What are Skin Tags?
‘What is a skin tag?’ is a question that concerns
millions of people since nearly every second person has one
or more of these tags on his/her body. Appearing mostly in
adult life, a skin tag is an abnormal, though benign, growth
of skin cells that make a smooth or slightly wrinkled mass
on various parts of the body. Skin
tags more commonly grow on neck, in or close to the armpits,
near the eyelids, in groin folds, and on the upper part of
chest (under breasts in women). The right answer to ‘what
is a skin tag?’ also includes the size and growth rate
of the tag; skin tags start small (less than 1.3cm) and grow
very slowly. Dermatologists usually prefer to answer the question
‘what is a skin tag?’ by referring to various
kinds of benign
skin growths. Skin tags are described as small and soft
flaps of skin that have the same (or slightly different) color
as that of the surrounding flesh.
Who Gets Skin Tags?
Closely related to the question ‘what is a skin tag?’
is that of the people who are likely to get it. The answer
simply is ‘anyone’. At some time in their lives,
nearly every second person (or 50% of a population) gets skin
tags. While not present at birth, i.e. acquired at some point
later in life, skin
tags commonly appear in adult life. They are particularly
common in middle aged people and tend to increase among older
people up to 60 years of age. Among children, especially toddlers,
skin tags more commonly appear on the neck and the underarms.
People who are overweight are more likely to develop skin
tags. In addition, pregnant women usually get more of these
growths, mainly due to the elevated levels of certain hormones.
Health Risks of Skin Tags
Now when you have a basic idea of ‘what is a skin tag?’,
it is natural to wonder if these prevalent skin growths are
precursors of any serious health problem. It’s good
to tell you that they are not harmful in any way. Skin tags
are completely benign extra bits of skin that don’t
even cause the slightest irritation. However, if they are
irritated or twisted with hands or some object, then they,
like normal skin, may cause discomfort or some pain. It also
happens when they get rubbed by clothing or snagged by jewelry
Removing Skin Tags
An important topic related to the question ‘what is
a skin tag?’ how
to remove skin tags. Now one may ask why remove skin tags
if they are benign? The obvious reason is that most people
having these skin
tags want to make their skin look smooth and spotless.
Skin tags are thus removed easily by different medical techniques
(freezing, burning, and cutting off) but also by a number
of home/herbal remedies.