast where the breast skin makes contact with the chest skin).
Aside from aesthetic considerations, skin tags usually cause no symptoms unless they’re rubbed or snagged, in which case they can become painful or itchy, or they may begin to bleed.
Skin tags can occur at any age, but they’re much more common among men and women who are 40 years of age or older. Each tag is composed of blood vessels, collagen, nerves, and fat cells surrounded and encased by skin tissue. Skin tags form in areas of irritation, and some medical studies indicate they’re more likely to occur in patients who have a family history of skin tags.
No, skin tags are benign. However, it’s always a good idea to have any type of skin growth evaluated to ensure it’s not cancerous.
Many treatments are available for removing skin tags. Dr. Batlle uses cryotherapy, which involves the application of liquid nitrogen to freeze off growths.
Cryotherapy has the advantage of leaving no scars, which can be especially important for patients with many tags and in those with tags in very visible areas. Dr. Batlle can also treat multiple skin tags in a single office visit.
No, you should never remove skin tags at home. First, a doctor should evaluate any skin growth to ensure the growth is indeed benign and not associated with skin cancer. Second, removing a skin tag at home can result in a very serious skin infection that can quickly spread, and it can also cause scarring.
Dr. Batlle can remove skin tags quickly in just one office visit, which means there’s no need to risk serious complications with DIY approaches.
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