IYAC sub-05

What to do about skin tags?


By Dr Chung Wan Ling

You know that age is catching up on you when you:
- take longer to recover from jet-lag
- find it harder to maintain or shed excess weight, and
- notice more laugh lines and grey hairs

And wait, when did those soft pieces of skin start appearing and hanging off your body?


What to do about skin tags?

Do these look familiar?



These growths, also known as skin tags, are very common once you hit your 40s. They tend to occur in areas of excess skin folds where there is repeated friction and chafing – think the neck, armpits, groin, under the breasts and buttocks, and even around the eyelids. Skin tags are often linked to genes and hormones, and may reflect an internal metabolic issue.


Skin tags come in a wide variety of sizes and appearances – smooth and round, wrinkly and uneven, dark or skin colored and may even be mistaken for warts. They are generally harmless, not contagious and may be left alone, unless they bother you. Some may itch or get irritated, while larger or strategically sited ones may cause pain if they catch on clothing and accessories. Or you may just find them aesthetically unpleasing. In which case, you may consider removing them.


However, just like skin, these skin tags are made of collagen and blood vessels, and it’s not a good idea to attempt to remove them on your own, even if home remedies promise a quick fix. Under untrained hands, the skin tags can get mangled, with a risk of prolonged bleeding, infection and even scarring. What’s worse is if after all the trouble, the base of the skin tag is inadequately removed, and the skin tag recurs.


At IYAC, skin tags are removed via electrocautery, a process that utilises an electric pen to vaporize the unwanted tissue. The process is comfortable with topical anaesthesia. The treated areas take about a week to scab and heal over. Well-treated skin tags generally do not regrow.


Do you have any lumps and bumps that bother you? If so, schedule an appointment for a friendly consult.