Joel Schlessinger MD answers frequently asked questions about skin tags

Monday, May 19th, 2014

Skin tags, or acrochorda, are small, brown or flesh-colored growths that occur on areas of the body where the skin frequently folds and creases. Typical locations for skin tags include the neck, groin, armpit and eyelid. Though usually painless, this common skin condition can be an aesthetic nuisance, and many people opt to have them removed. In his latest SlideShare presentation, Dr. Joel Schlessinger answers frequently asked questions about skin tags, skin tag removal and after care.

Dr. Schlessinger believes that skin tags have an infectious component.

Though the cause of skin tags is somewhat of a mystery, most physicians agree that skin tags occur in frictional places on the body. That is, skin tags often appear in places where either clothing rubs against skin or skin rubs against skin. For example, when we walk, we may swing our arms. This could produce a skin tag in the armpit.

Obesity and pregnancy may increase one’s chances of developing one or more skin tags. Genetics is also known to play a casual role and there seems to be a correlation between skin tags and insulin resistance in diabetics. Dr. Schlessinger, along with other physicians, thinks that skin tags may be caused by an infection.

Explore treatment options for skin tags with Dr. Joel Schlessinger and Skin Specialists P.C.

If you would like to get rid of your skin tags, Dr. Joel Schlessinger recommends having them surgically removed. In his practice, he prefers to numb the area and use a scalpel. This is a quick and relatively painless process with a very short recovery time.

If scarring is a concern, there are several prescription-grade aftercare products available on LovelySkin.com that come highly recommended by Dr. Joel Schlessinger. A few of his favorites are Kinerase Scar Healing Therapy, SkinMedica Scar Recovery Gel with Centelline and Avene Cicalfate Restorative Cream. All three products contain healing ingredients that speed up recovery time and reduce the appearance of scars.

Do you have a question for Dr. Schlessinger about skin tags? Share with us in the comments below.

Wondering if what you have is a skin tag? If so, Dr. Joel Schlessinger has this advice for you.

Monday, February 6th, 2012

A skin tag is usually just a small protrusion from the skin that can be irritated or red if caught in clothing. They can range from less than a quarter of an inch to about a half of an inch or more.

Curious about the causes of skin tags? An article in Medical News Today shares key information about causes and risk factors.
Dr. Joel Schlessinger patient with skin tags
Generally, a skin tag looks like the color of the surrounding skin and are oval or pendulous in shape. Does this resemble what you have?

Typically, these tags appear in the folds of the skin around the neck, where necklaces rub on them, or under the breasts. Sometimes, they appear in the groin area. There is a school of thought that they are related to warts in some people, especially if they are in the groin area.

Medline Plus, a service of the U.S. National Library of Medicine of the National Institutes of Health, points out that skin tags are more common in people who are overweight or have diabetes.

Skin tags versus other small growths: how you can tell the difference

This is the tough thing — sometimes these tags can be confused with a bad growth and sometimes they can look good but be a bad/cancerous skin lesion. If in doubt, it is always best to seek the care of a dermatologist.

Recommendations of Dr. Joel Schlessinger

Generally speaking, skin tags are not going to harm you, but there are some cases where they ought to be removed, especially if they are changing or bleeding. I typically recommend that patients come in if they are constantly hitting items of clothing as that can end up being uncomfortable and can easily be taken care of by skin tag removal.

If you have any questions about a growth, you should seek the care of a dermatologist. Your dermatologist can easily tell you if they are a skin tag or something more serious. Generally speaking, it isn’t a costly procedure to remove them if a growth is truly a skin tag.

 What skin tag questions can I answer for you?