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Skin Tags

Also called achrocordons or fibroepithelial polypsin medical terms.

  • They are benign (noncancerous) skin growths made up of covering  skin, fat cells, nerves and blood vessels
  • They are often found on the eyes, neck or in areas prone to friction like under the arms, below the breast and between the thighs
  • They are usually skin coloured but can be hyperpigmented, have a stalk and are mainly about 2 to 6mm in size though they can get very big especially in obese individuals

Why do they occur and who gets them?

  • Its is not well known why they occur but anyone can get skin tags
  • They are common in adults 40 years and above
  • When they occur in multiple numbers they are often associated with diabetes, insulin resistansce, high cholesterol, anbormal thyroid function etc
  • They are also more common in pregnancy as a result of hormonal changes

How do we treat them?

  • For skin tags that are in hidden areas and we not worried about scarring, I often treat them with cryotherapy ( after treatment , the tags will be inflamed or irritated , they might blister but will eventually dry up and fall taking  approximately 7- 10 days
  • The treatment I do the most however as most patients prefer to leave the rooms without skin tags is cautery and snip excisions( patients arrive in the rooms and hour before the procedure for application of topical anaesthetic if they have multiple tags/ those with fewer tags get an injection of local nanaesthesia just before the treatment, then the tags are either cut of with surgical scissors after the skin is sterilized or are touched with a cautery probe were an electrical current is passed and the tag gets burnt off)

What to do for after care?

  • Patients are encouraged to be gentle when cleansing the treated area
  • They are often given a repair cream or a topical antibiotic to apply to the area until the skin is completely healed
  • They are discouraged to scratch of the burnt tags but to rather let them fall off on their own to avoid scarring
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