Those small, benign growths known as skin tags are an affliction, very often realized by pregnant women. Although completely harmless, these skin tags can be aesthetically annoying and in some cases, even embarrassing enough to cause emotional distress. In pregnant women this is exacerbated by the ordeal of the pregnancy which in itself can be stressful enough. Thankfully, skin tags are easy to treat in most people.
If you’re a pregnant woman already experiencing skin tags, you may be curious as to the direct cause and how to get rid of them. We’ll look at some of these aspects in the following paragraphs and suggest some treatment options. But for now, you can take comfort in the fact that the skin tags are not harming you or your baby in any way.
Unfortunately, one of the main “side effects” of pregnancy is increased weight gain. Not only will mother put on the extra weight of the growing baby in her womb, she’ll put on more weight of her own as her body works harder to provide for the baby’s nutritional and other physiological needs. It’s not uncommon for pregnant women to develop skin tags in areas where excess weight creases the skin, such as the thighs, armpits, and under the breasts.
Doctors believe this is primarily due to the irritation of skin rubbing against skin. As the pregnant woman puts on more weight she develops a higher propensity for skin creasing, and therefore, higher propensity for skin tags. Wearing loose fitting clothing and abstaining from heavy jewellery should reduce the likelihood that you’ll develop skin tags during pregnancy.
As any woman knows, hormone levels are all over the place in pregnant women. One day oestrogen will be sky high while the next day it’s in the basement. Another day might be the mother lode for testosterone while the following sunrise brings a famine of the same. In other words, hormones are greatly affected by pregnancy and have been since the beginning of time. What makes this so interesting is the fact that science has proven the only reliable thing about hormones is that they are terribly unreliable.
This hormonal imbalance affects every part of the body, including the skin. It is believed by some researchers that the body’s natural ability to fight off whatever causes skin tags is compromised during pregnancy because of the fluctuating hormones. Or perhaps the increase of certain hormones may be the direct cause of the skin tags.
For most women the unsightly blemishes vanish on their own within a few months of the baby being born, so it’s often not necessary for pregnant women to have their skin tags removed. But those who are uncomfortable and want to remove them anyway can find some over-the-counter medications that are all-natural. Just be careful to read the instructions of any treatment in order to be sure it is safe for pregnant women.
If you and your doctor decide that your skin tags should be removed through a medical procedure, he or she has several options. The safest method for the baby will be to simply remove the skin tags through surgical excision. While it’s the most painful where the mother is concerned, it should have no direct impact on the baby.
Other options the doctor might consider would include freezing the skin tags (cryotherapy) or burning them off (cauterization). Chemical injections are almost never used with pregnant women due to the fact that they could be harmful to the baby in the womb.