Skin tags (medically termed as acrochordons, also called string moles, fibroepithelial polyps, or eyelid papillomas) are fleshy tumour like growths that hang from the surface of the skin on tiny stalks. They are commonly found on the neck and armpits, or in the groin area. Sometimes, they form on the eyelids or other areas of the body as well.
This skin to brown coloured growth may stay relatively tiny, or continue to grow. Although skin tags themselves are rarely malignant, nor do they automatically lead to skin cancer, they are quite odd in appearance, and may become annoying and prone to irritation, particularly if they snag on or rub up against clothes or jewellery. Skin tags are composed of a core of fibres and ducts, nerve cells, fat cells, and a covering of epidermis. Skin tags are usually a few millimetres in size, although can be as big as 8-10cm.
Genetic predispositions influence the development of skin tags; in particular, overweight people and pregnant women often find themselves plagued by the condition. People with close family members who have skin tags are more likely to develop these themselves.
A profusion of skin tags may be connected to Type 2 diabetes, colon polyps, or tumors of the kidneys and gastrointestinal tract; such growths may also be markers for atherosclerosis and other types of cardiovascular disease. Skin Tags might appear innocuous and in many cases they are, but these dermatological anomalies act as an early warning sign for a more serious health issue in some.
Skin tags can be a useful indicator of underlying metabolic issues in patients.
Therefore, even if a person is not distressed by the appearance of skin tags, a thorough medical check-up should be performed to rule out the associated conditions. Skin Biopsy of the growths may be recommended to ensure that no basal or squamous cell carcinoma is present.
Skin tags are more common in
People who are overweight and obese, probably because they have more skin folds and creases.
Pregnant women are most likely to develop this problem because of the hormones secreted.
Individuals with diabetes
People with the human papilloma virus
Illegal steroid use interferes with the body and muscles, causing the collagen fibres in the skin to bond, allowing skin tags to be formed.
Home Remedies for Skin Tags
The Skin Tags are cosmetically unappealing, and most people prefer to get rid of them. Many over-the-counter skin tag remedies claim to work because they contain plant extracts with anti-viral properties. Unlike warts, skin tags are not caused by viruses, so these treatments are a waste of money. The two home remedies people employ on skin tags are the tying-off-with-a-string method and herbal salves or powders containing bloodroot. Do not cut it yourself, because it can bleed a lot.
Tying a thin string or hair around the base of the stalk cuts off the blood supply to the skin tag; it will shrivel and turn black. The problem with doing this at home is that there are several skin lesions similar to skin tags but the pathology in them is different and such a method used in those can worsen the condition or create a secondary infection so it’s better to confirm the diagnosis first by a specialist.
For obvious safety reasons, no one should ever use a home remedy for any growth on or around the eyes, or for particularly large growths. Dermatologists usually use electrodessication or laser to get rid of skin tags. Removal does not cause more of them to grow; it’s just that once a patient has a predisposition to form skin tags, they may pop up from time to time.