As the world continues to grapple with COVID-19, you’ve likely taken part in an “at-home” version of something. Making sourdough bread, home workouts, or cooking extremely fancy meals you used to only have in a restaurant are all some of the lifestyle changes people have incorporated into their daily routines.
While some of these lifestyle changes are inconvenient, most won’t harm you (we won’t talk about your bad DIY haircut). However, there are some things better left to the professionals, including the removal of skin tags.
Continue reading to find out what skin tags are, and why you should never try to remove them on your own.
Skin tags, technically called acrochordons, are benign growths consisting of collagen fibers, nerve cells, fat cells, and a covering of skin. They are frequently found in areas of friction on the skin, such as the neck, underarms, under the breasts, eyelids, and other skin folds.
It’s not entirely clear what causes skin tags, and there are no proven ways to prevent them, though some studies have shown that skin tags are more common with age, obesity, and pregnancy. Friction is another possible trigger.
Some people think they can remove skin tags using scissors or nail clippers at home, but those efforts can go wrong very quickly. Even using over-the-counter products to remove skin tags is not ideal. Here is why it’s best to hire a professional.
Home remedies are available, but their effectiveness is largely anecdotal and unsupported by substantial research.
Sometimes, a growth that appears to be a skin tag may actually be a wart or skin cancer such as melanoma. This is why getting a dermatologist to examine a growth is critical before you remove it. If you remove a growth that’s actually skin cancer, you may leave behind cancer cells that multiply and spread.
Also, a skin tag may indicate an endocrine or hormonal condition, such as acromegaly or polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). If the dermatologist suspects an underlying condition, they will send the removed skin tag to a laboratory for further evaluation.
You risk damaging the surface of your skin if you don’t remove your skin tag correctly, leaving you with a scar instead of a skin tag, and scars are much more difficult to remove.
If you attempt to remove a skin tag with scissors, you may end up with an infection or uncontrolled bleeding, which would require a trip to the ER (you’d be surprised how much a large skin tag can bleed). You put yourself at risk of infection by opening up your skin, making the original skin tag a problem you wish you still had.
Some people use over-the-counter ligation devices, dental floss, or something else to tie off skin tags, then wait until they fall off. It may work, but you may end up with an infection, not to mention a bad smell from the skin tag rotting.
Bottom line: If a skin tag is bothering you or you simply don’t like the way it looks and want it removed, it’s best to visit a dermatologist.
When it comes to skin tag removal, we have the right tools for the job, virtually eliminating the risks outlined above. We’re able to remove your skin tags quickly and efficiently, leaving your skin in pristine condition.