Skin Tags Removal
Eyelid Reconstruction for Skin Tags & Bumps
What is a skin tag?
Skin tags are benign growths that hang from the skin by a small stalk. These growths commonly develop in areas where there are folds in the skin. This indicates that friction between the skin and clothing may contribute to their formation. However, not everyone develops skin tags, nor do skin tags always occur in folds. Sometimes, they develop around the eyes.
It is not clear exactly why skin tags occur or why some people get them and others do not. One theory is that skin tags form when clusters of blood vessels and collagen get trapped together. There is also evidence that skin tags may more commonly develop in people who have diabetes or, conversely, too much insulin circulating in the blood. There may also be a hereditary factor involved.
Though skin tags are not medically concerning, many people choose to have them removed for cosmetic reasons.
Why Do Skin Tags Occur?
Skin tags can occur in childhood but become more common as one age. Additionally, they are subject to hormonal changes and pregnant women experience new skin tags. Skin tags are typically an aesthetic concern and do not cause any further problems. However, they may have a relationship to diabetes and obesity so you should have your blood sugar and weight checked by your primary care physician if you notice a sudden onset of many skin tags.
Skin Cancer Warning Signs
Any suspicious bump on or near your eyelid should be examined by a physician. There are a number of warning signs that indicate that the bump may be skin cancer. These include the “ABCDEs:”
- A: Asymmetry
- B: Borders are irregular
- C: Color variation (more than one color)
- D: Diameter (size is greater than a pencil eraser)
- E: Evolution (anything new – growth, bleeding, itching)
These bumps can be excised by your physician and sent to a laboratory for examination. Remember, not all bumps are cancer. It may be a benign growth, infection, or a sign of an underlying condition. Usually, removal of the bump can be performed right in the office using a local anesthetic. Other cases require the equipment and safety of an operating room. After the bump is removed, you will likely be asked to apply an antibiotic ointment to prevent infection.
Skin Tag Removal
There are a few ways that skin tags may be removed. Some doctors freeze them and some cauterize them with heat. In our office, we excise or “snip” skin tags to remove them immediately and without significant side effects.
Why should skin tags be removed by a doctor?
Skin tags should not be removed at home. Not all growths that look like skin tags are, so a doctor should examine the growth and determine if a biopsy is needed. Because a skin tag is vascularized, it may bleed persistently if not treated appropriately. A doctor should perform skin tag removal to prevent this risk as well as the risk of infection. This is especially important when the skin tag is positioned close to the eye or eyelid margin.
Does skin tag removal hurt?
It does not hurt to get a skin tag removed in a doctor’s office. Before excising the growth, the doctor administers a local anesthetic that numbs nerve endings in the treatment area. An injected anesthetic is strong enough to prevent discomfort during and after the removal process.
How do I prevent skin tags?
It is not possible to fully prevent skin tags because age and heredity are contributing factors. However, knowing that weight, blood sugar, and skin folds may make it easier for skin tags to form, one may take a few preventive steps. Maintaining a healthy weight and avoiding dietary habits that cause sharp blood sugar rises and crashes can help reduce the risk of skin tags. It may also be advantageous to wear soft, breathable clothing, such as cotton, rather than constrictive fabrics like spandex.
Are there any risks if skin tags are left untreated?
No. True skin tags are benign and do not become cancerous. They typically do not overgrow, though some people have many small skin tags in various parts of their bodies. The most common reason people seek to have skin tags removed is that they are cosmetically concerning or because they are located in a position where clothing or jewelry rubs against them, causing discomfort.