Discover how to get rid of skin tags.
There are surely questions that you have never dared to ask, out of modesty, fear, even shame… Our journalist, Mélanie Morin, asked these questions for you. Today, we are talking about acrochordons, these little pieces of skin that can be a source of complexes.
When you do a search on the Internet with the expression ” pieces of flesh “, you get ” pieces of flesh in the neck “, then ” pieces of flesh in the rules “, ” pieces of flesh under the arms “, or even ” how to remove the pieces of flesh? ” and ” pieces of flesh on the skin “. The query ” pieces of flesh in the neck ” generates nearly 345,000 results on the Internet.
This fairly common aesthetic discomfort, a source of complexes, is called acrochordon or molluscum pendulum. Etymologically, molluscum means the “knot of the maple” and acrochordon evokes “the end of a cord”. The etymology corresponds to something rough, in relief but which remains attached to its base.
Medically, dermatologists specify that this term designates a pedunculated wart, that is to say, a hanging wart, which has a base, a trunk, and which hangs outwards. They are also nicknamed skin teats.
Skin tags can appear in several places: in the neck but also under the armpits, on the back, on the eyelid, at the level of the groin. These are areas where skin folds are found. These skin tags can be numerous, of different shades (from light pink to dark brown), and be conspicuous because their size varies from a few millimeters to one centimeter.
Specialists struggle to understand the origin of these skin growths. They nevertheless point out that there is a part of heredity because they are often found among members of the same family. Skin tags also tend to increase with age or when overweight.
A few hypotheses are put forward. They could be due to an imbalance during cell division of the sebaceous glands, these small glands under the skin that emit oil (sebum).
They could be increased by friction with clothing, insulin resistance, or even high blood pressure. But to date, there is a lack of conclusive work to fully identify the origin of skin tags.
Beware of what you read on the Internet. On some sites, it is mentioned that skin tags are due to the papillomavirus.
However, it is a confusion with condyloma, warts that are rather localized on the genitals. In any case, it is recommended to show your little bits of skin to a dermatologist. Only he can confirm if they are skin tags because when they are dark, they can be confused with moles.
If you have skin tags, don’t worry, they are completely benign. The only concern, they can hurt especially when they cling to clothing or jewelry. It can ignite and bleed. The most annoying thing is their appearance, which is considered unsightly. To get rid of it, there are several methods.
Several home remedies are offered on the Internet: apply fresh garlic to the skin tags and fix it with a bandage or apply apple cider vinegar several times a day until it dries and the skin tag falls off on its own.
It is also a question of baking soda and castor juice or even applying nail polish… Sometimes, it is also a question of tying a thread around the acrochordon to bind it, to suffocate it so that It falls off on its own after a few days. Finally, some even advise cutting them with scissors. So beware of the advice you can find on the Internet.
Because of this bad advice, dermatologists sometimes recover injured patients. Specialists, therefore, remind you to avoid applying anything to these pieces of skin, and above all strongly advise against using scissors because of the risk of infection.
Dermatologists use surgical scissors or a scalpel. They also use electrocoagulation: a small electric current is sent through a needle, which heats the part of the skin on which the tag has developed until it is destroyed.
Finally, some specialists also use cryotherapy for warts. After this procedure, it is advisable not to expose your skin to the sun.
You can also turn to medical or dermatological clinics. You will then have to pay tens, even hundreds of dollars since these are aesthetic treatments.
The prices vary according to the technique chosen, the size, or the number of growths that you wish to have removed. See below the main treatments used.
– Treatment by cauterization: the doctor removes skin tags using electrocautery, which is a tip resembling a small forceps fitted with a red-hot wire that burns and cauterizes the tissue.
A crust is then formed which falls off in 7 to 10 days. Cauterization takes place under local anesthesia and leaves no scars or depigmentation of the skin. In 15 minutes, it is possible to eliminate up to thirty growths.
– Cryotherapy (with liquid nitrogen): the treatment consists of applying liquid nitrogen to the skin tag, as for warts. The intense cold burns the lesion in a few minutes. Cryotherapy can cause pain and cause a slight change in pigmentation.
– The surgical option: the dermatologist cleans the area around the skin growth with alcohol before cutting it with surgical scissors or a scalpel. Small tags can be removed without anesthesia.
The pain is comparable to that of a mosquito bite. If you have a larger skin tag or there are several on the same area, a cream or local anesthetic is applied. The procedure may cause slight bleeding.
– Electrocoagulation: a small electric current is sent through a needle, which heats the part of the skin on which the tag has developed and burns it. The treatment is fast and precise, and it leaves no scars. It eliminates up to thirty skin tags in 15 minutes.
Note that regardless of the option chosen to remove your skin tags, you must protect the treated skin from UV rays for one year by covering it with a total screen, to avoid hyperpigmentation of the skin.