Skin tags: causes and risk factors

Skin tags are bumps that grow on the skin. in different areas of the body. They are small at first and look like a flattened pinhead. They are brown and can grow up to 5 centimeters.

Many people confuse skin tags with warts because they look similar. However, while warts are soft, smooth, and rise above the skin, warts are rough, hard, and have almost no volume.

Also known as soft fibroidsThey are not contagious. Some types of warts are caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV). What they have in common is that these are benign skin lesions.

Causes of skin tags

Science isn’t clear on why skin tags appear. These They appear most frequently in areas where the skin make the foldssuch as the neck, armpits and groin. They are also found on the face, especially on the eyelids.

Therefore, the possible cause of these bumps is thought to be chafing skin to skin. The idea that they are related to human papillomavirus is not excluded, but there is not enough evidence for this.

It is also possible that they arise on the basis of a certain genetic predisposition, since they have been found to occur in members of the same family.

Human papilloma virus (HPV).
There is a possibility that HPV is related to skin tags, but the strongest hypothesis is skin-to-skin rubbing.

Symptoms of skin tags

Skin tags have the appearance of a mole pendant, although they usually have a darker color. They are detected with the naked eye, but a biopsy is sometimes needed if there is any doubt about the diagnosis.

Typically, these soft fibroids do not cause any noticeable symptoms. Discomfort can arise because they stick to clothes or get irritated from rubbing. If the stem is twisted, it is possible for them to become necrotic (tissue die). This causes pain, inflammation and the risk of superinfection.

Risk factors

Was detected that this type of fibroids They are more common in men and rarely appear before the age of 30. The highest incidence occurs after the age of 50 and cases increase simultaneously with age.

In addition to age and gender factors, there are other conditions that appear to be related to skin tags. Among them are the following:

  • Obesity.
  • Pregnancy.
  • Acromegaly or gigantism.
  • insulin resistance e diabetes type 2.
  • Crohn’s disease.

What treatments exist to remove them?

In principle, skin tags do not require any treatment, as they pose no health risks. However, some people feel the need to remove them due to discomfort caused by rubbing or for cosmetic reasons.

Depending on the case, there are different alternatives to achieve the task of eliminating them. Among the techniques are the following:

  • Binding: It is a manual technique which consists of tying a piece of suture at the base of the skin tag, thus cutting off circulation. The thread is left there for several days. The lesion dries up and falls off on its own.
  • Surgical excision: It is done using tweezers and scissors. It usually requires local anesthesia and silver nitrate to control bleeding. If the lesion is very large, it requires suturing.
  • cryotherapy: It is a method in which liquid nitrogen or argon gas is used to create intense cold. In this way the lesion is frozen and removed. It is the most used technique in dermatology.
  • Electrosurgery: It is minimally invasive and involves applying an electric current to the lesion to burn and detach it. It is faster than other methods, causes less bleeding and ensures good asepsis.
  • Fractional CO2 laser: this is one of the more modern systems. It is performed under local anesthesia and uses tiny beams of light. These form small cuts and allow the skin tag to detach.
Surgery to remove skin tags.
Different techniques are valid for skin tag extraction, depending on the location and size.

Skin tags are benign

Skin tags may look weird, but they’re actually harmless. Some people use anti-wart liquids to remove them, although this is incorrect, as it is a different lesion.

It is important to clarify that although the tying method is simple and seemingly within the reach of anyone, it is best performed by someone trained for this purpose. Otherwise, unnecessary complications may arise.

Although skin tags are a benign lesion and are not dangerous, it is ideal to put the situation in the hands of a dermatologist. This is the competent professional to evaluate it and decide what to do.

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