Skin Tags2018-09-13T12:47:42+00:00

Skin Tags

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The best way to figure out whether your specific condition can be treated or not is to give us a call. We can answer any questions you have and help you clarify which treatment options might be suitable for you.

There are different treatment options available for this condition and the most common ones are listed below:

  • Cryotherapy
  • Curettage
  • Cautery
Learn more about treatment options

Conditions

Skin tags are annoying little overgrowths of normal skin which can itch and catch on things. They are completely benign. They are not infective so cannot be caught by anyone else.

They can occur around the eyelids, on the face, on the neck, the upper chest decollete area, under the breasts, in the armpits (axillae), and in the groin area at the top of the legs. These are all places where the skin can form creases. Sometimes there is a single skin tag, but very often they exist in multiples. Rarely do they drop off.

They tend to be very small, 1 to 4 mm long, smooth skin covered, raised away from the skin on a small “stalk” or pedicle. Very occasionally a much longer one can occur. They are very recognisable clinically.

Symptoms

Because they are raised from the skin and slightly elongated and on a “stalk” they can easily become irritated by friction such as blinking, neck flexion, rubbing by clothing and shaving (for instance under armpits).

They rarely hurt or bleed unless they have just been caught on something or damaged when shaving under the armpit for instance.

Examination

Around the eyelids:

If the skin tags are around the eyes or face the oculoplastic surgeon will examine the little skin tags, confirm what they are and advise whether they can be gently removed under local anaesthetic.

On the face, neck, trunk, or in the armpits or groin:

If the skin tags are on the rest of the face, the neck, décolletage area, under the breasts or in the armpits or groin, the dermatologist, with the nurse present, will examine those areas, confirm the diagnosis, and advise on the best dermatology treatment for you, whether it be cryotherapy, removal by curettage, or cautery.

Treatment

Around the eyelids:

Usually, this involves a tiny amount of local anaesthetic infiltrated under the skin and then the skin tag is help in fine forceps (you will not feel anything because the area is anaesthetised) and then it is surgically removed with a blade or cautery which also seals the wound base. This is a very quick procedure which takes only 10 to 15 minutes.

After the tag / tags are removed, the area is treated with some antibiotic ointment and no eye pad cover is required unless there have been multiple skin tags. The eyelid area heals very quickly and the little red marks where the skin tags were removed should disappear within 7 to 10 days.

Cryotherapy treatment of skin tags is not suitable on the eyelids.

On the face, neck, trunk, or in the armpits or groin:

When the tags are on other parts of the body there is a wider choice in treatment options.

  • Cryotherapy (liquid nitrogen) to cool and freeze the cells in the skin tag; they drop off a few days later.
  • Curettage or scraping and cutting the skin tag at the base
  • Cautery to remove skin tag at base and seal wound

The delicate application of cold liquid nitrogen to the skin tags freezes the skin cells in the growth and causes it to fall off. There is then a small red area which crusts over and heals within 7-10 days. Cryotherapy takes only 5 to 10 minutes and is particularly suitable when there are multiple skin tag growths.

Curettage or scraping the skin tag at its base is done under local anaesthetic infiltration. The base is then lightly sealed with cautery or left to heal with a small amount of antibiotic ointment on it. It takes 1 – 3 weeks to heal, depending on the body site.

It is important to state that if you are concerned about any lesion on the skin, especially if itchy, bleeding or increasing in size please get it examined by a doctor.

Physician / Surgeon

Miss
Jane Olver,
Consultant Oculoplastic Surgeon for skin tags on eyelids.

Dr
Jennifer Crawley,
Consultant Dermatologist for skin tags face, neck, décolletage, trunk, armpits and groin.

Prices

Package price includes the initial assessment and required procedure plus post op ointment, treated in one visit. It does not include a follow up consultation as patients usually do not require this.

Cryotherapy: £520.00
Curette / surgical excision under local anaesthetic: £565.00, additional tags £25.00

Frequently Asked Questions

Cryotherapy is a freeze burn to the skin and can be uncomfortable. This does not usually last long. If excision is by curette, blade or cautery, local anaesthetic is given so you will not feel anything during the procedure.
Because in some persons the skin has a tendency to form skin tags in areas where the skin creases, other skin tags can grow in the same area over several years.
If there is any doubt about the nature of the skin lesion, the specimen will be sent for analysis of the cells (histopathology) as a safety measure.
All the above treatments minimise scarring risk.

Video: Treatment options for lumps and bumps

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