About Skin Tags
Skin tags (also known as acrochordons) are benign skin growths that tend to appear in areas where folds of skin are subject to chronic friction, such as the eyelids, neck, armpits, area under the breasts, and groin area. They can be flesh colored to brown, and frequently grow on a thin stalk of skin before becoming thicker and fleshier at the end. Although the majority of skin tags are asymptomatic, it is possible for them to feel itchy or irritated when traumatized by jewelry, clothing, or the straps from bags/backpacks. Occasionally, if the stalk of the skin tag twists or becomes somehow strangled, the fleshy part can die, leading to pain, swelling, inflammation, and occasionally infection. For all of these reasons, as well as their appearance, many people will seek to have their skin tags removed.
How are skin tags treated?
At the Gateway Aesthetic Institute and Laser Center, our board-certified dermatologists may use a state-of-the-art ablative laser to precisely vaporize your skin tags if they are very small, numerous, and do not have a well-defined stalk. If you only have a couple of scattered skin tags that have well-defined stalks, your physician may elect to carefully snip the stalk at the base using surgical scissors. The size, number, and characteristics of your skin tags will dictate which is the best treatment approach. Either way, our board-certified dermatologists are experts in the careful destruction of skin tags, while sparing damage to the surrounding skin. Many practitioners in general dermatology offices will offer to freeze skin tags (cryotherapy or cryosurgery), but this approach is not only painful, it requires you to endure the additional discomfort of waiting for the skin tag to die and fall off at home. Freezing also places the surrounding skin at risk of cold-induced injury, either in the form of blistering, pigmentary changes, or sometimes both. Ablative laser in the hands of one of our extremely skilled physicians is the most effective way of treating skin tags, giving you the best cosmetic outcome while leaving your surrounding skin untouched.
Can I have other treatments performed on the same day?
It is absolutely possible to have other treatments performed on the same day. Because skin tags are superficial growths that are usually attached by very thin stalks, treatment is fast and easy. And because skin tags are relatively less common on the face (with the exception of the area around the eyes), adding other injectable or laser treatments on the same day can allow you to make the most efficient use of your time, without interfering with your recovery.
What causes skin tags?
As stated above, one of the most common causes of skin tags is friction, where two opposing skin surfaces rub together, or where clothing or jewelry frequently rub against the skin. Pregnancy, prediabetes, diabetes, and obesity can also increase your chances of developing skin tags. Because our physicians at the Gateway Institute and Laser Center are highly skilled medical professionals whose extensive education and training have imparted them with the knowledge to recognize a number of different health conditions, it may be possible for them to recommend further testing in order to determine whether your skin tags are due to simple skin friction or are due to an underlying chronic medical condition.
How long will I need to recover from having my skin tags treated?
Depending on the number of skin tags you want to have treated, their size, anatomic location, density, and structure, recovery time can range from a couple of days to around a week. There will be a small open area of skin that is as large as the base of the skin tag where it was removed. A handful of skin tags on the neck with very thin stalks will heal within a matter of days, whereas large areas of confluent skin tags under the breasts or in the groin folds may take closer to a week or more to heal. Recovery entails keeping the treated areas clean and moist with ointment, and most importantly keeping the treated areas protected from the sun, so that they don’t become hyperpigmented. Once the treated areas have healed, it is possible to apply sunscreen and/or makeup over them to camouflage any residual redness, which will eventually fade with time.
Why trust Gateway Aesthetic Institute and Laser Center to treat my skin tags?
Our board-certified dermatologists at the Gateway Aesthetic Institute and Laser Center tailor the treatment of your skin tags to their appearance—while some may be best treated with a careful snip removal, others will benefit from being carefully removed with an ablative laser. Regardless of the approach, you can be assured that our board-certified dermatologists will precisely and definitively remove your skin tags in a single treatment session. You will not have to endure the discomfort of having your skin tag frozen, nor will you have to endure additional discomfort and uncertainty at home as you wait for the skin tag to die and fall off after freezing. Our physicians treat skin tags in a manner that is definitive, complete, and virtually pain-free while you are in the clinic.
Because skin tags are often observed in those who are struggling with prediabetes or diabetes, and/or being overweight or obese, managing these conditions can often be a helpful way of preventing the formation of skin tags in the future. Several of our physicians at the Gateway Aesthetic Institute and Laser Center are pleased to offer semaglutide injections for weight loss. You can therefore experience the convenience of having your skin tags removed, as well as ideally prevented in the future, with the medical management of the chronic underlying condition that is contributing to their development.
Finally, because of our wide breadth of aesthetic offerings, it is possible for you to not only address your skin tags during a single treatment session, but to also incorporate many other ways to refresh the appearance of your face and skin on the same day, so that you are making the most efficient use of your recovery time, while on the journey toward looking like the best version of yourself.