For various reasons, not the least of which is vanity, we have become fascinated by those pesky little items known as skin tags. We want them gone, maybe for cosmetic reasons, because they are uncomfortable, or maybe because they catch on clothing, seatbelts, or jewelry. It is also possible, if you believe all that you see and hear, that, if we have a skin tag, we will become repugnant in the eyes of our children and something less than a perfect parent. The exact cause of skin tags is not fully understood, but they are thought to be in some way connected with friction. We see them more often in areas where folds of skin can cause rubbing, such as under the breasts, in the armpits, the groin, and in areas where clothing bunches and rubs. Skin tags are more common in the obese and may appear in clusters. Skin tags can appear on anyone, on any part of the body, and at any stage of life, although they seem more common in those of middle age. Because they grow on the body, skin tags are considered to be tumors. Not to be confused with the many other tumors that can spread and cause serious danger to our health, skin tags are merely small soft skin-like extensions growing on a stem-like base. The skin tag rises from a root stalk of cells, although not all stalks are visible. Skin tags are relatively easy to remove, either by cauterizing, cutting, or freezing. For larger tags, surgery may be required. Some tags may even fall off without treatment. It is good to know that skin tags are not dangerous. They will not spread, unlike warts, and they are not contagious. They can however become irritated. If you are considering removing a skin tag, always discuss this with your family doctor. He/she will help you decide on the best method of removal, based on the size and location of the tag. Attempting to remove your own tags without medical advice, can cause infection and possibly scarring. There are numerous skin tag removal products on the market. If you chose one of these, make sure your choice is a safe choice.
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