Health

What are Skin tags? Causes, Treatment & Cost

Skin tags are fleshy bumps of skin that often grow in the underarm and the areas. Skin tags are not serious health care issues, nor do they cause any pain. Both men and women can develop skin tags. Although these tags are harmless, they may occur in areas of the body that make you uncomfortable. In such a case, you may need to seek medical treatments to get rid of them. Urgent care clinics can remove body tags using various techniques. To learn and understand everything about skin tag removal, keep reading this article, including the cost of removing skin tags. 

What are Skin Tags?

Skin tags are known as benign or fleshy growths that form on the skin and stay connected to the skin through a stalk. They often develop where there is a fold on the skin. You won’t see this growth during birth or childhood because they usually develop into middle-aged adults. You will notice them easily because they look like thin, loose bits of hanging skin. These tags are medically known as acrochordons. If these tags irritate you, the best option is to seek a medical technique to help you remove the skin tag for good. You can visit an urgent care clinic to find out the cost of removing these tags. 

Where do skin tags often form?

Any area of the body can develop skin tags. They are, however, more prevalent in skin folds. These folds include those in the underarm, on the neck, inner thighs, grown, the groin area, and under the breast. These tags come in various sizes that range between 0.2cm to 1cm in diameter. In rare cases, a skin tag can reach 5 cm in diameter. 

Are there risk factors associated with skin tags? 

As we mentioned, anyone can develop skin tags, regardless of age and gender. However, middle-aged adults are at a high risk of getting skin tags. A person with underlying health issues such as insulin resistance, the obese, persons suffering from diabetes, individuals with hormonal disorders like thyroid, and patients with hypertension are also at high risk of developing body tags. These tags can also develop in pregnant women. Other skin changes, such as darkening and thickening of the skin (acanthosis nigricans), may also cause body tags. This usually happens along the skin folds, including the neck, groin, and underarms. Children nowadays can also develop body tags because of the rise of childhood obesity. 

How to treat skin tags (skin tag removal)

If you have developed these tags, the best thing to do is consult a dermatologist who will explain skin tag removal methods. Removing these tags at home is not ideal because a patient may lose a lot of blood. Removing skin tags at home is also not advisable because the patient may develop infections due to unsterilized equipment or lack of specialized tools. Chemical-based OTC products used at home for removing tags are also unsafe because they may cause allergic reactions. The only way to remove these tags safely and painlessly is by visiting a qualified dermatologist and finding out the cost of removing these tags. 

A qualified and experienced dermatologist will offer proper skin tag removal methods based on the underlying metabolic disturbance causing the skin tags to develop. Below are some of the skin tag removal methods that the dermatologist may use:

Cauterization

One of the most effective methods of getting rid of these tags is through a cauterization procedure. This advanced medical procedure uses radiofrequency or heats energy to burn the skin. It only requires a single cauterization session to remove the skin tag. 

Excision

During a procedure known as excision, the doctor will use surgical scissors or a scalpel to perform a little surgical procedure to remove the skin tag. To ensure that the skin tag doesn’t grow back again, the dermatologist will use this medical equipment to snip the skin below the skin tag. The excision process is painless if the skin tag is small. A numbing agent or anesthesia may be necessary if the doctor uses this procedure to remove the skin tag. The size of the skin tag will also determine if the doctor is going to use sutures. 

Cryosurgery

Cryosurgery also works well in removing these tags. The method exposes the skin tag to extremely low temperatures (freezing). To work effectively, the dermatologist will have to use liquid nitrogen. Once the skin tag stops growing, it will eventually shed off and disappear. 

Ligation

During a skin tag removal process known as ligation, a surgical thread is tied around the skin tag to cut off its blood supply. This is a physical skin tag removal method that effectively eliminates these tags. With no blood flowing to the skin tag, it eventually falls off the skin. 

Laser treatment

This is a much-advanced skin tag removal process that utilizes laser technology to eliminate these tags. This procedure kills the skin tag from within without damaging the surrounding skin. 

How much does a skin tag removal procedure cost?

The average cost of a skin removal procedure varies depending on the type of skin tag removal procedure used by the dermatologist. The cost ranges between $20 to $50 based on the size of the skin tag. Another factor that the dermatologist will consider when determining the cost of skin tag removal is the number of tags. If there are several skin tags, the cost will increase compared to removing a single skin tag. Skin tag removal cost is also influenced by the doctor’s experience, the skin concern’s severity, the clinic’s reputation, and the clinic’s location. It is always good to discuss the cost of skin tag removal with your doctor before the procedure is done. 

You can easily access skin tag removal procedures at urgent care centers. One of the benefits of seeking tag removal procedures at an urgent care clinic is the convenience that comes with it. Urgent care clinics don’t necessarily require a doctor’s appointment to access quality health care services. The cost to remove these tags is also low at an urgent care clinic compared to emergency rooms in hospitals. 

What’s the difference between skin tags and warts?

Many people often mistake skin tags for warts. These two skin conditions are not the same. Here are their differences:

Contagiousness

One of the differences between warts and these tags is that warts are contagious, while skin tags are not. Warts spread through a virus that is often sexually transmitted. You may also get warts if your skin touches someone who has warts. These tags are harmless and can easily be treated using skin tag removal methods. 

Appearance

These tags and warts don’t look the same. These tags may look like your skin’s color or darker. They are also soft and are often an extension of the skin. Warts, on the other hand, have finger-like or spiny projections that look darker or brown. These tags are more common than warts. If you develop a growth on your skin, the best thing to do is consult a dermatologist who will conduct several tests to choose the cause and recommend a treatment plan. The treatment cost for both skin conditions also varies depending on their severity. 

Conclusion

Skin tags are growths that tend to develop in areas of the body where the skin rubs together. That is why it often forms in skin folds. A skin tag is made up of an accumulation of collagen and blood vessels. Skin tags are not contagious. Therefore, you don’t need to worry about interacting with a person with body tags. These are also not cancerous or precancerous. Therefore, you don’t have to worry if you develop body tags. The cost to remove skin tags depends on various factors, including the number of tags, the size of the skin tag, and the location of the procedure. An urgent care clinic is the best facility to undergo a skin tag removal procedure. 

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