Skin tags may not be known to everyone, however they are well known to those who have them.
San Francisco, CA -- (SBWIRE) -- 09/28/2012 -- Many who have the tags have, at one time or another, become concerned with the small nubbins that can crop up in plenty of places on the body. Doctors say the good news for anyone with these flaps of skin is that they have no malignant potential.
“They are not dangerous in any way. They're of no consequence -- except for the fact that people find them a nuisance," says Dr. Peter Vignjevic, a dermatologist in Hamilton, Ontario, and spokesperson for the Canadian Dermatology Association.
"They feel kind of like a soft, spongy bag. And they can be kind of velvety," says Dr. Dawn Davis, a dermatologist with the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.
The growths tend to be skin colored or slightly darker. Some are smooth, while others have an almost mossy texture. The tags tend to be small, but do not always have to be. Some can even be the side of a thumb.
Skin tags tend to form around skin folds, or wherever there is general friction. Armpits, groins, and underneath breast and largely developed pectoral muscles are all prime locations. Some even find tags on the eyelids or the around the orbital bone which surrounds the eye socket. Growth of the skin tags tend to occur as one ages, though it is not unheard of for a child to develop them.
"Most people who grow them grow more than one. You know, you're either kind of a skin-tag grower or you're not sort of person," says Davis, who adds that for folks in the former category, skin tag growth "kind of drives them bananas."
Skin tags can be easily removed by dermatologists; however, it is not necessary and can usually be ignored unless it is causing irritation. Such irritation is usually due the interaction with jewelry or fabrics. Experts say to avoid attempt to cut costs with DIY methods. This is because not all items that appear to be skin tags truly are.
"All in all, most people recognize a skin tag when they see it. But that's why we don't recommend that you just go snipping at something if you're not quite sure. Because you might end up snipping off something else and it might be painful."
Tags can be burned or frozen off with liquid nitrogen. Other dermatologists utilize electrodesiccation, wherein the excess skin is removed with electric frequencies.
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