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Skin Tags

Or Acrochordons

skintagMedically a skin tag is referred to as an acrochordon (or acrochorda if you have more than one).  They are usually harmless and once formed and depending on your lifestyle, they do not grow or change much over time.

Skin tags are outgrowths or little flaps of skin that may look like a small piece of soft hanging skin that have suddenly appeared. They can look like and be mistaken for pimples, moles or warts.

Where the tag attaches, the connection may be a slender stem or a broad area as wide as the tag.  The surface of a tag may be smooth or irregular and while they are usually small and seldom larger than a grain of rice, they may grow up to a half-inch long.

Some say skin tags are caused by a chemical imbalance in the skin, but most are caused by friction on the skin; clothing, jewellery, toilet paper (causing skin tags around the anus) and skin against skin. Therefore, areas such as the neck, face, under armpits, inside thighs and groin, eyelids, genitals, anus, or under women's breasts are the most common places to find them.

Men and women stand equal chance of acquiring skin tags and although harmless, they can be unsightly and very annoying especially when they get snagged. This is because they are part of the body and equipped with sense receptors.  Therefore the snagging, pain and irritation caused by rubbing (of garments) is good reason to have them removed.

Removing skin tags

Sometimes skin tags will just go away when the skin is no longer being irritated.  Tags on the inside thighs may go away after weight loss and the thighs no longer rub together. Anal skin tags may go away after dispensing with toilet paper and washing instead*.

Removing skin tags does not cause more to grow but it will not stop new skin tags from forming.

Methods:

  • By adjusting ones lifestyle and attire, skin tags may just go away over time.
  • Tying off
    Note that this could be a little uncomfortable and may take a week or more; use a fine string like dental floss and tie it tightly around the base of the tag and trim the ends. This will cut off the blood supply and eventually cause the skin tag to die. It will start to turn black and eventually fall off. If the tie off is not tied right onto the base of the tag, a small bump may remain after the tag is gone
  • Tee tree oil
    Apply tea tree oil to the tag 2 - 3 times daily. This will cause it to dry and maybe die and disappear.
  • Apple Cider Vinegar
    Apple cider vinegar also works, as with tea tree oil, apply 2-3 times daily and tags are usually gone in a few weeks, but this may sting for a few minutes after application.
  • Fingernail polish
    This does work, but it can be painful.
  • Pharmacy products
    There is a wide range of products that will cause skin tags to dry, turn black and slowly disappear.
  • Surgery
    Your doctor or dermatologist is able to cut the tags off. This may also require a stitch depending on the size of the incision.
  • Freezing
    Your doctor or dermatologist is able to freeze the tags with liquid nitrogen and they fall off.

To avoid skin tags, avoid being Obese, overweight, or diabetic only increases your chances of developing skin tags.

*Washing your bum and genitals; over half the world's population does not have access to toilet paper and many brands of toilet paper have more of a spreading action rather than cleaning.

Therefore washing the anal and vaginal regions is much more hygienic and gentle on your body. If you have the means, installing a bidet in your bathroom is a good idea and after washing, pat the area dry with a towel.

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