The simple guide to skin tags

8 August 2018

Everyone is susceptible to skin tags once they reach adulthood. They can appear pretty much anywhere on the body and, for some people, are nothing more than a mild annoyance that can be lived with. For others, they carry a social stigma which affects their self esteem.

There’s nothing wrong with wanting to have a skin tag removed, and it’s usually a very safe procedure when undertaken professionally, but as with anything cosmetic, it’s a good idea to gain an understanding of what skin tags are, first.

So… what is a skin tag?

Skin tags are sometimes referred to by their real name, which is ‘acrochordon’. They’re benign, and occur in around half the population.

They’re completely harmless, but can become irritable by clothing or skin rubbing against them, depending on where the skin tag is located on the body. They’re sometimes deemed by the person who has the skin tag to be unsightly - particularly if they appear on the face, neck or some other part of the body that is regularly on display.

Skin tags normally develop during adulthood, and can be anything from the size of a grape to a very small pinpoint. There is no purpose for a skin tag, which is why having them removed is generally a sensible idea, although it’s important to note that the NHS are unlikely to do it for you, therefore you’ll need to use the services of a private clinic.

Can skin tags become cancerous?

No. They are nothing more than additional growths of your skin. The only reason to have them medically removed is if they are considered unsightly by the person in question or prove to be irritable.

Middle-aged people are most likely to develop skin tags, but that holds no significance either; no matter how old you are, the skin tag will remain benign and incapable of causing ill health.

Why do people have skin tags removed?

Despite skin tags not being a health risk, people usually decide to have them removed due to the physiological effects they experience.

Skin tags are viewed by some people as eyesores, and if you feel conscious about your skin tags, the fact there is no health risk in having them removed means the negative psychological impact you’re experiencing should certainly be taken into account. Removal is painless and relatively quick.

The cause and solution

Skin tags can’t be ‘caught’ and they’re not passed down through generations. Most experts believe they simply grow as a result of skin rubbing against skin.

This is partly the reason overweight people commonly find skin tags on their bodies. Maintaining a safe, healthy body weight can therefore help prevent them from appearing, but it’s true that they can still grow regardless of your weight.

You may have found plenty of DIY options for skin tag removal online, and while they may look safe, painless and cost-effective, we always recommend seeking professional assistance. It’s true that skin tag removal is a relatively risk-free procedure, but that doesn’t mean you should undertake it yourself!

Wrapping up

Due to there being no health risk with skin tags, having them removed is purely a personal decision. If you’re unsure or have any queries about skin tag removal, please do not hesitate to call us and seek our expert advice!

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