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What Causes Skin Tags?

Skin tags are those pesky little growths that are harmless yet can be annoying and, if they get irritated, even painful. The medical term is acrochordon. They can appear pretty much anywhere on your body.

If you have skin tags then rest assured that you’re not alone. Around half of the adult population has or had them or will have them in the future. But what does cause skin tags in the first place?

What causes them?

The precise reason for skin tags is unknown. What is known and believed is that they are caused by skin rubbing against skin. That’s why you often find them in areas where skin folds develop and where the skin rubs against each other.

Skin Tag Causes

This friction is believed to be the main cause for skin tags. However, it is also believed that other circumstances play a role. These include hormonal changes. Women often experience acrochordons during a pregnancy or during menopause. Some research also shows a higher chance of developing skin tags in people suffering from diabetes.

Skin tags are most often seen in people age 50 and up. The theory here is that the skin loses tightness and there are more places where skin rubs against each other.

The skin rubbing against each other can cause blood vessels or collagen to get trapped within areas of skin. This eventually starts to produce a stalk with a tag on top that is skin colored. If you pull on them or they get scratched, then they can get infected or irritated which can in turn lead to minor health issues like bleeding and some usually minor pain.

Where do you typically find them?

As already mentioned they usually develop where skin rubs against each other. This is often the case I the following areas:

  • Neck
  • Armpits
  • Eyelids
  • Groin
  • Underneath the breasts

These are the areas that are most prone to develop skin tags as you naturally have skin rub against each other. While it’s more likely in obese people to develop them, being on the skinny side does not guarantee that you won’t end up with them!

Most of the areas where skin tags develop can easily be concealed. However, getting them on the upper neck or on the eyelids or elsewhere in the face results in no chance to hide them. They’ll be there for the world to see.

What does your health insurance do?

While it can be annoying and at times embarrassing to have skin tags, it is good to know that they are harmless. They cannot morph into anything dangerous like cancerous growths and as such they are a nuisance but no health risk.

As they are in no shape or form a health risk, your health insurance is also usually not willing to pay for the removal. If you go to your dermatologist and have them removed you’ll end up paying north of $100 (usually a lot more) to get one skin tag removed. Out of pocket that is as your health insurance won’t give you a dime.

Any medical procedure that you have done to get rid of acrochordons is seen as a cosmetic procedure. These types of procedures are not covered by health insurance and your dermatologist typically will charge more for a cosmetic vs. a medical procedure.

Who has the highest risk to develop skin tags?

Pretty much anybody can get them. As already mentioned around 50 percent or more of the population will develop skin tags at some point in their lives.

The chance of getting them increases with age. Newborns for example never have skin tags and once a person crosses into adulthood the chances of getting them increases. Most people develop them in their middle years but they can develop in children and even toddlers even though this is extremely rare. Overall, skin tags are more often seen in overweight people.

Changes in hormone levels and elevations also seem to cause an increase in the growth of skin tags. This can specifically be seen in pregnant women as they develop skin tags but can also express itself during menopause. These tags are harmless and specifically during pregnancy don’t have to be treated except if they get irritated or infected.

There is overall an increase in the formation of skin tags in obese people. Another group that seems to have higher incidents of skin tags are sufferers from diabetes.

People that use steroids seem to also have a somewhat higher chance of getting skin tags. This seems to be related to steroids enabling clumps of collagen to form which then grow into skin tags.

Lastly, there could also be a genetic component that plays a role. If parents or other close relatives have skin tags then there is a chance that you’re also more likely to get them.

How to treat them at home

As already mentioned, your health insurance won’t cover the cost for having your skin tags removed by your doctor. As a result, you’ll have to pay several hundred dollars out of pocket if you want your dermatologist to get rid of a bunch of the growths.

Thankfully, there are easier and cheaper ways. You can safely treat skin tags at home for a fraction of the cost it would be if you have your medical professional do it.

We have compiled a list of the best skin tag removers that you can use at home. Using any of these products will rid you of your skin tags safely and cheaply. These remedies work and you can use them in the privacy of your home!

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