Skin tags aren’t dangerous growths, but they are often embarrassing.They tend to appear around your eyes or on your neck where other people can see them. While it isn’t necessary to remove skin tags, if their appearance bothers you, talk to your dermatologist about removal options.
There are more reasons to remove the tags than appearance. You may want to get rid of your skin tags if they always snag in your necklace or when a tag is in a location where friction with clothing or skin makes it sore. There are a few ways to remove skin tags. Here are three options.
Removal With Surgical Scissors or a Scalpel
Cutting off a skin tag is the easiest and fastest way to get rid of a tag for good. Your dermatologist may not even need to use an anesthetic if the tag is a small one. If you’re having many different tags removed or if you’re having a large tag taken off, you’ll have your skin numbed first so you feel no discomfort.
The tag is snipped off at the base of the stalk near the surface of your skin. There may be some bleeding, which can be controlled with pressure, cautery, or medication. Because the tag is removed quickly with sterile equipment there is little risk of infection or other side effects.
Liquid Nitrogen Can Freeze Tags Off
The location, size, or condition of the skin tag may make it unsuitable for snipping off with scissors. When that’s the case, your dermatologist might recommend freezing the tag instead. Liquid nitrogen is usually used for this purpose. It is sprayed or dabbed onto the tag and a little of the surrounding healthy skin.
The nitrogen is so cold, it freezes and damages the tag. This causes a blister to form in a few hours and the blister eventually forms a scab. The scab falls off in several days and takes the skin tag along with it.
One advantage of freezing the tag is that there is less bleeding. The disadvantage is that it takes several days for your tag to fall off after the treatment. There might also be some burning and discomfort when the liquid nitrogen is applied.
Killing the Tag With Heat
A skin tag can be removed with intense heat as well. This removal uses an electrocautery tool that heats a needle until it can burn through the stalk of the tag. The heat from the needle closes the wound so there is very little bleeding when a skin tag is removed using this method.
This could be a good choice for a tag that is in a tight location and difficult to remove with scissors. Electrocautery is a safe and effective way to remove skin tags, and it has a very low risk of leaving scars or causing undesirable side effects.
Your dermatologist will assess the number of tags, their location, and their size to determine the best and quickest way to get rid of them. You may only want the tags removed that are on your face and neck or just the ones that cause you discomfort.
You could have only a couple of tags or you might have many of them to be removed. Your dermatologist can help you find an effective way to deal with them. Once they’re removed, the tags usually don’t come back, but, you might have new tags pop up over the course of your life.
If you’re self-conscious about your skin tags Asheboro Dermatology & Skin Surgery Center can help. One of their experienced dermatologists will assess your skin tags and develop a treatment plan.