Skin tags are an extremely common and harmless – benign, as doctors say – skin growth. They typically appear as small, soft balloons of hanging skin that project from a narrow stalk and can be flesh-colored or darker in pigment.
- Males and females are equally prone to developing skin tags
- Almost everyone will develop a skin tag at some point in their life
- Skin tags are most frequently found on the eyelids, neck, under the breast folds, armpits, and groin area
- Removing a skin tag will not cause more to grow
- Skin tags are not contagious
Although anyone can develop one or more skin tags during their lifetime, the following conditions may increase your risk:
- Obesity, especially in middle-aged adults
- Hormone elevations, including those experienced during pregnancy, may cause an increase in skin tag development
Typically, skin tags do not need to be removed unless they are causing discomfort due to their location (i.e. rubbing or twisting against clothing or jewelry) or are causing emotional distress due to their cosmetic appearance.
In-office removal is quick and easy and may or may not require a local anaesthesia depending on the size of the skin tag. Treatment options include freezing and/or cauterizing the area, or using Laser Resurfacing lasers such as Luxar CO2 or RevLite KTP.
Moles are medically known as “nevi.” They are most often identified as small, dark brown spots on the skin. However, they can come in a range of colors, sizes and shapes. Moles can develop anywhere on your body, and in most cases are harmless. In certain cases, moles can become cancerous—and therefore it is important to monitor moles as an important step in the detection of skin cancer.
Causes Of Moles
Moles are caused when pigmented cells — called melanocytes — are distributed unevenly as clusters or clumps in the skin. Melanocyte cells produce melanin, which is the pigment that gives your skin color.
Preventing Complications With Moles
Although there is no way to prevent your skin from developing a mole, there are strategies to catch potential problems with a mole that may develop into malignant melanoma (skin cancer). Exam your skin on a regular basis, and remember to check all areas on your body, including those that are hard to see and that are not exposed to direct sunlight.
- “A” is for Asymmetry: (moles with irregular shapes, such as two very different-looking halves, may be of concern)
- “B” is for Borders: (Moles with notched, scalloped or irregular borders are common with melanomas)
- “C” is for Change in Color: (If a mole changes in color over time, or has an uneven distribution of color within its boundaries, this may be a concern)
- “D” is for Diameter (Moles that are larger than ¼” or 6 millimeters should be checked by a physician)
- “E” is for Evolving (Any mole that changes over time in size, shape or color—or becomes symptomatic with conditions such as itchiness, bleeding or oozing—should be checked by your physician)
In addition to frequently checking your skin, you can also prevent the possibility for cancerous changes by:
- Staying out of the sun during the peak hours of intensity
- Using sunscreen (SPF 15+)
- Covering up: (broad-brimmed hat, tight knit clothing with longer sleeves and clothing made with a specialty fabric to block UV rays)
It usually isn’t necessary to treat a mole, but if it is determined that one or more of your moles is suspicious, we may take a tissue sample or biopsy to detect cancerous cells.
Benign moles can be targeted and removed using one of our Resurfacing Lasers, in particular the SmartXide CO2 and VariLite KTP lasers.
Book A Consultation
If you’re ready to start your journey, or just want to get a bit more information about a procedure, we encourage you to book a consultation with us. Your consultation will be a one-on-one meeting with one of our medical professionals where we can discuss your specific needs and start developing a personalized plan to achieve your goals.
Related Treatments and Procedures
Laser resurfacing laser such as SmartXide CO2 and Varilite KTP can be used for a variety of skin treatments, including skin tag and mole removal.