The Truth Behind Some Common Skin Tag Myths
There are wide variations in the skin and the growths that appear on body. Nevi, vascular birth marks, Mongolian spots, and cafe au lait marks are a few examples of skin markings caused by an excess of skin pigmentation. Other markings, like skin tags, are not caused by pigmentation differences, but by something else entirely.
If you have skin tags, then you may be confused about what they are and how they affect your health. This can lead to you believing some common myths. If you want to know the truth behind these myths, then keep reading.
Myth - Skin Tags Appear At Random
If you have a plethora of moles or freckles on your body, then you may be very familiar with the way that natural markings appear on the skin. While skin tags may seem as though they appear at random, they do not.
Skin tags are soft and small skin pockets that form on the body. They develop due to friction and they can appear anywhere where the skin rubs against itself on a regular basis. For example, the folds of the neck and the eyelids are two common places where the growths develop.
Since the growths are caused by friction, they are not random formations. Obese individuals are more likely to form the growths due to more skin contact, and middle-aged and senior women are prone to the tags as well due to the effects of aging and the sagging of the skin.
Myth - Skin Tags Are Cancerous
Many people panic when they see an oddly-shaped or large mole on the body. This is a real concern, and you should look for signs that you have an atypical nevi. The Skin Cancer Foundation is a great resource if you need help with identifying atypical moles.
However, if you are looking for signs of an atypical skin tag, this is not something that is an issue. Skin tags are not cancerous and they do not increase your risks of developing skin cancer over all.
If you see skin tags that appear brown or red, then this may seem like it is an abnormality. However, the tags come in a variety of shades and may also turn purple or black over time.
If you see a skin tag that seems to turn purple overnight, then this is a sign that blood has becomes trapped in the tag and clotted. You should understand that the clot will not release into the blood stream, so the issue will not create any serious health concerns. This is also true if the tag appears a black color.
Skin tags will often turn black once they develop a purple tone. This happens when the blood supply is cut off from the area, usually due to the clot, and the tissues start to die. Do not be surprised if the skin tag falls off when this happens, as this is the likely outcome once the tissues die.
Myth - Skin Tags Can Be Ignored
The vast majority of skin tags are caused by friction issues and sagging skin problems. If you see the tags appearing over time and showing up around obvious areas where skin is rubbing, then it is pretty obvious why the tags have developed.
In some cases though, the skin tags can seem to appear overnight. If the tags do not seem to be related to aging, weight gain, or increased friction across certain area of the body, then this may be something that needs to be investigated further. Specifically, while the tags themselves are benign and unharmful, they may be a sign of a larger issue.
Studies show that individuals who have numerous skin tags (30 or more) have an increased risk of developing diabetes. The research indicates that the risk is greater than 50%. Individuals with Crohn’s disease, polycystic ovarian disease, or fatty liver disease may develop skin tags as well. If you are relatively healthy and notice a lot of the tags showing up, then make an appointment with your physician so your health can be assessed.
When it comes to diabetes and fatty liver disease, the skin tags appear as the body become resistant to insulin. The condition associated with the resistance is called acanthosis nigricans. Acanthosis nigricans occurs when the skin darkens, thickens, and pulls away from the body in crease areas.
Myth - Skin Tag Removal Causes Scarring
If you are unhappy with your skin tags, regardless of the reason they appear, then you may want to go through a skin tag removal treatment. Since the tags are not bothersome or harmful, skin tag removal procedures are completed for aesthetic purposes.
The tags do attach to the body, but very small amounts of tissue connect the tags to your skin. In other words, they are narrow and can be released with a fairly simple procedure. Unlike mole removal, treatments rarely produce any scars.
You have the option of asking a dermatologist to complete a cauterization, cryosurgery, excision, or ligation procedure. All treatments vary slightly from one another. Cauterization involves the burning of the tag and cryosurgery is when the skin is frozen. Excision involves surgical scalpel removal, and ligation is when the blood supply is cut off from the tag.
While scarring is unlikely with most skin tag removal treatments, if you are concerned with any blemishes or slight marks on the body, then speak with a dermatologist about excision. This is the most direct and exact approach to removal.
If you have many skin tags and are not keen on going through an uncomfortable or invasive procedure, then opt for the ligation procedure.
Keep in mind that eyelid tags can be removed as easily as others attached to the body. However, you may need assistance from an ophthalmologist for removal due to the positioning of the tag close to the eye.
There are many myths surrounding skin tags, their development, and their removal. It is wise to understand these myths and the truth about skin tags so you can make a much more informed decision about having them removed.
Bio Author: Melinda Story is an accomplished writer with over six years of experience in the health and wellness field. She enjoys a happy and quiet life in Upstate New York with her husband, daughter, and two cats. While Melinda Isn’t writing, she’s enjoys time in the kitchen experimenting with new vegan recipes.