Genital Skin Tags
While most people might know of skin tags and what they look like, there is less known about genital skin tags. Similar to skin tags found elsewhere on the body, genital skin tags are normally harmless and benign. They can vary in appearance with some being flesh colored while others are darker. Many hang off the skin like a tag but others are flat. Genital skin tags can be tiny or as large as a grape, occurring as an isolated tag or with others. Skin tags in the genital area have different names depending on where they appear. Genital skin tags are not contagious.
Penile Skin Tags
Although skin tags appearing on or around the penile shaft are harmless, they are not without embarrassment particularly if a partner becomes aware and even suspicious of them plus they can cause some discomfort through chaffing from clothing or during sexual intercourse. The skin in that area can be especially sensitive.
Vaginal Skin Tags
Vaginal skin tags in women can cause similar problems but in this case irritation from sanitary products, underwear and of course sexual intercourse. Another cause of discomfort can be during menstruation because skin tags have their own blood supply and can start to swell. Although vaginal skin tags are harmless, they can cause anxiety because many women fear that their sexual partners will consider them to be a symptom of a sexually transmitted disease.
Health Risks and Treatment
Fortunately, there are few health risks with genital skin tags but nevertheless, many of those with genital skin tags prefer to have them treated and removed. There are several options available:
- Freezing where a cotton swab is dipped in a cryogen (usually liquid nitrogen) and quickly applied to the skin tag to kill the cells by freezing them. Depending on its size, a second application may be needed. Another method is by using a frozen probe for up to one minute.
- Cauterization is a further method of removing skin tags with an electrically heated metal probe. It takes just a few minutes although a local anesthetic is necessary. The blood supply is severed prior to the procedure.
- Laser treatment.
- Ligation involves fixing a band around the skin tag to cut off the blood supply so that it shrinks and falls off on its own.
- Natural treatments are a safer and more gentle route for treating and removing genital skin tags in such a sensitive area.
- As with all skin tag treatments and removal, the earlier the treatment is undertaken, the easier it is.
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