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Skin tags: What are they and how do you get rid of them?

Life is full of bumps, but your skin doesn’t have to be
skin tags

Loose, flesh-coloured bumps that sometimes appear on the body are often skin tags, and they are more common than you might think. They might not look great, and they can get hooked in jewellery and clothing, but they are not dangerous and can be safely, and relatively painlessly, removed by a dermatologist.

What are skin tags?

Skin tags are benign lesions on the skin that are made up of normal skin tissue and fat. They generally form in areas where there is a lot of friction, such as the neck, thighs and armpits, and they can be hereditary. However, they can also happen to anyone and can form at any age. This means that if you don’t already have any, it might be something you’ll have to deal with in future!

Related: 3 secrets to beautiful skin

What causes skin tags?

Skin tags are most commonly found on people who have diabetes or those who are overweight or obese. Sadly these two conditions often go hand in hand. They form in between folds of skin where there is friction from the folds rubbing together. Many people also sprout skin tags during pregnancy. 

Related: Skin picking: So much more than just a bad habit

How to get rid of skin tags

Many people attempt to rid themselves of skin tags by trying all sorts of at-home remedies, even going so far as to slice them off. This is a terrible idea, as not only is this extremely painful but it can also lead to more pain down the line when the area becomes infected.

Rather visit a dermatologist, who can remove them quickly, easily and hygienically by freezing them off with cold liquid nitrogen. Alternatively, he or she will numb the area and snip them off using medical scissors or a scalpel. 

PHOTO: iStock/Jorge Villalba

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