What is a skin tag, and how do I get rid of it?

The first thing you do when you notice something foreign on your skin is to ask yourself three questions. What is it? Why is it there? And how do I get rid of it? When it comes to skin tags, there are no exceptions. Understanding what it is, how it got there and the most efficient way to remove it are all important factors when dealing with any skin issue.

What is a skin tag?

Skin tags are small, benign growths that hang off the skin. Usually skin-coloured or brown in appearance, they look a little like warts. Although unsightly, they are very harmless. Most people experience skin tags to some extent, with some people becoming more prone than others.

Skin tags vary in shape and size, though are generally between a few millimetres to 5 centimetres in diameter. Commonly found on the neck, under the breasts or around the groin or armpit areas, they are sometimes referred to as ‘skin tabs.’ Both names are given due to their ‘hanging nature, as they are frequently connected to the skin by one end, allowing them to sit loosely and move.

Why do I have one?

In short, studies cannot conclude why skin tags exist and what causes them. However, there are certain possibilities or contributing factors that may result in skin tag production.

These include, though aren’t limited to:

  • Skin rubbing: Skin tab growths generally occur in frictional areas such as skin folds, such as eyelids, armpits, and the groin area.
  • HPV: Certain studies have shown a correlation between low-risk forms of Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) and skin tags, which may suggest a genetic component.

Although very common, affecting approximately 45% of the population, skin tags are more commonly found on women, those over the age of 50, overweight people and those suffering from diabetes.

How do I get rid of it?

Unless the skin tags present on your body are causing pain and discomfort due to excessive rubbing or irritation, there is only one reason for removal, cosmetic reasoning.

Cosmetic removal of skin tags is common due to their unsightly appearance and the ease of removal. The process is not incredibly difficult, the downtime minimal if any (depending on how many skin tags are being removed) and the result is an improved appearance and self-esteem.

If a skin tag needs to be removed professionally, it can be done so using a local anaesthetic if required (due to size) or by using a topical anaesthetic cream to numb the area before removal.

It is important to do your research when looking for a professional to remove your skin tag(s). Although considered a very minor and straightforward procedure, when dealing with cosmetic issues, it is always wise to employ a professional who performs such treatments frequently.

At Main Street Medical & Skin, a Doctor-run clinic, you can feel at ease with the knowledge that you will be treated by a highly skilled professional.

For more information about our skin tag removal process or to book in a skin assessment, call the clinic on 397393830. Our friendly team is always happy to assist you, answer any questions you may have and book your consultation.

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Skin Care and Cosmetic Medical Clinic Centre | Melbourne