Skin tags are a common form of skin imperfection that presents as a raised fold of skin. Although skin tags are not associated with major medical risks, many people find the appearance of these skin lesions to be troublesome. Whether you have tried at-home treatments for skin tag removal or not, it may be a good idea to schedule a consultation with a dermatologist at Prizant Dermatology in Pittsburgh, PA to examine your unwanted growth and recommend a treatment plan.
Why Should You Have a Trained Professional Remove Your Skin Tags?
Trusting a professional to remove unwanted skin tags is the best thing you can do to address your aesthetic concerns. For one thing, when you work with a dermatologist to remove skin tags, you can rest assured that the skin tag is benign. This is because the dermatologist will closely examine your skin to look for signs of precancerous cells.
Furthermore, having a professional remove skin tags and unwanted growths can help you avoid complications such as scarring, pain, and infections. Professional methods to remove skin tags will make your recovery time much quicker, as well.
How Are Skin Tags Removed?
There are a few ways that professional skin tag removal is performed. A dermatologist will decide on the best removal method for your skin tags based on the size and location of the skin tag, as well as your skin type and lifestyle factors. For example, those with medium and dark skin tones may not be eligible to use some laser systems, while those who have very sensitive skin may not be the best match for excision therapy.
Excision is the simplest way to remove unwanted growths on the skin. With this method, a sterile tool will be used to cut away the skin tag. This is usually ideal for skin tags that have a narrow, more raised appearance since it’s easier to cut away unwanted skin. As the most conservative method, your dermatologist will explore the possibility of excision therapy before recommending other treatments.
Laser therapy can be used to remove the majority of skin tags on most areas of the body, including the face, neck, torso, underarms, and lower body. Laser therapy works by heating the raised tissue, which will eventually cause the tag to fall away. Laser therapy is most appropriate for skin tags that contain blood vessels or a high amount of collagen.
Many dermatologists prefer laser therapy for skin tag removal because laser therapy will stimulate your body’s healing response, which can then minimize the risk of scarring after the skin tag removal. Laser therapy can also be customized to meet the needs of your skin tone and type, so depending on the system used, most people are good candidates for this skin tag removal method.
Electrocautery is another common way to remove unwanted growths from the skin. This treatment works by cauterizing the skin tag with electricity. Similarly to laser treatment, this method minimizes the risk of scarring and can be used by most people. Larger skin tags are typically ideal for this removal treatment.
Cryotherapy is another more conservative method to remove unwanted skin tags. Cryotherapy works by freezing the skin tag, which causes skin cell death so the tag will fall off. Many people believe that at-home products to freeze warts and other growths will work as well as professional cryotherapy. However, professional cryotherapy is much more effective and will not harm the surrounding skin tissue.
What About At-Home Skin Tag Removal Products?
At-home products to remove skin tags may not always be effective. Many of these products can increase your risk of harming surrounding skin tissues, as well as bruising, bleeding, and scarring. At-home products and methods to remove unwanted skin growths ultimately involve more risk than reward.
What Can You Expect From Skin Tag Removal?
Usually, your treatment to remove unwanted skin tags can be done in 20 to 30 minutes based on the method being used. Before your treatment, you’ll have to have a consultation with a dermatologist, who will examine your skin tag and make the best recommendation for your treatment. During your consultation, your dermatologist will also gather information about your general medical history and how long you have had a skin tag.
After your treatment, you will generally need to cover the treatment area for a few days to protect it from moisture and bacteria. Usually, stitches are not necessary, even when excision treatment has been used. You should protect your skin from direct contact with sunlight for two to four weeks to reduce the risk of hyperpigmentation. Most people will be able to see the final results in about a month.
Will Skin Tags Grow Back?
No, skin tags that are removed with any professional treatment will not grow back. This is because the affected cells that cause skin tags are completely removed.
However, it’s possible for skin tags to grow in a nearby area in the future. Based on the cause of your skin tag formation and your unique risk factors, you may not be able to prevent the growth of skin tags or other raised scars in the future.
Why Do Skin Tags Form?
Skin tags are a benign form of abnormal skin growth caused by collagen and blood vessels growing above the surface of the skin. Skin tags are usually formed by many layers of skin cells and will not cause pain. However, for large skin tags and skin tags that contain blood vessels, the risk of complications from the presence of abnormal growth increases.
What Are Risk Factors for Developing Skin Tags?
There are a few unique risk factors for developing skin tags. For example, skin tags often form on areas of the body where there is high friction, including the underarms, stomach, groin, and neck. Those who wear tight clothing, those who are very active, and those who have a lot of friction on the skin may be at higher risk of developing skin tags in the future.
Two other major risk factors for developing skin tags include having Type 2 diabetes and being overweight. This is why it may be beneficial to reduce the risk of developing skin tags in the future if you can lose a moderate amount of weight or manage your diabetes.
Are Skin Tags a Sign of Skin Cancer?
Skin tags are usually not a sign of skin cancer. However, the presence of a skin tag may indicate that your skin cells are predisposed to abnormal behaviors, which is why it’s a good idea to schedule a skin check to verify that there are no other abnormal growths in your body. A skin check will examine moles and sun damage for signs of precancerous lesions.
Are You a Good Candidate?
Most people who have one or more skin tags are good candidates for professional treatments to remove skin tags. Skin tags can develop on anyone regardless of gender and age and there are very few restrictions associated with removal methods. Candidates for these treatments are generally most concerned about the appearance of the skin tag. Some signs that you may be a good candidate for removing unwanted skin tags include:
If your skin tag frequently bleeds, this is a sign that the skin tag contains blood vessels. Although this is not a major health concern, frequent bleeding can complicate your life, so using professional treatment to remove skin tags can improve your outlook.
Skin tags that bleed are also prone to pain, which is a sign that the skin tag contains nerve cells. Again, while the discomfort is not a medical risk, it can still be disruptive. If your skin tag is causing you the pain of any kind, it may be time to schedule treatment to remove the skin tag.
Skin tags that snag on clothing and jewelry can be uncomfortable. This is particularly true for skin tags that are caused by friction due to tight clothing. Snagging can also cause pain and bleeding
Remove Skin Tags With Professional Treatments
If you have one or more skin tags that are negatively impacting your self-esteem or causing you physical discomfort, it may be time to consider professional treatments to remove these abnormal growths. Although skin tags are not considered a medical risk, it’s still important to have the skin examined by a dermatologist. Contact Prizant Dermatology in Pittsburgh, PA, to schedule your consultation today.