How To Get Rid Of Your Annoying Skin Tags
Skin tags, or acrochordons, are little pieces of flesh, often on a stalk, that are completely normal. They tend to occur in areas where skin rubs, such as under the arms, around the neck, or in the groin but they can also occur on the face. Skin tags occur more frequently on overweight people more so than those with a normal weight.
Although totally normal, these lesions are annoying. They can get caught on clothing or jewelry and be ripped off, often painfully. Some can bleed quite a bit if aggravated. Although most do not cause any pain or problems, most people find them to be unsightly and therefore want them off. There are multiple ways to achieve this.
Home remedies are not recommended as they can put a person at risk for infection, scarring or other complications. Creams and gels have not been verified to work and will likely cause much skin irritation. A string or dental floss can be tied around each tag independently by the patient. After a day or two, the skin tag will fall off with little complication. There are also a number of over the counter freeze cans that can be used, but these are painful and can scar. Of course cutting a tag off with scissors can also get rid of the tag, but again, as it is unlikely that the scissors will be sterile or that proper precaution will be used, these will likely become infected.
Another great reason to avoid trying to remove skin tags at home is that, although the concerning lesions may appear to be a typical skin tag, they may not be. It is best to have a qualified dermatology provider examine the lesions in question to make sure they are not something worse, such as a cancer.
So how do we get rid of skin tags? A dermatology provider can use multiple techniques to rid the patient of these nuisances. They can be cut off with sterile scissors, frozen with liquid nitrogen, cut off with a scalpel, or electro-cauterized. Many times the provider will use local anesthesia before removing a skin tag to keep pain at a minimum, and liquid cauterizing agents can be applied to stop bleeding. The mode used will vary based on size of the lesions, location and the risk of scarring. It is important to remember that no treatment will keep new lesions for forming.
Be sure to contact your local dermatology provider with any questions or concerns you have.