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Understanding Skin Tags: Causes and Remedies for Irritated Areas

Updated: May 16

I love removing skin tags and have been offering this treatment since 1990. It's so satisfying and clients are always so happy to be rid of them. Have you ever wondered why you have them?

Mary Gillmore, Salon Owner

Skin tags, those small, benign growths that often appear in areas where skin rubs against skin or clothing, can be a source of annoyance and discomfort for many individuals. While harmless, these tiny flaps of skin can cause irritation and sometimes even embarrassment. In this blog post, we'll delve into the reasons why skin tags tend to develop in areas prone to friction, such as the neck, underarms, bra strap area, and groin, and explore some strategies for managing and preventing them.

What Are Skin Tags?

Before we discuss why skin tags occur in specific areas, let's briefly understand what they are. Skin tags, medically known as acrochordons, are small, soft, benign growths that often appear on the skin. They typically vary in size and color, ranging from flesh-colored to slightly darker pigmentation. Skin tags are composed of collagen fibers, blood vessels, and sometimes fat cells, and they usually protrude from the skin on a narrow stalk or peduncle.

Causes of Skin Tags in Irritated Areas

Skin tags are believed to develop due to a combination of genetic, hormonal, and environmental factors. However, the primary reason they tend to occur in areas prone to friction and irritation is mechanical stress on the skin. Here's why:

1. Friction: Continuous friction or rubbing of the skin against itself or clothing can irritate the skin and lead to the formation of skin tags. Areas like the neck, underarms, bra strap region, and groin are particularly susceptible to friction due to clothing or body movements.

2. Skin Folds: The natural folds and creases in the skin provide ideal conditions for skin tags to develop. These folds create areas where skin can rub against itself, exacerbating irritation and promoting the growth of skin tags.

3. Moisture and Heat: Warm, moist environments, such as those found in skin folds, can contribute to skin irritation and provide a breeding ground for skin tags.

4. Hormonal Changes: Fluctuations in hormone levels, such as those that occur during pregnancy or in individuals with conditions like diabetes, may also increase the likelihood of developing skin tags.

Managing and Preventing Skin Tags

While skin tags are generally harmless and painless, they can be bothersome, especially when they occur in areas prone to irritation. Here are some strategies for managing and preventing skin tags:

1. Keep Skin Dry and Clean: Maintaining good hygiene and keeping the skin dry can help reduce friction and minimize the risk of skin tag formation. After bathing or sweating, gently pat the skin dry and avoid prolonged exposure to moisture.

2. Wear Loose-Fitting Clothing: Opt for loose-fitting clothing made from breathable fabrics to reduce friction and irritation on the skin. Avoid tight clothing, especially in areas where skin tags commonly occur.

3. Use Lubricants or Powders: Applying lubricants or powders to areas prone to friction can help reduce irritation and chafing. Products containing ingredients like talcum powder or cornstarch can help keep the skin dry and friction-free.

4. Consider Medical Treatment: If skin tags are causing discomfort or affecting your self-esteem, consult a dermatologist for treatment options. Common removal methods include cryotherapy (freezing), cauterization (burning), or surgical excision.

5. Maintain a Healthy Weight: Excess body weight can contribute to friction and irritation in skin folds, increasing the likelihood of skin tag formation. Maintaining a healthy weight through proper diet and regular exercise may help prevent skin tags.

Skin tags are benign growths that often develop in areas where skin is subjected to friction and irritation. While they are generally harmless, they can be bothersome for some individuals. Understanding the factors that contribute to skin tag formation and implementing preventive measures, such as keeping the skin dry, wearing loose-fitting clothing, and maintaining a healthy weight, can help minimize their occurrence. If skin tags are causing discomfort or affecting your quality of life, consult a skin care expert for personalized treatment options.

Mary Gillmore, Owner


7 Well Court, EC4M9DN

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