What are Skin Tags?
Skin tags are very common soft harmless lesions that appear to hang off the skin.
They are also described as:
- Fibroepithelial polyps
- Soft fibromas
- Pedunculated (this means they are on a stalk)
- Filiform (this means they are thread-like)
Skin tags develop in both men and women as they grow older. They are skin coloured or darker and range in size from 1mm to 5cm. They are most often found in the skin folds (neck, armpits, groin). They tend to be more numerous in obese persons and in those with type 2 diabetes mellitus.
Skin tags are made up of loosely arranged collagen fibres and blood vessels surrounded by a thickened or thinned-out epidermis. Seborrhoeic keratosis, viral warts or molluscum contagiosum may resemble skin tags.
What causes skin tags?
It is not known what causes skin tags. However, the following factors may play a role:
- Chaffing and irritation from skin rubbing together
- High levels of growth factors, particularly during pregnancy or in acromegaly (gigantism)
- Insulin resistance (syndrome X)
- Human papilloma virus (wart virus)
How can they be removed?
Skin tags can be removed for cosmetic reasons by the following methods:
- Cryotherapy (freezing)
- Surgical excision (often with scissors)
- Electrosurgery (diathermy)
- Sebeceous Hyperplasia Treatment
What is sebaceous hyperplasia?
Sebaceous hyperplasia is benign over-growth of normal oil glands (sebaceous glands) of the skin, usually seen on the forehead, temples and cheeks. They typically appear skin-colored or yellowish and have a central “pore” or follicular opening.
How can my sebaceous hyperplasia be treated?
Sebaceous hyperplasia can be effectively treated with fine-needle electrocautery, a painless procedure that may or may not require local numbing injections. Occasionally, slightly lighter or darker pigmentation may occur at the treated areas, this usually resolves over time. Darker pigmentation can be lightened with fading creams. Laser Skin Resurfacing, in which a laser removes the outer layers of the skin is also effective for removing sebaceous hyperplasia and leaving the skin smooth and rejuvenated.