In the United States, approximately 46 percent of people have skin tags, according to the National Institutes of Health. Fortunately, skin tags are not harmful. There are several methods of treatment to consider when preparing for skin tag removal. Water’s Edge Dermatology specializes in skin tag treatment. These are the top five reasons why you should visit a medical dermatologist to have your skin tags removed.
1. Some serious skin conditions mimic the appearance of skin tags. It is important to have a dermatologist confirm your skin tag diagnosis because malignant skin cancers, including melanomas, may produce symptoms resembling a skin tag.
2. Bleeding or a local infection may occur as a result of skin tag removal treatment. The removal of skin tags by excision presents the risk of bleeding or infection in the treatment area. Physicians at your Florida center for dermatology can promptly handle bleeding and will take measures to prevent or treat an infection. In some cases, at-home treatments can cause rotting.
3. Treatment of large or multiple skin tags may cause pain. While small skin tags typically are treated with minimal discomfort, larger or multiple skin tags may require local anesthesia before treatment. A physician can apply the proper anesthetic cream prior to treating skin tags.
4. In rare cases, development of skin tags may be a sign of an endocrine or hormonal syndrome. Skin tags may be a sign of syndromes such as acromegaly or polycystic ovary syndrome. For this reason, a medical evaluation before undergoing skin tag treatment is recommended. The medical dermatologist performing the evaluation will send suspicious specimens for testing after the skin tags are removed.
5. Skin tag removal treatments vary for different cases. The type of treatment your physician chooses will be based on the size and location, as well as the number of skin tags. The four main skin tag treatments are:
- Cauterization (application of electric current to burn the skin tag off)
- Cryotherapy (freezing)
- Excision (cutting the tag off with surgical scissors)
- Ligation (a suture is tied around the growth until it falls off)