Skin tags are common, benign skin growths that begin in middle age as a smooth bump and develop into a small piece of hanging skin with a small, narrow stalk. About 50% of people suffer from skin tags, which commonly in skin folds and creases such as the eyelids, neck, armpits , under the breasts and the groin.They are usually from 1 to 5 mm in size, and appear as a small outgrowth of skin, connected by a small narrow stalk as in the accompanying image. Skin tags may be smooth or irregular in appearance but are usually flesh coloured or slighty brownish.
It is common for skin tags to appear in groups. They may become stuck on jewelry, are shaved in error, and are agitated by clothing. Women who shave their armpits should be careful not to shave or cut larger skin tags that may be located there.
Treatment of Skin Tags
As skin tags are usually harmless, people elect to have them removed for aesthetic or cosmetic reasons. Sometimes large ones, especially in areas where they may rub against something, such as clothing, jewelry or skin, may be removed because the area becomes frequently irritated. An individual may have a large skin tag removed from the face or under arms in order to make shaving easier.
Skin tags respond well to Erbium laser treatment. This treatment is particularly suitable for those with multiple tags as it is minimally invasive, requires no pain relief or stitches, and causes no disruption to the surrounding skin. The Erbium laser creates tiny superficial wounds at the base of the tag that are simply dressed with Vaseline and which heal well over a few days without leaving a mark.
Skin tags on the eyelid – if the skin tag is very close to the eyelid margin, the procedure may have to be done by an ophthalmologist (eye specialist doctor).
There is no evidence to support the myth that removing skin tags encourages more of them to develop.