What are Skin Tags?
A skin tag is a small piece of skin that is in the shape of hanging little seed or pouch. Skin tags are benign and are connected to the skin via a thin cord. They look like tabs of hanging skin and often manifest where friction occurs. So, wherever there is skin-on-skin friction or where clothing rubs against the skin, there is a possibility of a skin tag developing. Common areas include underarms, groin, chest, and neck. They don’t appear at birth but tend to proliferate with age. About one quarter of the adult population get them and tend to inherit a genetic predisposition to developing more. They are referred to as acrochordons in medical terms. Other common names for them are soft warts, soft fibromas, fibroepithelial polyps (FEP), fibroma pendulans, and pedunculated fibromas. Procedural dermatologist and board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Thornwell Parker leads our skilled team of medical professionals at Skin Cancer Consultants in Dallas, TX, where we are equipped to diagnose and treat this skin condition.
"Great experience. Dr Parker and staff made me feel at ease when getting four skin cancers removed off my face. Scars barely visible. So thankful my Dermatologist recommended Dr. Parker. Highly recommend."- D. . / Wellness / Feb 17, 2016
"All the staff was very professional."- Anonymous / Healthgrades / Oct 12, 2017
"Dr. Parker is excellent!"- B.M. / Google / Oct 08, 2017
"The best of the best! He came highly recommended by a doctor we have great respect for and he certainly was correct. Dr Parker has taken perfect care on all four visits for Ralph."- A.W. / Google / Sep 10, 2017
"I was diagnosed with 2 basal cell carcinomas requiring Mohs surgery by a dermatologist in McKinney. One was on my face and the other on my leg. I researched plastic surgeons specializing in Mohs surgery and found Dr. Parker. I had my surgery 2 weeks ago. I couldn't have asked for a better experience. Dr. Parker and his whole staff were very encouraging, caring and talked me through every step of the process. I felt very safe and comfortable and never felt I was being rushed. He took the time to explain everything he was going to do and gave me time to ask any questions. Other than a little prick from the initial numbing shots, I felt no discomfort. My incisions were bandaged and I went back the next day for sutures. Each incision required 14 stitches. His nurse explained exactly how to care for them. 1 week later I went back to have the sutures removed and they were covered with steri strips. While I was there, I asked for a full body check, as I didn't feel my original dermatologist had done a thorough check. Dr. Parker found 2 more suspicious spots, 1 was precancerous which he removed all of with the biopsy scrape and another on my back was basal cell which I will be going back for another surgery. So thankful he checked me thoroughly, checking from my scalp to between my toes. Dr. Parker will now be my dermatologist. I can't recommend them highly enough!"- C.A. / Yelp / Aug 13, 2017
Skin tags are flesh colored or might appear brown in light-skinned people. They can either be smooth or wrinkled and measure from one millimeter up to the size of a pumpkin seed. The larger skin tags have a clearly identifiable connective tissue, called a stalk, which attaches to the skin and underlying skin. However, some of the smaller tags are so close to the skin that they appear more like a bump. Pain is a symptom that can result when tags get twisted due to stress on the stalk, which is the blood supply. This can turn the skin tag red or black. They can also bleed or hurt when caught on clothing or a foreign object. Otherwise, skin tags are not inherently painful or associated with other serious skin issues or symptoms.
Causes and Risks
The exact causes of skin tags remain inconclusive. But since they usually appear in skin folds, it’s a good chance that simple friction plays a role. They are actually made of up blood vessels and collagen, contrary to the popular belief that they are just empty tabs of dead skin. Diabetes appears to be linked to skin tags since people with insulin resistance don’t absorb glucose as well into the bloodstream. Another study revealed a direct link between insulin resistance and skin tags. They are also a common part of pregnancies, due to hormones and weight gain. They are not contagious.
What to Expect
Skin tags don’t normally require treatment unless they are causing pain. However, those who are susceptible to or currently have diabetes, or a skin condition called acanthosis nigricans, should have skin tags regularly assessed at Skin Cancer Consultants to maintain optimum health. Furthermore, it’s wise to be aware that the above-mentioned physical issues increase the likelihood that you will suffer from skin tags. Skin tags can often be diagnosed upon visual inspection. After removal, they will be sent to pathology for further testing. Though the results are rarely alarming, other more serious skin conditions can occasionally be confused for skin tags.
Plan Your Procedure
Arrange Your Examination
While skin tags can possibly rub off, most stubbornly hang on. After a while, this could become uncomfortable and you may choose to have them removed. There are a number of safe surgical and nonsurgical options for skin tag removal. At a consultation with our skilled skin care team, your skin tags will be assessed and your removal options explained in great detail. It is worth mentioning that though individuals may try to remove skin tags utilizing home remedies, this process can often lead to infection and is not recommended. If you are interested in discussing your options for the removal of skin tags, call us today to set up your consultation.