Skin Tags

A common middle-age condition, skin tags are harmless, benign, skin growths. These tiny tags of skin are non-cancerous, according to the Mayo Clinic. This small, pliable, fleshâ€"colored skin portions appear on the eyelids, under the breasts and armpits, along the neck, around the groin, or anywhere on the body where skin folds’ rest. Friction against the skin from jewelry, perspiration and excess skin cause skin tags to form. These small bits of flesh can be annoying and painful when torn by jewelry or irritated by constrictive clothing.

In some instances, however, multiple skin growths can be a sign of a hormonal or endocrine conditions, notes the Mayo Clinic. Skin tags are harmless; however, individuals with multiple tags on the eyelids or areas of friction or irritation may seek medical treatment. Home removal is not recommended because skin tags bleed when cut. Medical evaluation is recommended to rule out any skin condition. Freezing the tag with liquid nitrogen, cauterizing, or burning the tag or removal with surgical scissors, in the physicians’ office, are common medical removal procedures. Removal, often completed in an outpatient setting is painless and requires no anesthesia. Health insurance will not cover the cost of this cosmetic surgery because skin tags pose no risk to individuals.

Skin tags or achrocordons, soft fibromas or fibroepithelial polyps, are flesh or dark colored pieces of tissue attached to skin folds by a stalk of skin. Although physicians are unaware of the cause of tag growth, they note that these pieces of tissue are harmless portions of overgrown skin. These benign tags may be associated with obesity because excessive skin folds hold perspiration and provide the perfect conditions for skin tag growth. Similar to other genetic traits, skin tags may also run in the family. However, there is no way to reduce the risk of these skin growths.

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