Acrochordons, or skin tags, are smaller skin growths commonly found in areas where the skin folds and rubs against each itself. Some of these areas are the armpits, groin, upper chest, under the breast, eyelids, and neck. What is a skin tag? Well, it is collagen fibers, nerve cells, and small blood vessels that wrap up in the layers of the skin and form the tag. They are normally a few shades lighter or darker than your skin tone and form pieces of tissues called a stalk. There aren't any symptoms of skin tags, and they usually form without any warning. Skin tags often become painful, irritated, torn, or twisted. This is about the time that you will notice them. It is important to be mindful of them because if they are scratched or rubbed wrong, they can become irritated and possibly bleed. DCSI is here to tell you some causes and how to prevent skin tags.
Causes of Skin TagsWhile the exact cause of skin tags is unclear, there are still many reasons they may appear. One of the main reasons is when there is friction between the skin, like in areas where chaffing is common. Some physical features and conditions that have a higher chance of forming skin tags are:
- Cardiovascular disease
- History of skin tags
Skin Tag PreventionThere is no way to guarantee skin tag prevention, but there are a few ways for people that aren’t genetically predisposed to skin tags to take caution. Some ways to reduce the amount of friction on the skin are to lose weight (reducing the skin folds), avoid tight-fitting clothing and jewelry, and also avoid garments or materials that tend to rub against the skin. While there is no guarantee for how to prevent them, our South Florida Dermatology office is here to help with treatments and removals.
Skin Tag TreatmentSkin tags are normally more annoying than they are harmful. Removal is more for aesthetic or cosmetic reasons. There are a few procedures to have the skin tags removed:
- Cauterization - This is when the skin tag will be burned off using electrolysis
- Ligation - The blood supply to the skin tag is interrupted
- Cryosurgery - Using a probe filled with liquid nitrogen, the skin tag is frozen off
- Excision - By using a scalpel, the tag is cut off