should I be concerned about my skin tags?

As the largest organ on the body, skin plays a large role in a person’s overall health. It is also constantly changing with age, lifestyle, and other health considerations. A dermatologist in Fort Collins can answer questions about changing skin, including skin tags. Many people experience skin tags and don’t know if they should rush to the dermatologist or let the small growths stay where they are. Here is when to worry and not worry about skin tags.

When Not to Worry About Skin Tags

Skin tags occur in adults of all ages and races, but they tend to be most common in older adults and people with diabetes. They most typically occur in areas where the skin rubs on itself, such as around the neck, armpit, or groin and are small pieces of skin that stick out from the smooth skin surface. In most cases, skin tags are simply extra pieces of skin and benign lesions. The exact cause of skin tags isn’t known, but they may run in families. If they don’t hurt and aren’t changing, there typically isn’t anything to worry about. Skin tags or cysts are common and generally shouldn’t be a cause for concern.

When to Be Concerned About Skin Tags

Although most skin tags are healthy, some instances should cause concern. If a skin tag starts to be more noticeable or has additional symptoms, it should be examined by a doctor. Here are some skin tag qualities that could be a cause of concern.

Painful

If a skin tag is causing you pain, it’s time to visit your dermatologist. Make sure that the pain you’re experiencing isn’t just discomfort from the skin tag rubbing against something else. Because skin tags often occur in areas where the skin rubs on itself, some people experience friction of the tag rubbing against clothes, jewelry, or other skin. That discomfort is normal and typically doesn’t last. Pain occurs when the skin tag isn’t touching anything and doesn’t get better when you reposition your body or remove the friction. Pain is also more intense than the slight discomfort of a rubbing skin tag.

Bleeding

Skin tags are fairly resilient and generally shouldn’t bleed or tear if they rub against something else. If you have a skin tag that starts to bleed, go see a dermatologist. Bleeding can be a sign that the skin tag is irritated, which could be related to another skin or health issue. If you know the reason the skin tag is bleeding, such as it accidentally getting caught on a piece of jewelry or clothing, the skin tag is likely fine. Bleeding is more of a concern when the cause isn’t known or the bleeding doesn’t stop.

Red

Most skin tags are the same color as the person’s skin. However, if a skin tag is red or inflamed, you should have it looked at by a doctor. A red skin tag could occur when the tag is twisted on its blood supply, which isn’t a large cause for concern. However, a red skin tag could also be a sign of a more advanced skin condition and should be monitored, especially if the tag changes shape or grows. 

Skin Tag Removal

If a skin cyst exhibits any of these symptoms, visit a dermatologist in Fort Collins for an examination. There are multiple ways to remove skin tags, including simply snipping them off or freezing them off. Skin tag removal should be done by a qualified dermatologist to ensure it is done properly.

Skin tags are a normal occurrence in many people, especially as they age. In most cases, skin tags are nothing to worry about. But pay attention for these symptoms to take care of dangerous skin tags properly.

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