What are skin tags, what are the triggering causes and how can they be eliminated? The expert answers these and other questions
They appear as small growths that tend to hang downwards: we are talking about pendulous fibroids, or manifestations that affect the skin externally. Although they are usually very small in size, skin tags can even measure a few centimeters. In this case, in addition to being more visible and therefore rather unsightly, they can also cause discomfort especially if they form in areas of the body such as the neck or face, where it is usual to wear necklaces or other accessories.
Symptoms related to the onset of skin tags mostly concern their progressive growth, but this can sometimes be associated with itching and bleeding. In general, it is a very common skin manifestation that should not cause particular concern. However, when they are found it is good to have a checkup carried out by a specialist who will evaluate a possible removal.
To better understand what pendulous fibroids are, what are the causes related to them and how they can be eliminated, we asked for the consultation of Dr. Grazia Ettorre, Specialist in Dermatology and Venereology.
- What are
- What are the causes
- How to recognize them
- Are they contagious?
- How to eliminate them
«Skin tags are benign skin growths adhering to the skin surface. They appear sessile or exophytic, mobile and with a slightly oily fleshy consistency. They can have different sizes ranging from a few millimeters to about 2 cm. They can also be itchy, but they do not cause pain and rarely bleed ”.
What are the causes
«In the vast majority of cases there is no direct and well-defined cause, but we can say that pendulous fibroids often appear in subjects with seborrheic skin, with a positive family history and in individuals with obesity and diabetes. They are rarely observed in conjunction with syndromic pictures such as tuberous sclerosis ».
As indicated by the doctor, therefore, the presence of pendulous fibroids can be linked to the family history of the subject or to the presence of diseases such as diabetes and obesity, which are already responsible for the onset of numerous diseases such as cardiovascular ones. Same thing for those suffering from seborrheic skin and where an excessive production of sebum (especially in areas rich in sebaceous glands such as the face and scalp) can facilitate the appearance of these growths.
How to recognize them
“Skin tags are more common after the age of 40. They are more frequently located near the folds such as those present in the neck, armpits, groin, inframammary sulcus, but they can also form on the face and eyelids. They have a variable color ranging from pink to brown and have a papillomatous surface. They often tend to hang down. Sometimes they can grow in size to the point of creating a steric hindrance for garments and accessories (necklaces, shoulder bags) ».
Therefore, being growths that form on the skin surface it is quite easy to notice them even by touch, especially when they grow in size and hang downwards.
Are they contagious?
"They are neither contagious nor prone to malignant evolution. In fact, they show no pathological note. The diagnosis is clinical-dermoscopic and no therapeutic measures are necessary ".
In fact, it often happens that in the presence of pendulous fibroids there is concern about their contagiousness or a possible malignant evolution, but as confirmed by the doctor these growths can mostly cause discomfort of an aesthetic nature, or annoy. Instead, it is very rare that they can evolve into something else and above all there is no danger that they are contagious.
How to eliminate them
«Pendulous fibroids can be removed in case of aesthetic-functional implications or traumatization. They can be eliminated with a cold blade (scalpel or surgical scissors), by cryotherapy (cold burn), diathermocoagulation or vaporization with CO2 laser. These therapies are totally painless, as they are performed with local anesthesia, and require little post-treatment recovery time "concludes the expert.
As we have seen, pendulous fibroids should not cause particular concern as they are skin growths that cannot be contagious and hardly have a malignant evolution. However, it is important to ask for the support of a specialist in the sector if the pendulous fibroids cause discomfort, if they become large or if they accidentally detach themselves partially or completely following a small trauma. In these cases, in fact, the dermatologist monitors its progress, preventing the wound from leading to infection or can opt for removal. However, even the removal does not cause pain and is performed in complete safety. However, do-it-yourself remedies that could cause complications, as well as pain and unsightly marks, should be avoided.