Chat with us?
Open Chat
You can ask us anything in real-time in our Live Chat!
Open Chat

Can't Stand the Sight of Your Skin Tags? 3 Ways You Can Remove Them Safely

Whatsapp
Can't Stand the Sight of Your Skin Tags? 3 Ways You Can Remove Them Safely undefined

Skin tags can be found dangling on various parts of a person’s body. It can be both functionally and aesthetically displeasing. It is not dangerous, but without treatment, it can be a long-term nuisance.

Most of my patients looking for skin tag removal are concerned about the possibility of scarring. I am not surprised; it is a legitimate concern as scars can affect your complexion in the long run.

Do not worry! There are various treatment methods available. After finding one that is suitable for you with an experienced doctor, the risk of scarring can be kept to a minimum. Read on to find out more!

What are skin tags?

female-back-skin-tags

Skin tags are small flaps of tissue that hang off the skin. They are very common and usually harmless. As such, they are basically an outgrowth of normal skin. They are thought to be related to chronic friction, which is why they tend to be more common in overweight or obese persons.

However, the following could also play a part in the development of skin tags:

  • Higher levels of growth factors such as during pregnancy
  • Insulin resistance (a common feature in diabetes)
  • Genetic predisposition

Based on my experience, they are more common around the neck, chest, back, and groin areas [1]

In most cases, skin tags are not dangerous. In my opinion, they are more of an aesthetic problem, rather than a functional one.

That said, skin tags may cause irritation when there is friction.

Most of the time, skin tags are painless during its formation. However, some of my patients complain of pain when the skin tags rub against clothing or jewellery.

You will want it to be removed because...

skin-tag-reason-to-remove

Before getting any treatment, I highly recommend that you consider WHY you want to get it. Is it purely cosmetic? Or is it due to constant discomfort?

This is the first thing that you should note so that you can better weigh the risks and rewards of getting a skin tag removal!

3 main options to remove skin tags

skin-tag-removal-methods

The 3 main procedures to remove skin tags include:

    • Cryosurgery (freezing) [2]
    • Electrosurgery (burning) [3]
    • Laser ablation [4]

With an experienced doctor, all 3 procedures are safe. The most important thing is to find one that is most suitable for you. It is always best to consult a doctor before getting the treatment!

Cryosurgery uses liquid nitrogen

skin-tag-cyrotherapy

With cryosurgery, liquid nitrogen is used to remove the skin tags with extreme cold. As a result, the skin tags will fall off about 10-14 days after the treatment.

It is virtually painless and the risk of scarring is low. However, there is still a risk of skin irritation around the skin tag [2]. The good news is that it should heal on its own within a few days.

In addition, cryosurgery is best suited for patients who have light skin. For this reason, light skin can reduce the risk of post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.

Electrosurgery "burns off” the skin tag

skin-tag-electrosurgery

Modern high-frequency electrosurgical devices transfer electrical energy to human tissue via a treatment electrode that remains cool.

For electrosurgery, the electrode sends an electric current into the skin. The tip is held just slightly above the skin tag, causing damage to the area. As a result, the tissue will dry out and over time, the skin tags will fall off [3].

However, there is a small risk of scarring and hyperpigmentation or dark spots after the procedure. That said, you can definitely avoid the side-effects with proper after-care!

In the treatment of superficial lesions like skin tags, it is likened to a form of cutaneous surgery that induces desiccation or fulguration of the tissue.

 Laser ablation works in a similar way

skin-tag-laser-ablation

There are various lasers available to treat different skin conditions. To remove skin tags, the laser is set to produce an intense light beam. This light beam will precisely burn and destroy the extra tissue [4]. Similarly to electrocautery, there is a small risk of hyperpigmentation and scarring.

The benefit of all the methods mentioned above is that it takes only around 30 minutes to complete. This is a so-called "lunchtime procedure"!

Having said that, lasers must be used with caution in those with darker skin. This is to ensure that the risk of post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation is reduced.

Do you have a history of easy scarring?

female-laser-removal-scar

If you scar easily in the past, the chances of scarring after treatment may be higher. Despite that, all of the treatments I have mentioned in this article are generally very safe to undergo.

Before getting any treatment, you should always consult a doctor. Do find someone that you can trust. If necessary, do check out multiple clinics until you find one that you are comfortable with.

Tips for after-care

skin-tag-aftercare-sunscreen-uv-protection

For a few days after the procedure, the area around the skin tag will still be quite sensitive. Similarly to any other treatment, the recovery stage is as important as the procedure itself! That is to ensure that you get the best results.

Moreover, you should keep the area clean and protected to prevent irritation. In addition, you should apply sunblock and avoid direct sunlight as UV rays can cause pigmentation.


In conclusion, the choice is up to you as skin tags are considered benign. With that, there are no severe consequences that would come even if you do not remove them.

Skin tags can certainly cause discomfort and be aesthetically displeasing. If you are thinking of removing them, do consult a doctor beforehand!


Get quote for Skin Tag Removal

Dr K K Chew practices aesthetic medicine and NU•U Aesthetics & Wellness Clinic located at Paragon since 2004. Dr Chew is the past Vice President of the Singapore Society of Aesthetic Medicine and currently serves as its Honorary Advisor. He believes that every face and person is unique and everyone will have their own aspirations and visions.

  

Would you like to ask any related health questions? 

You can Ask A Doctor right away, or request for treatment quotes from doctors.

 
References

1. Mitchell L. Facts About Skin Tags. healthcare.utah.edu. Published April 30, 2018. Accessed July 5, 2019. 

2.Andrews MD. Cryosurgery for Common Skin Conditions. American Family Physician. 2004;69(10):2365-2372. Accessed July 5, 2019. 

3.Hainer BL, Usatine R. Electrosurgery for the Skin. American Family Physician. 2002;66(7):1259. Accessed July 5, 2019.‌

4. Laser Surgery. Nsc.com.sg. Published 2017. Accessed July 5, 2019.

176 views 28 Nov 2019 Medically reviewed by Dr K K Chew on 29 Nov 2019.
Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other answers tagged Aesthetic Medicine Laser Treatment Skin, Hair & Nails or ask your own question now FOR FREE.
Whatsapp
Dr K K Chew
Call
Dr K K Chew
Consult Doctors. FREE.
Real Doctors, Expert Answers
Connect with Facebook Connect with Google For Doctors
By creating an account, you are indicating that you have read and accepted the DoctorxDentist Terms of Use.
Consult Doctors. FREE.
Real Doctors, Expert Answers
By creating an account, you are indicating that you have read and accepted the DoctorxDentist Terms of Use.
Registration Progress
Step 1: Indicate Topics of Interests
Step 2: Follow Relevant Doctors
Complete!
What are your interests?
Please select at least 3 interests.
NEXT
NEXT
Registration Progress
Step 1: Indicate Topics of doctors
Step 2: Follow Relevant Doctors
Complete!
Follow your favourite doctors
We found some doctors you may like. Click continue to follow them.
CONTINUE
CONTINUE
Consult Doctors. FREE.
Real Doctors, Expert Answers
Continue with Facebook Continue with Google

or

Disclaimer: Any answers provided are for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment.

Continue with Facebook Continue with Google

Disclaimer: Any answers provided are for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment.

YOUR QUESTION HAS BEEN

SUCCESSFULLY SUBMITTED.

YOUR QUESTION

HAS BEEN

SUCCESSFULLY

SUBMITTED.

YOUR ANSWER HAS BEEN

SUCCESSFULLY SUBMITTED.

YOUR ANSWER

HAS BEEN

SUCCESSFULLY

SUBMITTED.

YOUR QUOTE REQUEST HAS BEEN

SUCCESSFULLY SUBMITTED.

OUR DOCTORS WILL GET BACK TO YOU SHORTLY!

YOUR QUOTE REQUEST

HAS BEEN

SUCCESSFULLY

SUBMITTED.

OUR DOCTORS WILL GET

BACK TO YOU SHORTLY!

YOUR THREAD HAS BEEN

SUCCESSFULLY CREATED.

HEAD OVER TO FORUM PAGE NOW

TO JOIN THE DISCUSSION

YOUR THREAD

HAS BEEN

SUCCESSFULLY

CREATED.

HEAD OVER TO THE FORUM PAGE NOW

TO JOIN THE DISCUSSION!

YOUR REVIEW HAS BEEN

SUCCESSFULLY SUBMITTED.

THANK YOU.

YOUR REVIEW

HAS BEEN

SUCCESSFULLY

SUBMITTED.

THANK YOU.

YOUR EMAIL HAS BEEN

SUCCESSFULLY SUBSCRIBED.

THANK YOU.

YOUR EMAIL

HAS BEEN

SUCCESSFULLY

SUBSCRIBED.

THANK YOU.

YOUR CONSULTATION HAS BEEN

SUCCESSFULLY SUBMITTED.

OUR DOCTORS WILL

GET BACK TO YOU SHORTLY.

YOUR CONSULTATION

HAS BEEN

SUCCESSFULLY

SUBMITTED.

OUR DOCTORS

WILL GET

TO YOU

SHORTLY.

MESSAGES TO