Skin tags are basically benign growths that stick off from your skin and look as if they are hanging from the skin. They are connected to the underlying skin by a thin stalk. They are usually flesh-colored, but they turn red when twisted near their blood supply. They are found on the neck, eyelids, underarms, upper chest, beneath the breasts in women and groin folds. Skin tags can appear on anyone at any time, but they are more prevalent in middle age and increase as you grow older.
Skin tags are caused by bunches of collagen and blood vessels that are trapped inside a thicker piece of skin. However, there is no really known medical reason that may cause skin tag growth. But the most common reason that has been agreed upon is chaffing or irritation caused by the rubbing of the layers of skin. That is why they are found mostly in the groin and armpits.
Medicinal and Health Causes
- Illegal steroids used by bodybuilders can cause skin tags because of the effect of the drugs they are ingesting. Steroids can cause the collagen fibers to bond together to form skin tags.
- Hormonal changes in a woman’s body can cause skin tags to grow.
- Insulin rejection that is caused by diabetes or some other factor in the body can affect the growth of skin tags.
- They are common in overweight people because of the friction of skin rubbing.
- Human papilloma virus may cause skin tags.
- Hereditary, people with close family members who have skin tags may have more chances to develop them.
- Wearing tight clothes may contribute to skin tags in overweight people.
Are Skin Tags Dangerous?
Most of the skin tags commonly found in people are harmless skin growths or tumors, and they are not cancerous and do not become cancerous if left untreated. Very rarely a skin tag may become cancerous and skin tags that grow, bleed or display colors like red, pink, brown or black may require a biopsy. They also do not cause any problems like pain or discomfort except for the cosmetic appearance. Any changes on your skin or in the appearance of the tag have to be reported to your doctor.
Although there are no health problems related to skin tags, a large number of skin tags might be an indication of diabetes or an insulin problem. Sometimes complications may arise with the removal of tags as the torn skin might get infected. Get professional opinion before removing them if you have any doubt whether the flap is a skin tag or not, as moles and warts will react in a different way and they need different types of treatments.
As skin tags are considered to be harmless, their tissues are not analyzed after they are removed. But a skin tag on a child has to be analyzed because it could be the beginning of nevoid basal cell carcinoma syndrome, which is a rare genetic condition that involves skin cancer.
So the answer for the question ‘whether skin tags are dangerous’ depends on the type of skin tag and its location. However, you can get them removed when they seem to be unsightly and when they affect your self-esteem, or when they snag on clothing and bleed.
Daniel Stevenson is an expert who writes for many health blogs on the internet including BeHealthy24.Com, a website that contains unique information about various home remedies including apple cider vinegar mole removal method.
- Skin Tag Causes and Treatments (everydayhealth.com)