• Wed. Dec 1st, 2021

How do I get rid of skin tags?

Oct 19, 2021

ALL sorts of bumps and lumps appear on our skin, and some can cause us some serious discomfort.

If you've found yourself suffering with an irritating skin tag, here is what you can do.

What are skin tags?

Skin tags are small, soft growths that hang off your skin.

They are made of loose collagen fibres – a type of protein – and blood vessels, surrounded by skin.

Tags can measure from a few millimetres up to 5cm in width and are usually found on the neck, armpits, around the groin or under the breasts, according to the NHS.

Some people confuse them with warts, but these tend to be rougher than skin tags with an irregular surface.

Warts are also very contagious, whereas skin tags are not.

Skin tags are common and harmless, but can be removed if they are causing you discomfort.

What causes skin tags?

Skin tags are most common in older people and those with type 2 diabetes.

They can also be more prevalent in people who are overweight or obese as they tend to grow in skin folds where chafing occurs.

Changes in hormone levels during pregnancy can also result in the development of skin tags, the NHS has said.

Research has indicated there could also be a link between the human papillomavirus (HPV) and skin tags.

How do I get rid of skin tags?

The NHS highlights that skin tags are usually nothing to worry about.

But if you have concerns, there are several routes of removal – though experts warn you should never attempt to remove them yourself without speaking to a doctor first.

Methods of removal include:

  1. Electrosurgery – burning with high-frequency electrical energy
  2. Cryotherapy – freezing with liquid nitrogen
  3. Surgery – cutting with scissors or a scalpel
  4. Ligation – tying with surgical thread

What happens if you accidentally pull off a skin tag?

Cutting off a skin tag yourself puts you at risk of infection, irritation and uncontrollable bleeding.

If you accidentally pull one off, it is recommended to visit your GP to ensure everything is as it should be.

Do skin tags bleed when picked?

Bleeding can occur when skin tags are picked, or when they catch on clothing or jewellery.

This can cause irritation and infection, and it could leave you with a noticeable scar.

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