What are those fleshy little growths that show up in all the most inconvenient places: underarms, neck, groin? They are acrochordons or cutaneous tags or, more commonly, skin tags. These growths, which are oh so tempting to pick at, are annoying but harmless. Skin tags are unsightly and can become irritated, inflamed or even bleed a little.
One out of four of us will experience a skin tag growth at some point in our lives. We can thank genetics and friction from skin or clothing rubbing an area. Skin tags can be single, isolated ones or may develop in a cluster. We can expect more as we pass our 50th birthday and/or if we are significantly overweight.
Picking, scraping, or other home removal methods of skin tags should be avoided as sensitive areas can scar or become infected. Chelsea Skin & Laser can easily determine the best method of removing them under local anesthetic with a snip of special surgical scissors, freezing or cauterizing. Most insurance plans consider the removing of skin tags to be an elective, cosmetic procedure so the treatment usually falls outside of the plan coverage.
The removal isn’t painful; most of our patients describe it as mildly uncomfortable. There’s no down time but you will need to keep the area covered and avoid sun exposure for a short time to speed healing. Chances of that same skin tag re-growing are slim but new ones could develop around the same area.
All of our practitioners have extensive experience in removing unwanted cosmetic growths. If your skin tags aren’t bothering you then it’s AOK to leave them alone. We do examine every growth and mark during your yearly total body exam and map them to detect changes year-to-year. However, if you notice any change in the growth then please call Chelsea Skin & Laser, 212-675-0549, to have the growth assessed. We’re here to help.