Skin Tag Removal
Skin tags are a common occurrence, with more than half of all people in New York City and around the world affected by at least one at some point during their lives. They’re more common in adults, although toddlers are also prone to getting them too. Obesity can be a factor in the development of skin tags, but it can happen to anyone, regardless of age, weight, or sex. Skin tags are almost always harmless, but there are valid reasons for people to talk to a New York dermatologist about removing skin tags. The reasons can be as simple as cosmetic or as serious as a life-threatening condition.
What Are Skin Tags?
Skin tags are small flaps of loose skin. They often have the shape and structure of tiny, very under-inflated balloons. When you first notice a skin tag, it might look like nothing more than a pinhead-sized lump on the surface of your skin. While they typically don’t grow any larger than the size of a pencil eraser, some can get to be larger than a grape.
Skin tags aren’t pimples, moles, or accessory tagus, which are congenital abnormalities that you’re born with.
Skin tags can occur anywhere on your body, but they’re most common:
- At the base of your neck
- In and around your armpits
- In the folds of your buttocks and groin
- On your eyelids
- Under your breasts
Reasons for Skin Tag Removal
Skin tags often occur in places where your skin rubs against your clothing. This continued rubbing can cause irritation and discomfort at the site of the skin tag. There’s also the matter of aesthetic appearance. It’s natural to be uncomfortable with the appearance of something new on your skin, and this is especially true if the skin tag is in a conspicuous location, such as on your face.
Occasionally, skin tags on your eyelids can impede vision and must be removed. Very rarely, skin tags can be pre-cancerous or cancerous. If you have a skin tag that starts to bleed or is different colors — such as red, brown, pink, or black — make an appointment with your dermatologist in Manhattan immediately.
Skin Tag Removal Procedures
NYC dermatologists may use one of several methods to remove your skin tags, including cauterization, cryosurgery, and excision. It’s best not to try to remove skin tags by yourself because of the risk of infection. Fortunately, having skin tags removed at a dermatologist’s office is a relatively quick and easy process, with few side effects or risks. The procedures include:
- Cauterization: is the method of burning skin tags away. Before the procedure, your dermatologist in NY thoroughly cleans the area with an antiseptic solution. Next, the area is numbed with a topical anesthetic. Your skin doctor heats a needle using electricity and then applies it to the base of the skin tag until the tag separates from your body. Finally, a bandage is placed on the cauterized site. Skin tag cauterization takes only about 20 minutes, depending on the number of your skin tags. As with any surgical procedure, there is a small risk of scarring or infection, and you may have some lingering pain after the anesthetic wears off. However, recovery time is minimal, and most patients are able to go on about their days with no lasting effects.
- Cryosurgery: With cryosurgery, the dermatologist, freezes the skin tag away. This method may be used when several skin tags need to be removed because the same instrument can be used to remove more than one skin tag. Your Manhattan dermatologist dips an instrument into liquid nitrogen and then holds it against the base of the skin tag for several seconds. Your discomfort is minor, as it feels like holding an ice cube against your skin. The site probably doesn’t even need to be bandaged after the procedure. Because of this, cryosurgery is often the first choice for removing skin tags from eyelids or from your face. Like cauterization, cryosurgery is a relatively quick procedure and should take no more than 20 minutes. Recovery time and risks are minimal; however, the frozen skin tag could take up to two weeks to fall off following the procedure.
- Excision: is the process of cutting away skin tags. Your NY dermatologist may choose this procedure if your skin tags are large. This process is a little more involved than cryosurgery, but the skin tags are gone immediately. Although this is a surgical procedure, it’s done on an outpatient basis, usually in your dermatologist’s office. Before the excision, the surgery site is cleaned with antiseptic and then effectively numbed with a local anesthetic, either applied directly to your skin or via an injection. Your dermatologist uses a scalpel to carefully cut the skin tag away. If the skin tag is large, you may need stitches to close the wound, but usually, all that’s necessary is a sterile bandage. Skin tag excision takes less than half an hour from start to finish.
As with any surgical procedure, it’s essential to keep the incision area clean and dry afterward to reduce the risk of infection. Your dermatologist will give you detailed post-op instructions and tell you how to care for the incision site. You’ll likely experience some pain after the anesthesia wears off, but this is often manageable with over-the-counter pain medication. Your dermatologist can prescribe stronger pain medication if necessary.
After Skin Tag Removal
Each patient is different, but you’ll find that skin tag removal has a minimal effect on your post-procedure activities. Depending on the size and location of the skin tag you had removed, your doctor may place a brief restriction on some activities, such as exercise or heavy lifting. Typically, you can return to work and resume your normal daily activities the day after the procedure. If you’re taking prescription pain medication, check with your dermatologist to see when you can safely drive.
Regardless of why you’re seeking to remove your skin tags, your New York City dermatologist has the knowledge and experience to perform the procedure safely and with minimal discomfort and side effects. If you have questions about skin tags or skin tag removal, don’t hesitate to call your Midtown NYC dermatologist today.
Important Reminder: This information is only intended to provide guidance, not definitive medical advice. Please consult dermatologist NYC about your specific condition. Only a trained, experienced board-certified dermatology doctor or pediatric dermatologist could determine an accurate diagnosis and proper treatment.Locations: Manhattan Dermatology (Upper East Side) 983 Park Ave, Ste 1D1, NY 10028
(212) 427-8750 Manhattan Dermatology (Midtown) 56 W 45th St, Ste 819, NY 10036
(212) 889-2402 Manhattan Dermatology (Union Square) 55 W 17th St, Ste 103, NY 10011