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Dr Simon Zokaie BSc MBChB MRCP

Linia Skin Clinic

Blog - Skin Tags

4 May 2023 Skin Tags

Are Skin Tags the Same as Warts?

Skin tags and warts are two types of skin growth that are often incorrectly grouped. While they share some similarities, they have a lot of crucial differences. One commonality between the two is that they are entirely harmless. However, if you find them to be unsightly or they are not in a place where they are hidden, you may opt to have them removed. Skin tags and warts are different, as you will see from the following post. In it, we will discuss what skin tags are, what they look like, what causes them and how they can be treated. We will also address the issue of what separates warts from skin tags. What are skin tags? As you age, you are more likely to develop. Skin tags are generally small skin growths that look similar to warts. They are stuck to the skin via thin stalks and are incredibly popular. While they do not cause harm, many people with skin tags find them unsightly and often have trouble catching them if they are on a less inconspicuous part of the body. What do skin tags look like? Although they are generally no bigger than 2mm in size, some have been known to grow much more significantly. While some feel wrinkly and uneven, some are round and smooth and can look like rice grains on your skin. What are warts? Warts, on the other hand, are rough and rugged growths that develop on your skin. They will often grow to be no bigger than a pea but can be more extensive. It all depends on the type of wart they are. While some are light brown, others are flesh-coloured, and some will have lots of black dots on their centre that give them the appearance of tiny seeds on the skin. Are skin tags the same as warts? What is the difference? While they are often mistaken for each other, there are differences between skin tags and warts. These differences include the following: Warts have an irregular and rough surface, while skin tags have a smooth appearance and texture. Warts are usually flat or only just a little raised, while skin tags have a more lifted appearance with a thin stalk Skin tags are caused by various factors, such as friction, hormones, weight, and even ageing, while viruses tend to cause warts. While skin tags are not contagious, warts generally are easy to catch. While there are many differences between skin tags and warts, they also share some similarities. Both skin tags and warts are benign, which means they are not cancerous or harmful Both skin tags and warts can be distressing and unattractive. Both skin tags and warts can be treated using electrolysis and a variety of other kinds of treatments Skin Tag Causes They can develop in both men and women and are most prevalent among older individuals and anyone with Type 2 Diabetes. Regardless of where they develop, all skin tags develop due to extra cells growing in the skin’s top layers. This happens typically when skin rubs against itself through friction, which isn’t anyone who is overweight and has folds of skin will commonly have skin tags. It is also essential to understand that pregnant women are at greater risk of developing skin tags, though these will typically disappear once their baby is born. Can skin tags be removed at home? Many people think it will save a lot of hassle and time if they try to remove warts and skin tags at home. However, it can make something that isn’t a problem much worse. Even if you successfully remove skin tags and warts, you could inadvertently allow bacteria into the wound, or the damage could become infected. Wart and Skin Tag Removal Another similarity between skin tags and warts is that they can be removed with the same treatments. Although skin tags will often fall off and disappear themselves, if they don’t and are a nuisance or in a less conspicuous area, you may want to get rid of them using one of the following treatments: Cauterising – which means burning them using electrical energy Curettage – cutting them off using a surgical scalpel or pair of surgical scissors Cryotherapy – using liquid nitrogen to freeze them off Although these techniques used for skin tag removal sound horrific, they are prevalent treatments. There is nothing to worry about if you choose a fully qualified, experienced, board-certified plastic surgeon or dermatologist to perform the removal procedure. You need to note that when skin tags are removed, they can darken your skin (hyperpigmentation) or cause scarring in the treated area. This is especially true if you have brown or black skin. While these side effects are usually temporary, there are often when they can be permanent. Fortunately, when skin tags are removed successfully, they don’t tend to return. Can You Have Skin Tags Treated on the NHS As skin tags are purely an eyesore and can cause problems with clothing but are not a threat to your overall health, skin tag removal is considered cosmetic surgery. Therefore, you cannot have skin tags removed unless you go private to a plastic surgery clinic like Linia Skin Clinic. This is often what puts people off because it can be pretty costly, especially if you have a lot of skin tags. Conclusion There you have it. As skin tags are small and generally harmless, they are not something you need to worry about having removed. However, we understand that skin tags, especially in an openly visible part of your body, can affect your self-confidence and self-esteem. Even if they are not unsightly, as we’ve discussed, skin tags can often cause issues with your clothes and getting caught by doors and other pieces of furniture. If you decide that you would like to invest in a procedure designed for removing skin tags, you should make sure you speak to an experienced and qualified plastic surgeon or dermatologist. Speak to one of our team today to book yourself in for a consultation appointment, where our surgeon can analyse your skin tags to check them for size, location and how difficult they will be to remove.
28 February 2023 Skin Tags

What Causes Skin Tags?

Skin tags are common skin growths that can develop on different parts of your body. Although they are not dangerous, they can be unsightly and even catch on clothing and bleed or rub against other parts of your body and cause irritation. Before you decide whether you need to get rid of your skin tags, or are still unsure whether you have skin tags or want to avoid them in the future, you may have come to this page to find out what causes these skin tags. As you will see, in answer to the question of what causes skin tags, there are several different risk factors. Pregnant women, people who are overweight or obese, or have hormonal or steroid imbalances are among the people most likely to have skin tags. What are skin tags? Skin tags are unsightly, but harmless growths that develop and hang from your skin, as the name suggests. You normally get skin tags under the breasts, groin, armpits, and on your neck. They can grow in other places too. As well as being harmless, they are also not uncomfortable or painful. This means that they generally don’t need to have any real medical attention. However, if your skin tags are troubling you, there are several medical options you can choose from. As this is considered more of a cosmetic procedure, skin tag removal is rarely available through the NHS. Therefore you will need to look for a private GP practice or plastic surgery practice that offers the service like Linia Skin Clinic. What are the symptoms of skin tags? There are not many symptoms associated with skin tags. Sometimes, though, when they rub against your jewellery, clothes, or skin, they can cause discomfort or even bleeding. What causes skin tags? It is believed that acrochordons or skin tags develop as a result of the body producing additional cells in the uppermost layers of skin. Skin tags tend to grow in skin folds and body parts where there are natural movements that cause two parts of your skin to rub against one another. Risk factors for skin tags Although anyone can suffer from skin tags, there do seem to be several key risk factors that can increase the chance of people developing these unattractive and annoying growths. Obese and overweight people People who suffer from either type 1 or type 2 diabetes For women who are pregnant, this is possibly due to the changes in hormones and the increased levels of growth hormones associated with pregnancy Many people with some kind of HPV or human papillomavirus People who have sex-steroid imbalances, particularly if there are changes to their levels of progesterone and estrogen If they have close family members with skin tags High cholesterol levels and dyslipidemia High blood pressure, also known as hypertension Skin tags have also been connected to suffering from insulin resistance, and raised high-sensitive C-reactive protein, which is a marker for inflammation. What other conditions might look like skin tags? As is the case with a lot of skin conditions and growths on your skin, skin tags are often mistaken for other conditions. These can include Seborrheic keratosis is a skin disease that causes spots that resemble warts and look a little like skin tags Skin cancer Genital warts and other types of warts Moles Do skin tags need treatment? The general advice most doctors and other medical practitioners will give you is that if your skin tags are not bothering you too much or they are not causing any discomfort or pain, then there is no need to have them treated. Often, skin tags will fall off all by themselves anyway. You may want to talk to a private healthcare professional or plastic surgeon though about the possibility of having a skin tag removal procedure, if: The appearance of the skin tag does bother you The skin tag bleeds easily or has become noticeably more irritated Are skin tags cancerous? A common misunderstanding of skin tags is that they can be cancerous. To be clear, skin tags are benign growths that most consist of collagen, one of the proteins found naturally throughout your body, in blood vessels and elsewhere. However, as skin tags can be mistaken for cancerous growths like moles, it is best to get your skin tags diagnosed properly by a medical professional Are at-home skin tag removal products safe to use? If you carry out searches for skin tag removal products there are many different options available. It is important to note that most medical professionals will stress that although they may seem convenient, almost all at-home treatments are unsafe and should be avoided. Some of the major risks and complications that come with at-home skin tag removals are: Damage to nearby healthy skin Incorrect self-diagnosis of skin tags and using a skin tag removal product to get rid of them, lead to the removal of something far more dangerous, such as a cancerous mole. Incomplete removal of skin tags, which means they are more likely to regrow Infections Excessive bleeding Scars How are skin tags treated? As we have already noted, many skin tags will drop off of their own accord in time. However, if this does not happen or you do not have the patience to wait or they are a more serious problem for you personally, either cosmetically or because they cause discomfort and pain, there are a variety of different skin tag removal procedures you can choose from. These include Cauterising (which involves using electrical energy to burn them) Cutting them off with either a surgical scalpel or a pair of surgical scissors Freezing them until they fall off using liquid nitrogen Conclusion As skin tag removal is normally not a required treatment, you should think carefully before you go ahead with any skin tag removal procedure. If you have thought about it and considered all the options and want your skin tag removed, why not give the team at Linia Skin Clinic more information about our skin tag removal treatment or book a consultation appointment with one of our qualified, trained and skilled cosmetic surgeons?
29 December 2020 Skin Tags

How to Remove Skin Tags (and Why Getting Rid at Home is a Bad Idea)

Do you have skin tags? Then you will already know the problems associated with having these protruding little growths of (often) darker fleshy skin and are looking for ways to get rid of your skin tags.

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