What are Skin Tags?

If you’ve noticed a small raised or hanging flap of skin on your body then chances are it’s a skin tag. They can develop anywhere on the body but commonly they are found where skin rubs against skin … eyelids, neckline, armpits, groin, under the breasts etc. They are harmless but can be removed if they are bothering you. Sometimes skin tags can cause discomfort if they are in an area where they can catch or rub on clothes or jewellery. It can also be a case that the skin tag catches during shaving, a trip to the barbers etc.

Why have I got a skin tag and will it go away?

Skin tags can develop for a number of reasons. Both men and women can develop them but they are more common in older people and people who are obese or have type 2 diabetes. They are also common in pregnancy due to hormonal changes. Some people, however, develop them with no underlying reasons.

Sometimes, skin tags fall off on their own if the tissue has twisted and died from a lack of blood supply. They are harmless and don’t usually cause pain or discomfort. However, if they do cause a problem then skin tags can be removed safely and effectively.

How can I remove my skin tag?

Because skin tags are harmless, removal is classed as cosmetic and therefore not available on the NHS.  It is, however, always worth visiting your GP, in the first instance, if you are unsure. When considering skin tag removal it is important that you choose a qualified, medically trained practitioner. The practitioner you visit needs to be able to assess and diagnose your skin condition before attempting a removal. Check your practitioner’s qualifications to make sure they have the appropriate qualifications prior to skin tag removal.

Cryotherapy is a popular method used to remove skin tags in private skin clinics. Cryotherapy is a procedure that uses extreme cold to destroy skin tissue. The process is called cryo-necrosis, tissue destruction by freezing. Cryotherapy (Cryopen) requires no anaesthetic and has less scarring than any other techniques of skin removal. 

Skin tag removal with Cryopen takes between 10 and 60 seconds, depending on the size and depth of the skin lesion.

Is skin tag removal permanent?

For most skin tags, cryotherapy is a permanent removal. Some skin lesions are harder to remove than others. Deeper lesions such as warts may need multiple treatments. Generally, skin tags are successfully removed with one treatment. Some larger skin tags need a second treatment two weeks later. Occasionally they can return although this is rare when all of the lesion is successfully removed in the first instance.

Will there be any scarring after skin tag removal with Cryopen?

Scarring is unlikely. Darkening or lightening of the skin may occur temporarily. Both generally last for a few months. The pigment change is more common in darker skin types.

Is skin tag removal painful?

There will be a pain sensation similar to a ballpoint pen being pushed onto the skin when the nitrous oxide reaches the bottom of the lesion. There might be a little residual stinging for a few minutes after treatment and occasionally a blister may form and persist for a few hours.

Consultations for skin tag removal.           

We offer free consultations for all skin concerns. Your skin lesion/s will be assessed by a Nurse Practitioner specialising in skin concerns who is experienced and qualified to assess skin lesions. Consultations are free and without obligation. Contact us to find out more.

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