Skin growths, such as skin tags, are generally harmless. They are merely a mass of excess skin cells that have accumulated on the surface. A darker color is one characteristic of a skin tag, though some can be the same color as the surrounding skin. Many people seek treatment for them not because they pose a health risk, but because they are unattractive and can be a nuisance as they get snagged on clothing and jewelry. A dermatologist will be able to evaluate any growths to ensure they are benign.
Skin tags are one very common type of skin growth. They are small, skin-colored bumps that protrude from areas of the body where friction frequently occurs, such as the armpits, neck, eyelids and groin. Individuals with excess skin and or fat may find them in other areas and body folds where skin comes in contact with other skin. The tag may have a narrow stalk connecting it to the surface of the skin.
Treatment of skin tags is not necessary unless a patient would like it removed for cosmetic reasons or to eliminate the annoyance of it getting caught on various materials. The tags will not grow back, but new tags may form in other areas. Never cut off a skin tag yourself, as it can lead to excessive bleeding. Going to a dermatologist is the best way to deal with a growth you would like removed. The doctor may recommend surgery to excise it, cryotherapy to freeze it off, or cauterization to burn it off. Local anesthesia may be used for large tags or when several in an area are being removed.
Other Skin Growth Treatments
Aside from skin tags, some other common benign skin growths include dermatofibromas, keloids, warts and seborrheic keratoses.
Dermatofibromas are small red or brown bumps caused by soft tissue cells accumulating under the skin. They can be itchy and are most often found on the legs. They can be surgically removed.
Keloids are a type of scar tissue that are smooth, raised fibrous growths. They form where there was a wound and are more common in African-Americans. Surgery, injections of corticosteroids, or silicone patches may be used to treat keloids. Multiple techniques may need to be required.
Other common skin growths are warts. They can appear on any part of the body. Common warts can be found on the hands, feet, face or any other area of the body. They are harmless, but contagious and can easily spread between people or body parts. For this reason they should be treated right away. Treatments options include cryotherapy, electrosurgery, excision, or laser treatments.
Seborrheic keratoses are often found on the skin of adults. They can resemble warts or sun freckles, but are actually harmless thickenings of skin. They can be quite large and may be an unusual shape or color, causing concern. They do not require treatment, but can easily be removed for cosmetic reasons.
For more information on skin tags and other skin growths, contact Aesthetic Specialty Centre Plastic Surgery and Dermatology, located near Atlanta, GA, today at (770) 393-9000 in Roswell or (706) 467-6500 in Greensboro.