Skin tags, or acrochordons, are small lumps of tissue that protrude from the skin and are attached by a small stalk. Nobody is born with skin tags; they develop over time and are just as likely to affect men as they are women. The tags can be anywhere from 2mm up to 5cm in diameter, however most tend to stay within a 2-5mm range.
The exact cause or causes of skin tags are unknown, though it is thought that friction caused by skin rubbing against skin or clothing may be a leading culprit; this is substantiated by the fact that the most common places for the tags to appear are places on the body which receive a lot of this kind of friction such as:
For this reason, people who are obese may be more prone to skin tags occurring. There is also a strong relation between skin tags and type ll diabetes. In addition to this, those who suffer with an abundance of skin tags (over 50) will often have a close relative who is also prone to the skin lesions, so there is some evidence to suggest that genetics could play a part.
Many people may not even notice that they have skin tags before they rub off on their own, painlessly. However for those who are not so lucky, the tags may constantly irritate the person when they move, or be in a place that is noticeable, causing the person to seek out methods of removal. Fortunately there are many such methods available and they can be categorized into three distinct segments:
Each has their own merits and disadvantages.
Natural home remedies forego any harmful chemicals and use products that one can normally find in the house or be purchased easily and inexpensively. Many of the natural ingredients cited in such remedies contain elements which are used in over the counter products. For instance, lemon juice is used in many of the natural solutions, and the acids found within the juice can be found in many of the creams and topical solutions bought in the stores. It is well worth trying some natural remedies as there is little to no risk involved and everything to be gained.
Over the counter products such as gels and creams have a variety of different ingredients which work to remove skin tags. Some are better than others and research should be done before buying any product in order to avoid costly mistakes. Most treatments aim to disrupt the cells which have clumped together to form the tissue, destroying the skin tag.
Chemical treatments are carried out by a doctor who normally freezes or cuts the skin tag off. This procedure is quick and simple, requiring no anesthetic in most cases. There can be scarring with this type of removal so it is not always the first choice for skin tags in particularly noticeable places such as the face.