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Q: As I have gotten more mature, I’ve observed much more and a lot more pores and skin tags sprouting in odd spots on my system. What are they, accurately? And is there nearly anything I can (and should) do to get rid of them?

They can pop up in strange places: on your neck, underneath your arms, maybe even close to your groin.

And for numerous men and women, they can be exceptionally annoying — in particular if they get caught on jewelry or clothing, or if they once in a while bleed.

Exploration implies that extra than 50 % of adults will create at the very least one skin tag all through their life span.

The excellent information, mentioned Dr. Angela Lamb, a skin doctor at Mount Sinai in New York Metropolis, is that they are harmless. “They’re totally benign,” she explained. “They have zero malignant potential.”

But simply because skin tags can be associated with other situations, it’s vital to fully grasp how to recognize them and when to discuss with a health and fitness treatment provider.

Pores and skin tags are comfortable growths that protrude from the area of your skin. They can change in look but are generally about the dimension of a modest pebble or a grain of rice, and can be flesh-coloured or darker.

Mainly because pores and skin tags can in some cases resemble the lesions associated with pores and skin cancers, it’s often smart to see a doctor if you are not certain what kind of development you have. “Anything which is regarding you, any new progress which is extending from the skin, it’s a fantastic thought just to get it checked out,” Dr. Lamb mentioned.

As for what leads to skin tags, no person seriously understands, Dr. Lamb stated. They’re much more very likely to pop up as you age and are likely to show up on parts of the pores and skin that rub in opposition to each and every other.

They are extra typical in all those who are pregnant, so hormones could participate in a part, Dr. Lamb added. They also are inclined to be genetic, so “if your dad and mom experienced skin tags, you’ll in all probability have skin tags,” she reported.

Some analysis suggests that the presence of skin tags is linked with insulin resistance, a precursor to Type 2 diabetic issues.

“If you’re finding a whole lot of them,” reported Dr. Whitney Bowe, a dermatologist based in Westchester County, N.Y., “you could possibly want to provide it to the notice of your medical doctor,” who may well advise blood get the job done.

Mainly because they really do not pose any damage, there’s no need to have to eliminate pores and skin tags, Dr. Lamb said. On the other hand, some individuals like to take away them since they discover them unattractive or troublesome.

The most secure way to take away a pores and skin tag is with the enable of a skin doctor, Dr. Bowe mentioned, while she mentioned that pores and skin tag elimination generally is not lined by wellness coverage.

One system includes numbing the bordering area with a shot of lidocaine, then cutting the tag off with sharp, curved scissors. The wound is then handled with a chemical compound that stops any bleeding and allows to protect against an infection.

An additional popular in-place of work elimination solution is electrodessication, Dr. Bowe mentioned, which entails numbing the area with lidocaine and then applying a exclusive instrument to direct an electrical present-day to the pores and skin tag, killing the tissue, she explained.

In a 3rd strategy, identified as cryotherapy, a medical doctor dips a tweezer-like instrument into liquid nitrogen and pinches the base of the skin tag, which primarily destroys it and leads to it to drop off within just a few times, Dr. Bowe said. The freezing by itself doesn’t hurt, she mentioned, but you could practical experience some soreness as the tissue thaws afterward.

Immediately after a pores and skin tag is removed by a medical doctor, it’s greatest to address the wound with a slender layer of an ointment this sort of as petroleum jelly and a Band-Support. The skin will ordinarily heal within a 7 days, Dr. Lamb mentioned.

There are a handful of preferred dwelling treatments for removing pores and skin tags, but dermatologists never suggest them. 1 includes cutting off a skin tag’s blood supply by tying a piece of string or dental floss around the foundation, producing it to die and slide off.

“The issue with performing that is that there is a significant risk of an infection,” Dr. Bowe reported, due to the fact germs typically infiltrate the wound just after the pores and skin tag falls off.

A different preferred still sick-suggested home solution involves dabbing an acid, this sort of as apple cider vinegar or salicylic acid, on a skin tag. “You’re practically burning the pores and skin tag off the pores and skin,” Dr. Bowe stated. But “you also are likely to burn up the surrounding pores and skin,” she said, creating injury that can lead to a darkening of the pores and skin, which can persist for months.

Dr. Lamb added that men and women can also experience solid reactions to the acid, which includes allergic reactions, which could induce scarring or an an infection.

Though numerous men and women prefer to have their skin tags taken out, handling them can occasionally truly feel like a video game of whack-a-mole, Dr. Bowe reported.

“If you are vulnerable to pores and skin tags,” she said, “they will most likely increase back, or you’ll get new kinds.”

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