Skin tags (also known as acrochordon, pedunculated papilloma and fibroepithelial polyp) are small, benign growths that appear where the skin creases - normally the eyelids, under the breasts (sometimes caused by irritation from bra wearing), underarms and neck. Skin tags normally appear later in life - there are very few reported cases of people being born with them. Acrocordons tend to increase during the ages 40-50. They are extremely common - some studies suggest up to half the world's population have has one at one point or another, although females tend to be more susceptible to skin tags than males.The cause of acrochordons isn't completely understood but studies suggest that pregnancy and hormone fluctuations, obesity, age and constant irritation of the skin are factors. Because they tend to appear in areas where the skin folds and can chafe, irritation is thought to be another causing factor. Although skin tags are classified as tumors it is important to note that they will not turn cancerous, even if left untreated.
Causes of Skin Tag Irritation
Although shaving, scratching, or using creams that don't agree with the skin will not cause skin tags these things can irritate them, causing them to itch or even hemorrhage. Although doctors will not generally recommend the removal of skin tags they will in these instances. For the most part, skin tags do not cause any pain or have any symptoms. If the tag has become irritated to the point of hemorrhaging, removal may become mandatory to prevent the possibility of infection. Skin tags have been known, from time to time, to fall off and disappear on their own. This can occur when the tag is shifted or twisted during normal daily activities. When this happens, blood flow is cut off from the tag, causing it to die.
Other Skin Tag Causes Diabetes and insulin resistance are other factors that have been thought to cause skin tags, as is the human papilloma virus (also known as warts). While warts do not directly cause skin tags, they are thought to be a contributing factor. Illegal performance enhancing drugs such as steroids can disrupt the muscles, making body builders and athletes who ingest them prone to skin tags. However, people who are perfectly healthy can also get skin tags. They are perfectly harmless growths and do not always indicate other health issues. Skin tags initially appear as tiny bumps resembling pimples. As they grow they turn into a protruding, flesh-coloured piece of skin that appears attached by a stalk. It's easy to move or wiggle skins tags back and forth. They are painless, although they can become irritated if they are rubbed a lot. Skin tags should be painless and easy to move. If it does cause pain or is difficult to move, or changes in colour over time, consult a doctor. There is no solid theories regarding the cause of skin tags. Many doctors maintain that they can affect people at anytime, regardless of health, age or sex.