What Are Skin Tags and How to Get Rid of Them
You probably didn't spend too much time thinking about your skin when you were younger. That doesn't hit until until you get a little older.
By your mid-30's, you've started to notice that your appearance has started to change, your skin doesn't look like it used to, and you get curious about what you can do about it.
Wrinkles, fine lines, and age spots are some of the most common signs of aging in men. But what about skin tags? What are they, how do they form, and what can you do about them?
What Are Skin Tags?
Skin tags - which are also called acrochordons, are soft pieces of hanging skin that form directly on the skin itself or are attached by a short stalk. They are harmless and can appear anywhere on your body. Some are the same color as your skin, others appear darker, pink, or red. And they can become irritated in some cases.
Where Do Skin Tags Form?
Skin tags are formed when loose collagen fibers get stuck within thick growths in your skin. They're most commonly found in areas where your skin folds frequently - like your eyelids, neck, armpits, and groin.
Are Skin Tags Common?
Yes, skin tags are incredibly common and you should not be concerned if you have them. Researchers estimate that "almost 50 to 60% of adults will develop at least one skin tag in their lifetime." Most men start to form skin tags in their 40's, but they can appear as early as during the teenage years. It is uncommon to develop new skin tags after turning 70.
Are Skin Tags Dangerous?
No, skin tags are not dangerous. Skin tags are almost always benign lesions - they do not indicate the presence of cancer or any other illness.
Skin tags can cause irritation, especially if they're in an area where clothing or jewelry rub against them frequently. For example, if you have a skin tag on your neck and wear a necklace or tight fitting shirt, it could get caught on it, pull, and cause pain.
If you notice the sudden development of many skin tags all in the same area, this could be a sign of something more serious. In this case, speak with your dermatologist to determine the best course of action.
What Causes Skin Tags?
It is still not entirely understood what causes skin tags. One theory is that constant friction leads to their growth. A variety of studies have shown that insulin resistance, high cholesterol, and obesity may all increase your likelihood of developing skin tags.
How to Prevent Skin Tags
The best way to prevent skin tags from forming is to lead a healthy lifestyle. That means maintaining a healthy weight, getting regular exercise, and eating a balanced diet. Keep in mind, even guys who are very healthy can get skin tags - they're not a sign that you are out of shape or in poor health.
It may not prevent skin tags, but sticking to a regular skincare and anti-aging routine is the best way to ensure that you look your best every day. Wrinkles can be diminished and even prevented with our Revitalizing Anti-Aging Cream - made with hyaluronic acid, DMAE, and MSM. For dark circles and puffy under-eye bags, use our Restoring Eye Cream. It's formulated with caffeine and protein peptides to promote circulation and firm the skin.
Can You Remove Skin Tags?
Yes, skin tags can be removed. While this is almost never medically necessary, it can be more aesthetically pleasing to get rid of these small lesions. There are a number of different methods for removing skin tags - and your dermatologist should be the one to determine which is best for you. It can be dangerous to try to physically remove skin tags yourself at home, so don't try it unless you're using a non-invasive over the counter method.
Skin tags can be frozen off by a dermatologist via cryosurgery. This method involves using liquid nitrogen or another extremely cold substance to eliminate the skin tag. This is fast, simple, and minimally uncomfortable procedure.
This is similar to cryosurgery but instead of using a cold substance, heat is used to remove the skin tag. Electrocautery is also an option through which the skin tag is removed by an electric current.
Cutting off the blood flow to the skin tag using surgical thread is another removal option.
Surgical scissors can be used to cut off a skin tag at its base. Bandages and stitches may be required afterwards depending on the size of the skin tag and where it was.
Don't Stress About Skin Tags
Skin tags are most common in men over 40 - so they can be a sign that you're getting older. But over half of the population will develop skin tags at some point. And they're almost always harmless. So don't stress too much about skin tags. Instead, focus on improving your skin's appearance with a consistent skincare and anti-aging routine.