What is a skin tag?

Home » Mad Talk » What is a skin tag?

How We Can Help With Skin Tags (And Why You Shouldn’t Try And Remove Them Yourself)

Skin tags are those soft, fleshy growths that protrude from the skin and sometimes hang off it. They’re harmless, but sometimes annoying as they may rub against clothing or get snagged by jewelry. And, let’s face it, if you have a skin tag that’s sitting in plain view, you may get tired of looking at it. In that case, head for your dermatologist, or Med Spa (Mad Peaches Med Spa offers this service), but not the drugstore. (And above all, DO NOT reach for the scissors)!

What is a skin tag?

Skin tags are benign skin growths made of collagen fibers, nerve cells, fat cells and a covering of skin. They are usually flesh colored but may be darker. They often start as a small, flat bump. Sometimes they stay that way, but often they begin to slowly protrude from the skin. Skin tags can appear almost anywhere, but they tend to grow in skin folds. Common sites include the eyelids, neck, armpits, groin area and under the breasts.

No one knows exactly why skin tags form, but they’re more common with age, obesity and pregnancy. Friction — from skin rubbing against skin or clothing rubbing against skin — is one possible trigger. Some people may have a genetic predisposition to develop skin tags. It’s possible that insulin resistance might also increase the risk.

There is no medical reason skin tags need to be removed, but if you find them bothersome or unsightly, one of our Aestheticians at Mad Peaches can get the job done.

Surgical skin tag removal methods at Mad Peaches

While there are a few different methods, such as Cryotherapy and Excision, we at Mad Peaches use Cauterization. With cauterization, aka electrocautery, the skin tag is burned off at the base using an electric current. This simultaneously removes the skin tag and seals the wound to prevent infection and bleeding. (Don’t worry, we numb you first)!

Why you shouldn’t remove a skin tag at home (trust us on this one)!

Some people try to remove skin tags at home using scissors or nail clippers, etc. but those efforts can go wrong very quickly. Even using an over-the-counter product to remove skin tags is not ideal. Here’s why it pays to leave skin tag removal to the professionals.

You can’t be 100% sure it’s a skin tag.

In rare cases, a growth you think is a skin tag may be something else entirely, including a wart or a skin cancer such as melanoma. That’s why it’s important to have a professional examine a growth before you decide to remove it. If you remove a growth that’s actually a skin cancer, you can end up leaving behind cancer cells, which can multiply and spread. If the growth is something that one of our aestheticians does not recognize, or feel comfortable with,  we will refer you to a Dermatologist.

Additionally, sometimes a skin tag can be a sign of an endocrine or hormonal syndrome such as acromegaly or polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). If the dermatologist suspects an underlying condition, he or she may send the removed skin tag to a lab for further examination.

It could lead to bleeding, infection or irritation:

Cutting off a skin tag with scissors yourself can lead to infection or uncontrollable bleeding, which may require a trip to the ER. (You’d be surprised at how much a large skin tag can bleed if not cauterized or frozen by a professional.) It can also hurt — a lot.

Home remedies such as apple cider vinegar or tea tree oil are popular, at least on the internet. If you go that route, don’t count on getting the results you want; there’s little evidence that these approaches actually work. And they may cause irritation or, in the case of tea tree oil, an allergic reaction.

The bottom line for your best interest:

If a skin tag is bothering you or you simply don’t like the look of it and want it removed, a trip to the Med Spa or Dermatologist is the way to go.

(Mad Peaches is one of the only Med Spas in the Denver area who offer this service).  Call to find out more 303-474-4436 or visit our website www.madpeachesmedspa.com

 Jamie Helle

Certified Esthetician

Mad Peaches 8.7.20

Posted on