As you get older, you may begin to see little growths called skin tags popping up on your body. The way to recognize them is to observe small growths that are thinner at the base and get wider at the top.
They aren’t painful or dangerous like cancerous moles, but there’s a very good reason you’ll want them removed.
Experts think friction—like from your shirt’s underarms or a necklace—can cause the growths over time, though it’s unclear why some people get more than others.
People have used all kinds of crazy methods to try removing skin tags on their own. People have done crazy things ranging from tying strings around them, burning them, trying to pick them off with their fingers, and even slamming books against them.
A dermatologist, on the other hand, can snip away skin tags quickly and cleanly. Sounds easy enough for you to try it on your own, right? Not so fast. Removing skin tags is like trying to Icut their own hair. It never goes the way they want it to.”
For one thing, dermatologists have sterile instruments, but using your own could lead to an infection. More so, while dermatologists can use local anesthesia and have supplies to stop the blood, you could bleed uncontrollably when doing it on your own.
Even over the counter medications claiming to dissolve the skin tags could be bad news. By using them, you could burn the skin or make marks. There could be unintended consequences. If you hate the idea of anyone snipping your skin, ask a doctor to freeze or melt it instead.
But there’s an even bigger reason you should visit an expert. After dermatologists remove a growth, they’ll look at it under a microscope. There are things that look like skin tags but are cancerous. That doesn’t mean you should freak out if you do find a skin tag. Most will just be benign, but you won’t know for sure until you’ve asked.
Moreover, checking a skin tag is a “good excuse” to get your doctor to check the rest of your body for skin cancer and atypical or malignant growths.