Causes of Skin Tags

Causes of Skin Tags

Skin Tag Causes

What are skin tags? A skin tag, also known as an acrochordon (plural: acrochorda), is a small noncancerous growth that forms on the exterior of the body. While they may appear anywhere on the body, they are commonly found in skin folds such as under the breasts, in armpits, and on eyelids.

It is unknown exactly what causes skin tags to grow, but it is believed that friction from clothing or skin rubbing together may be a factor in their development.

What Causes Skin Tags to Grow

The National Institute of Health reports that almost half of all Americans will develop skin tags at some point in their lifetimes. Men and women are affected in equal numbers. While genetics do play a role in whether or not you’ll get skin tags, there are certain risk factors that increase your chances of getting them: Obesity – Overweight and obese people tend to have more skin folds. As a result, they are more likely to get skin tags from the friction caused by the skin rubbing against itself. The skin tags will show up inside the folds.

Diabetes – People with insulin resistance, the precursor to Type 2 diabetes, are more apt to develop skin tags. In addition to causing weight gain, high blood sugar levels weaken the blood vessels and disrupt many processes in the body.

Pregnancy – Women’s hormones fluctuate, sometimes wildly, during pregnancy. Elevated levels of hormones may negatively affect skin production and cause skin tags to form. Additionally, most women gain weight during pregnancy which may acerbate the problem.

Illegal Steroids – Steroids interfere with the development of muscles. It makes collagen to bond under the skin, which causes skin tags.

Are Skin Tags Harmful?

Skin tags are benign growths. They are completely harmless and generally painless. At most, they can be cosmetically unappealing because they can erupt in large numbers. It is not unusual for a person to have up to 100 skin tags on his or her body. Acrochorda does contain blood vessels and will bleed, sometime profusely, if you cut them.

Once they erupt, these growths do not change colour or shape. They are typically small, around 2 to 5 mm, but can get as large as 5 cm. It is a good idea to monitor your skin tags, however. If you notice one growing, changing shape, or turning a different colour, get it checked out immediately. This generally indicates the growth is not a skin tag and may be cancerous.

Natural Skin Tag Removal

Sometimes, skin tags will dry up and fall off on their own accord. This is completely normal. However, they can also be removed in several ways. A dermatologist or other qualified medical professional can remove them by freezing them off with liquid nitrogen, burning them off with a countering instrument, or cutting them off during surgery. All of these methods do contain elements of risk and you should always weigh the pros and cons of any procedure before going through with it.

One natural skin tag removal option is to numb the skin tag using ice, Ambesol, or other topical anesthetizing agent and cut the tag off using sanitized nail clipper or scissors.

As mentioned before, skin tags contain blood vessels, so be prepared for bleeding. After removing the skin tag, dab the area with a peroxide or alcohol to prevent infection and cover with a Band-aid. To aid in healing, dab a little bit of Neosporin before putting on the Band-Aid. You need help when you are removing anal skin tags due to their location. Be sure to numb the skin well before removing skin tags on penis or the vagina.

If that sounds like too much work or too much pain to you, there are a number of effective home remedies for skin tags you can use to get rid of them safely, naturally and without leaving scar marks.

Common Skin Tag Causes

Skin tags are considered to be skin tumours. However, skin tags are harmless since they are almost always considered to be benign tumours. Most individuals will have a skin tag or two as they grow older. For some people, a skin tag is no big deal. For others, having a skin tag is like the end of the world. But no matter how you feel about these common skin anomalies; it is a good idea for you to know more about skin tag causes.

Skin Tag Causes and Risk Factors

Researchers acknowledge a few different skin tag causes. However, it is difficult to know exactly who will develop skin tags and who will not. If you have any of the following risk factors you should keep in mind that skin tags could be in your future.

Obesity is one of the skin tags causes talked about frequently. Skin tags develop in the folds of the skin where there is plenty of friction. Individuals who are obese have more skin folds than those who are of normal weight. Therefore, it makes sense to associate the development of skin tags with obesity.

Diabetics have a high risk for developing skin tags. Some researchers think that skin tags are formed because the fluctuation of hormone and blood sugar levels affect the normal process of skin cell division and growth. The result of this alteration is skin tags.

Age is another one of the skin tag causes talked about most often. For reasons not quite understood by researchers, skin tags become more common in middle age. Some individuals appear to be more prone to developing skin tags than other individuals. Genetic could play a role in who gets skin tags and who doesn’t.

Pregnancy is associated with the development of skin tags. When a woman is pregnant, her hormone levels are far from normal. This hormonal change in the body is enough to trigger the development of skin tags.

Can Skin Tags be Prevented?

The experts say skin tags cannot be prevented. However, if you are aware of the skin tag causes, you could possibly reduce your risk for skin tags. For example, you should try to keep yourself at a healthy weight. If you have diabetes, you should keep your blood sugar levels in the healthy range.

The good news about skin tags is they can be removed quite easily if they become bothersome. It is a good idea to see your doctor first to have him confirm the bumps you have are really skin tags. You can have your doctor remove them in his office, or you can try to remove the skin tags yourself at home.

Cause of Skin Tags During Pregnancy

If you are pregnant and have skin tags, you may be wondering as to why those skin tags are developing, especially if you’ve never seen them before. You may be especially interested in finding out ways to have them removed. We’ll explore the reasons why skin tags develop during pregnancy and we’ll also discuss possible solutions to safe skin tag removal. Rest assured though, that during the course of your pregnancy, you and your baby are safe as these skin tags pose zero harm.

1. Gaining Weight and Creases on the Skin

As you’re well aware, one of the changes your body goes through during pregnancy is weight gain, either moderate or significant. This is due to mothers needing to sustain the new life that is growing inside, as well as supplying her own nutrients that her body needs throughout all stages of the pregnancy. Because of the increase of weight, pregnant women are more prone to developing skin tags along creases that are now present due to the increase in weight. Skin tags develop in areas where the skin is more likely to rub against itself including the armpits, under the breasts and thighs.

It’s because of this skin rubbing against skin, that the skin becomes irritated, causing skin tags. You may have not had this problem in the past prior to your pregnancy, but because of your increased weight (which is natural), your body is prone to skin tag development. To minimize skin tag development, remember to wear loose fitting clothing as much as possible and refrain from wearing heavy jewellery, especially necklaces as these items can further exacerbate the development of skin tags on the neck.

2. Changing Hormones

During pregnancy, your body is going through so many changes and these changes are occurring relatively quickly due to the new life growing inside of you. Your levels of estrogens and testosterone are on a roller coaster during pregnancy that your entire body is affected by the rise and fall of these hormones, including your skin. Research shows that because of the fluctuating hormonal levels in pregnant women, their body’s natural resistance to skin tag development is diminished resulting in skin tags. Additionally, it may be the increase in hormones themselves that are also the culprit in skin tag development. The bottom line here is that during pregnancy, your body is constantly changing and there is no way to stop skin tags from developing. It’s your body’s natural course that poses only a cosmetic discomfort more than anything else.

Skin Tag Treatment Options

If you are concerned with skin tags developing, talk to your doctor about them. As mentioned previously, skin tags pose no harm to you or your baby, but can be a psychological discomfort, especially if skin tags are developing in areas that are visible (i.e., the face and the neck). You will be pleased to know that for most women, skin tags vanish shortly after pregnancy on their own. However, if you decide that you don’t want to wait until after the pregnancy to see if they will vanish, your doctor may make some recommendations for skin tag removal.

Surgical extraction is the safest option and your doctor may recommend cutting of the skin tags with scissors or by slicing them off. However, topical anaesthesia will normally not be applied because you are pregnant. There are many skin tag removal at home products that are topical creams or liquids that will also remove skin tags in as little as 3 days or over the course of several weeks. Please be certain that you carefully examine the product and find out whether the chemicals involved are safe for you and your baby during pregnancy.

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Last updated on March 26, 2017