About 46% of people in the United States have skin tags, which are common and generally harmless skin growths. While skin tags aren’t dangerous to your health, there are some situations where you might want to have them removed.
Board-certified dermatologist David A. Bushore, MD, performs comprehensive skin evaluations at Balcones Dermatology & Aesthetics in Austin, Texas. Dr. Bushore also offers skin tag removal services at his facility if you have discomfort or complications from any skin tags.
What causes skin tags?
Skin tags are noncancerous growths that appear as a piece of hanging skin. Inside the tag is collagen, a natural protein needed for healthy skin, nerves, and blood vessels.
Skin tags are usually soft, and they most often develop on the natural folds and creases of the body and other areas where friction is common, such as the neck, groin, eyelids, and underarms.
What causes skin tags isn’t completely understood, but experts think friction from movements or clothing might contribute to the excess skin growths. While anyone can develop skin tags, people who are obese are at increased risk for developing skin tags.
Other risk factors for developing skin tags include:
- Being female
- Being pregnant
- Having a hormone imbalance
- Having Type 2 diabetes
- Having a human papillomavirus (HPV) infection
If you have family members with skin tags, you will also have a higher chance of developing them.
When should skin tags be removed?
Generally, skin tags that aren’t causing issues don’t need to be removed. However, if a skin tag changes in appearance or becomes bothersome, board-certified dermatologist David A. Bushore, MD, can remove it during an in-office procedure.
You should schedule a skin tag removal consultation if you notice:
- Increased growth
- Discoloration in the skin tag
You might also have skin tags that grow in areas where they easily get caught on your clothing or jewelry, which could lead to persistent irritation and pain. Dr. Bushore can remove these tags and any visible skin tags on your face or other areas of your body that make you feel self-conscious.
What are the options for removing skin tags?
The removal method that board-certified dermatologist David A. Bushore, MD, uses will depend on the location and size of your skin tag. All skin tag removal options are available at the office. Depending on the tag, Dr. Bushore may employ any of the following methods:
For some skin tags, Dr. Bushore can use sharp scissors or a scalpel to quickly remove the growth.
Large skin tags might require an application of liquid nitrogen, which freezes the skin tag tissue and destroys it.
Using electrocautery, Dr. Bushore burns the stalk of the tag to remove it without damaging your surrounding skin.
Even though there are products available online and in stores to treat skin tags, it’s always best to seek professional help to remove skin tags and prevent complications. Cutting skin tags by yourself can cause bleeding. Furthermore, if you use liquid applications incorrectly, they may burn your skin and leave behind scars.
Board-certified dermatologist David A. Bushore, MD, can treat one or multiple skin tags during the same office visit. To schedule your skin tag evaluation, book an appointment online or over the phone with Balcones Dermatology & Aesthetics today.