Skin tags are small, harmless outgrowths of normal skin that are soft and skin-coloured. Their exact cause is unknown however, they generally grow in areas where the skin folds or is subject to continuous friction or irritation as in the neck and underarms. Skin tag removal is quick and comfortable.
Skin tags affect 38% of the general population and as many as 59% of adults by age 70. People who are diabetics, overweight, who have a family history of skin tags, as well as pregnant women, are more prone to developing skin tags.
What can be done?
Traditionally doctors use one of several methods, including surgical removal, cautery (burning) and liquid nitrogen cryotherapy (freezing).
One of the most aesthetically pleasing results of these is electrocautery. This process is easy and comfortable. The areas to be treated are first injected with the anaesthetic, Xylocaine, or a numbing cream is applied and allowed to take effect for 10-20 minutes. The tag is burned at the root with several touches of the tip of the electrocautery handpiece.
The tag itself will turn dry and black and may either be removed immediately or will fall off on its own within about a week. There may be a tiny mark/scar left where the skin tag was, particularly of the area has also darkened from the irritation caused by years of friction.
The procedure time varies depending on how many tags are being treated but 15-30 minutes is average.
Skin tag removal is not covered by medical insurance.
The costs are:
1 skin tag $150,
2-5 lesions $250
6-10 lesions $350.