Removal of Unsightly Skin Tags
No Incisions ~ No Downtime ~ No Sutures
Skin Tags - Should You Be Concerned?
It’s not quite a mole, pretty sure it’s not a wart. What on earth are those fleshy little bumps hanging off your skin? Allow us to introduce you to your skin tags. Don’t freak out – they are completely harmless. Just more of an annoyance than anything.
What is a Skin Tag?
Skin tags are common, acquired benign skin growths that resemble a small, soft balloon suspended on a slender stalk. They are harmless growths that can vary in number from one to hundreds.
Skin tags occur when extra cells grow in the top layers of the skin. They tend to develop when the skin rubs against itself, so are more common in people who are overweight and therefore have folds of skin.
They grow both in men and women and are more common in older people and people living with type 2 diabetes. Pregnant women are also more likely to develop skin tags, although they usually disappear after the baby is born. Although some tags may fall off spontaneously, most persist once formed.
Skin tags have numerous names in the medical world including acrochordon, cutaneous papilloma, cutaneous tag, fibroepithelial polyp, fibroma molluscum, fibroma pendulum, soft fibroma, and Templeton skin tags. Some people call them “skin tabs.”
Skin tags are benign, noncancerous, tumours of the skin. They consist of a core of fibres and ducts, nerve cells, fat cells, and a covering or epidermis.
They may appear on the:
- under the breasts
- upper chest
- neck, in the case of papilloma colli
They often go unnoticed, unless they are in a prominent place or are repeatedly rubbed or scratched, for example, by clothing, jewellery, or when shaving. The cause of these tags from the extra growth of skin cells remains relatively unknown, other than the aforementioned skin friction.
Some people may have acrochordon and never notice them. In some cases, they rub off or fall off painlessly. Very large acrochordon may burst under pressure.
The surface of acrochordon may be smooth or irregular in appearance. They are often raised from the surface of the skin on fleshy peduncles, or stalks. They are usually flesh-coloured or slightly brownish.
Early on, tags may be as small as a flattened pinhead-sized bump. While most tags typically are small (2 mm-5 mm in diameter) at approximately one-third to one-half the size of a pencil eraser, some tags may become as large as a big grape (1 cm in diameter) or a fig (5 cm in diameter).
Skin Tag Removal
If you decide to have a skin tag removed – for example, because it is bothering you or you don’t like its appearance – talk to your doctor or our skin specialist.
PLEASE NOTE: Unlike certain types of moles that may appear on your body, skin tags are not cancerous. However, it’s possible to mistake skin tags for other lesions that may be cancerous. We will advise you of any suspicious looking skin growths during your consultation. We will not remove any suspicious looking tags or growths. Before the removal of any suspicious skin tag, you will be required to have the suspicious tag you wish to be removed checked by a doctor or at a skin cancer clinic before removal. You will need to provide us with a doctors or skin check certificate at your appointment. You are then free to have your tag removal treatment as planned. Treatment only available to clients over the ages over 18.
Skin tags can be removed by:
- freezing them with liquid nitrogen
- cutting them with scissors or a scalpel
- burning them with electrical energy – diathermy (this is our preferred method as there is minimal to no scarring, no incisions, no sutures, no downtime and minimal discomfort – just a short sting from the electrical current through the surgical disposable needle)
It’s not a good idea to try to remove tags by yourself since they can bleed heavily or get infected – then you’re opening yourself up to risk of scarring and infection.
Once removed, a tag will not grow back in the same place, however, there’s always a chance that new tags may form in the same or other areas.
If your tags don’t bother you, it’s totally fine to forget about them. But as with any skin growths, if there’s any noticeable change in the appearance, you should have it looked at by your doctor or a skin cancer specialist as soon as possible.