Skin tag is extra growth of skin tissue, hanging off the skin as a flap with a connecting stalk. They are most commonly present in the folds of the body like the neck, armpits, under the breast, and groin area. They may also be found on back and chest. Skin tags are more common in females than males, elderly people, and people with high body mass index.
Skin tags are usually asymptomatic. However, they can become irritated if anything, such as clothing, jewelry, or skin rubs against them. It’s unclear exactly what causes skin tags. Since they are more common in skin folds, friction may play a role.
Type 2 diabetes and pre-diabetes, may also play a role in the development of skin tags. Presence of multiple skin tags can be an indicator of a hormone imbalance or an endocrine problem.
Skin tags are removed by precisely treating the tissue using an ablative CO2 laser or radiofrequency (RF) ablation. The procedure is required to be done under anesthesia, either topical or local injectable, depending on the number of lesions and depth of lesions. Skin tag removal is a single session procedure, however, if a person has multiple skin tags, they may be removed in more than one sitting.
There occurs crust formation 2-3 days post procedure, which then falls off on its own in next 5-7 days. So it takes around 7-10 days in total for complete recovery of the skin. It is advisable not to pick the crusts to prevent scar formation.
Skin tags are superficial lesions, so there is no risk of scarring. Pigmentary changes in the form of hyper-pigmentation or hypo-pigmentation may occur, which usually resolve spontaneously over few months.