Skin tags can be described as small, fleshy protrusion of skin-colored growths that tend to hang off the skin. You may find it annoying to look at them over the mirror especially when you do not understand what they are and why they are appearing on your skin. The good news is that skin tags are harmless and you can live with them without the fear of serious health conditions.
However, the main reason people seek treatment is that the skin tags can become sore over time causing severe irritation. They tend to grow in places with lots of skin folds such as your neck, eyelids, groin, or under your arms.
Causes of Skin Tags
Even though they are harmless, there are several reasons why skin tags occur. This can be due to excess friction, hormonal imbalance, obesity, insulin resistance, genetic factors, and natural aging.
Excess Friction due to Tight Clothing or Jewelry
As aforementioned, skin tags may appear in areas with many skin folds because of wearing tight clothing or jewelry. A good example is wearing a necklace to embrace your fashion or a tie around your neck because of your professional occupation. Friction resulting from such outfits makes the regular skin cells to become elongated or stretched. To avoid skin tags, it is always advisable to look for comfortable clothing that fits perfectly and does not tighten the skin.
Obesity or Weight Gain
Another cause of skin tags is seen in overweight individuals due to the extra skin found around their neck, waist, groin, or under the armpits. Friction builds up when skin layers consistently rub over each other because of excess weight. People who suffer from obesity may develop several skin tags in different parts of their body, which is a situation usually beyond their control. They tend to have many skin folds that make them prone to skin tags.
Skin tags are also caused by hormonal imbalances or fluctuations. Hormones control almost every part of your body and they play a significant role in your life in general. Most often, skin tags occur during pregnancy because of extreme fluctuations in the estrogen hormone. Pregnant women also experience weight gain, which combines with the hormonal imbalance, leading to multiple skin tags in different parts of the body.
Scientific studies have established a close link between skin tags and people suffering from insulin resistance or Type 2 diabetes. Most of the skin tags found in diabetic patients tend to have higher levels of blood sugar content, cholesterol, and C-reactive protein. All these are indicators of insulin resistance where your body is not capable of processing sugars correctly.
Human Papillomavirus (HPV)
HPV instigates the growth of skin tags and is the major cause of other skin conditions such as warts. The results from a 2008 study showed HPV DNA in at least 50 percent of 37 skin tags that were analyzed from different parts of the body. It is usually associated with skin tags that occur around the genitals. Therefore, it is advisable to see your doctor if you are not sure about unusual growths that may occur around the genital area.
Skin tags can also come about because of hereditary factors, as they are at times influenced by your genetics. The condition is passed down to the next generation just like any other genes. However, this has been examined from basic observation and related individuals. It is still important to have a strong scientific backing to explain the main reason why skin tags can occur due to genetic factors.
Skin tags become common the more you grow older. During the aging process, the skin becomes thinner before it loses strength and elasticity. It becomes drier in the process causing excess friction that leads to the development of skin tags. Most of them can be found in areas around the neck, groin, and armpits due to repetitive friction. This can sometimes lead to tears in the skin and difficulty in healing cuts and scratches because the skin has become thinner than before.
Skin tags are harmless unless they become sore due to friction or you feel uncomfortable seeing them on the mirror. You can always prevent them from occurring by avoiding tight clothes and reducing your weight. It is recommended to see a medical expert for diagnosis and method of treatment if your skin tag becomes sore. They can also advise on the best removal methods for skin tags that appear on the face or make you feel uncomfortable.