Understanding Skin Tags: Advice from a Veteran Dermatologist
In the ever-evolving narrative of our skin's journey, some chapters present unique curiosities. Among them are skin tags—fleshy little outgrowths that inspire a myriad of questions. As a seasoned dermatologist with 30 years of experience, here's insights into these common skin anomalies to guide you toward better-informed decisions.
What are Skin Tags? Skin tags are fleshy outgrowths emerging where skin chafes against skin, such as crevices of your neck, underarms, or even eyelids.
The Genesis of Skin Tags
Contrary to popular belief, skin tags are not birthmarks or entities that welcome us into the world. Much like certain life experiences, skin tags often make their appearance fashionably later in our lives. Typically, they emerge underarms, neck, groin and less commonly on the face, around the eyes. These little protrusions are the unanticipated guests in the vast landscape of our skin. A variant, dermatosis papulosa nigra is common in skin of color and is seen as multiple, smooth, black growths on the face and neck. These lesions are genetically determined and benign.
Sun's Role and Preventative Measures
While the sun is often spotlighted for many skin concerns, it gracefully bows out when it comes to skin tags. Instead, factors such as friction, aging, genetics, and specific health conditions take center stage. If one aims to minimize the advent of skin tags, addressing the friction might be a worthy endeavor—akin to the delicate act of keeping an avocado fresh and green.
Navigating the Waters of Skin Tag Removal
Venturing into the realm of DIY can be exhilarating. However, when it concerns your skin, particularly skin tags, caution is paramount. The lure of YouTube tutorials can be magnetic, but the unauthorized removal of skin tags might pave the way for infections or unsightly scars. Minor skin tags might be swayed by over-the-counter remedies, but substantial tags, or those playing peek-a-boo near your eyes or showing signs of color variations or bleeding, warrant the expertise of a dermatologist.
Choosing Over-The-Counter Solutions Wisely
For those leaning towards OTC remedies, familiar ingredients like salicylic acid and tea tree oil have made commendable strides. Their prowess in skin shedding and potent antimicrobial properties has been acknowledged. However, a word of caution: your skin is not a mere testing ground. Deploy these products judiciously, lest your home skincare routine mirrors a comedic fiasco of a dermatological blunder.
Your Dermatological Beacon
Skin tags, while benign, are shrouded in intrigue and myths. As you journey through the tapestry of skincare, remember to pair curiosity with informed decisions.
Moreover, for those seeking an all-encompassing solution to a radiant complexion, consider integrating the RE-JUV® Brightening Duo Skincare System into your regimen. A testament to three decades of expertise, this 2-step protocol promises a luminous glow for every skin ethnicity.
Embrace the wisdom of a seasoned professional and let your skin's brilliance shine unabatedly. Choose RE-JUV®, and embark on a path that celebrates your skin's unique narrative.
Stella M. Bulengo, MD, FAAD, FASDP
Board certified in Dermatology & Dermatopathology
Founder RE-JUV® SKIN MD
Photo credit: NAMYNOT Inc.