6 Facts about Skin Tags

By 10 May 2017Articles & Media

You have a what….?!

Skin Tags, Vleis Moesie, DPN, Muis Tepel, Fleshy Growths… In South Africa, we have a lot of ways to express ourselves in the different languages. All the above terms are used to describe a fleshy little flap of skin that appears on our bodies.

Are they Dangerous?

The correct term to use will be “skin tag”. They are not flat on the skin, but raised and sometimes looks like a flap of skin. Even though they are extremely annoying… they are completely harmless!

Where do Skin Tags Appear?

Skin Tags usually pop up on areas like the neck, groin, underarms and middle back, due to friction of skin rubbing on skin or clothing.

Who gets Skin Tags?

If someone in your family is prone to Skin Tags, then you can expect them to appear on your body. Skin Tags are usually genetic. As Skin Tags appear on areas where there is friction, obesity can cause a few skin tags. They usually appear in groups or as a single skin tag.

Is it common?

At least one in every four people will develop a skin tag sometime in their lives. So… YOU ARE NOT ALONE! The older we get, the more prone we are to Skin Tags as well.

Can I remove it myself?

Even though Skin Tags are harmless, the skin tag still needs to be removed in a hygienic manner. If not, they can become infected and inflamed, and worst case scenario… they BLEED! And when they bleed, the BLEED! Best way to remove a Skin Tag is with a Professional who will make sure to remove the skin tag properly without causing any scars.

Are those Skin Tags on Morgan Freeman’s Face?

NO! They are called Dermatosis Papulosa Nigra (Lets call them DPN’s). They are very similar to Skin Tags as they are also harmless and non-contagious. These small, darker in colour, spots can be flat or flap-like (like skin tags) are usually seen around the cheeks and eyes. The amount of DPN’s can vary from just a few to hundreds!

Although it’s not harmful, they can be extremely irritating and cause itchiness, just like a skin tag. Some people may refer to a DPN as a mole, and vice versa, but they are not true moles.

DPN’s are more common to appear on darker skins of females. Once they appear, they can grow bigger with time.

Currently the actual causes of DPN’s are still unknown. A Professional needs to diagnose the DPN, and then method of removal will be discussed.

DPN’s can be treated in a few different ways. It does not have to be removed, however it is cosmetically undesired for some people, or even just plain irritating. Treatment may not always remove the DPN’s during the first try, as the chance of them to grow back is there. As DPN’s mostly appear on darker skins, the chances for damaging or scarring the skin while removing the DPN is greater.

How can Skin Tags and DPN’s be prevented?

–  Drop some weight and Practice a Healthy Lifestyle

As mentioned above, Skin Tags may be a result in areas where there is a lot of friction. Therefore if you are overweight or obese, your chances are better of getting a Skin Tag. It’s always advised to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Our bodies can be excellent mirrors to show us what is happening on the inside.

–  POWDERS!

There are some great powders available now that you can use on the friction areas. This will help to reduce the irritation caused by friction, and therefore aid to prevent forming stretch marks.

–  TIGHT CLOTHING!

By wearing tight clothing, skin will rub against the fabric constantly! You are not only more at risk for Skin Tags, but numerous other conditions as well e.g. poor circulation.

So let’s back up and summarise:

  1. Skin Tags are Harmless
  2. Skin Tags are not contagious
  3. Skin Tags appear generally due to friction
  4. You are not the only one to have a Skin Tag!
  5. Skin Tags should be removed by a Professional
  6. Skin Tags and DPN’s are similar, but not the same thing.

The Dermology skincare clinic specialises in safe, affordable, effective treatment options for both the face and body. Our highly trained team of professionals make it their goal to ensure every patient receives the results and care that they deserve. This attention to detail and individual patient care is what sets Dermology apart from any other clinic.