A lot of people have skin tags, some are bothered by them, and may even consider removing them themselves at home. Is this a safe option?
Is skin tags can turn into cancer?
What are skin tags?
These are small growths hanging from the skin. They are common and harmless, but can be removed if they bother you, according to the UK's NHS.
What do skin tags look like?
Skin tags are small, smooth, skin-colored growths on your skin.
They can vary in color and size, from a few millimeters up to 5 centimeters.
Where are skin tags located?
Skin tags are usually found on the neck, armpits, around the groin, or under the breasts.
It can also grow on the eyelids or under the folds of the buttocks.
The difference between skin tags and warts
Skin tags can look like warts, but skin tags usually:
Soft and smooth, warts tend to be rougher with an irregular surface
They hang from the skin, while warts are usually raised or slightly flat
They are not contagious, but warts are contagious and can spread very easily
What are the causes of the appearance of skin tags?
Skin tags are made up of collagen fibers and blood vessels surrounded by the skin.
Collagen is a type of protein found throughout the body.
Both men and women can develop skin tags, and this tends to occur in older adults and in people who are obese or have type 2 diabetes.
Pregnant women may be more likely to develop skin tags as a result of changes in their hormone levels.
Some people develop it for no apparent reason.
Skin tags tend to grow in folds of skin where the skin rubs against itself, such as the neck, armpits or groin.
This is why it tends to affect people who are overweight and have excessive skin folds and skin irritation.
Are skin tags dangerous?
Skin tags are usually harmless and do not cause pain or discomfort.
However, you can consider removing the skin tag if it bothers you and if it is stuck to clothing or jewelry and is bleeding.
Sometimes a skin tag will fall off on its own if the tissue is twisted and died due to a lack of blood supply.
Is it safe to remove skin tags at home?
Using a skin tag removal kit at home is attractive because it may be the least expensive option, but it is also not the best idea, because the following problems may occur:
Infection if you do not sterilize the area or the tools used are not sterile
The area may not be a skin growth, but an abnormal or cancerous growth, and dealing with it requires a doctor.
What is the correct way to remove skin tags at home?
Based on the above, there is no correct way to remove skin tags at home without consulting a doctor, see a doctor first.
Now there is a specific case in which the doctor may suggest that you remove the skin tag yourself, which is if the skin tag:
with a narrow base
For example, a doctor may suggest attaching the base of the appendix to dental floss to cut off its blood supply and make it fall out, according to the UK's National Health Service.
On the other hand, never try to remove a large skin tag yourself, because it will bleed heavily.
Is cutting skin tags dangerous?
Do not cut the skin tag yourself, see a doctor.
Cutting the skin tags yourself may put you at risk of infection or bleeding.
How are skin tags removed?
The doctor removes the skin tag, usually as follows:
small skin tags
The doctor locally numbs the area with a topical ointment and then removes it from its base
Large skin tags
The doctor may use cryotherapy or electrocautery.
Cryotherapy involves using an intense source of cold to freeze and remove abnormal skin tissue.
Electrocautery is a form of surgery that uses electric current to burn or destroy skin tissue.
Do skin tags turn into cancer?
No, skin tags are benign tumors that contain collagen, a type of protein found throughout the body and blood vessels.
Skin tags require no treatment, according to a report in Healthline.
However, cancerous growths can be confused with skin tags.
Skin tags generally remain small, while skin cancers can grow large and can often bleed and ulcerate.
Ask your doctor to check for any growths that are bleeding or have different colors.
Do skin tags spread?
Skin tags are not contagious, as are warts and some other skin diseases.
You can't "pick up" a skin tag from another person or spread it from one part of your body to another, according to WebMed.
Remove skin tags with scissors
Do not remove skin tags with scissors or any other tool yourself.
See a doctor.