What Causes Skin Tags
Acrochordon is the medical term for a skin tag. Skin tags come in various sizes and they are attached to the body by a tiny stalk. They are small skin growths or tumors, however they are not dangerous because they are almost always benign. Researchers have a few ideas on what causes skin tags to develop.
What Causes Skin Tags?
The general cause of skin tags is when collagen and blood vessels become trapped inside thicker bits of skin. So what are the risk factors that contribute to the causes of skin tags?
1. Obesity. This could be the number one cause of skin tags. People who are obese have more skin folds and creases. Skin tags generally develop in areas where skin rubs against skin (friction).
2. Pregnant women. There has been evidence that shows one of the causes of skin tags is hormone changes. Pregnant women will have many hormone fluctuations during pregnancy. In addition, many pregnant women will gain a significant amount of weight, which can produce skin folds.
3. Diabetes. There has been some speculation that diabetes can be one of the many skin tags causes1.
4. HPV. A study conducted in 2008 found that HPV or the human papillomavirus can be associated with the development of skin tags2. HPV is a common sexually transmitted disease that has over forty different strains. Some of these strains will produce skin tags and genital warts.
5. Illegal steroid use. When searching for what causes skin tags, illegal steroid use must not be overlooked. Steroid abuse causes collagen fibers to bond, which will produce skin tags.
6. Genetics. Skin tags may be more prevalent in those who have other family members with this condition.
7. Chrohn’s disease. An often overlooked cause of skin tags is Chrohn’s disease. Individuals with this inflammatory bowel disease will develop skin tags around the anal opening.
8. Age. This is another one of the most common skin tag causes. Evidence proves the incidence of skin tags increase with middle age.
How Common Are Skin Tags?
Skin tags is a common skin condition. In fact, it estimated that almost all the general population will have skin tags at some time in their lives. They are not present at birth, which means they are acquired. Children can develop skin tags, but it is not common. Most skin tags are found in adults which may indicate that age is a significant factor in the cause of skin tags.
Where do You Find Skin Tags?
Since the body is covered in skin, it is possible for skin tags to appear anywhere on the body. However, the two most common areas for these skin protrusions are the armpits and the neck. Skin tags can also be found on the eyelids, the groin folds, penis and other parts on the body including the buttock folds. Females will develop skin tags under their breasts. The back is another common area for skin tags to appear.
As mentioned before, babies are not born with skin tags, but they can develop after birth. This is uncommon, but there have been cases where plump babies have developed skin tags in areas where skin rubs against skin. Children have been known to develop these skin protrusions on the eyelids, especially if they tend to rub their eyes a lot. Older children and teenagers may have skin tags in the underarm area because of friction from the repetitive motions associated with sports.
Is There a Cure for Skin Tags?
Unfortunately, the answer is no. However, it is possible to remove skin tags, but they may come back after removal. In most cases, skin tags will do no harm to the body. But if the skin tags are in areas where clothing rubs them, it can cause some bleeding as they are rubbed off. Individuals who have skin tags on the face and neck may want to have them removed for cosmetic reasons.
What causes skin tags will vary with the individual. If obesity is the cause of skin tags, then losing weight may reduce the occurrence of these unsightly bumps. If diabetes is thought to be one of the causes of skin tags, then keeping blood sugar levels under control could reduce the amount of skin tags that develops.
If you have skin tags, it may be helpful to investigate what causes skin tags for you. You can then try to keep your underlying risk factors under control to help reduce the amount of skin tags you have.
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