What Are Skin Tags?
Skin tags, or acrochordons, are small growths (usually just a few millimeters) of flesh that typically appear on the neck, underarms, eyelids, skin folds and other areas that may be frequently rubbed or irritated. They occur commonly starting in middle age, and may be associated with pregnancy, obesity, diabetes, and other health conditions. Sometimes they may actually be cancerous skin lesions, which should be checked by a dermatologist.
What Should I Do If I Have An Unwanted Skin Tag?
Often, skin tags will turn into a scab and fall off on their own. However, some people prefer to have them removed, either for cosmetic reasons or because the tags may rub against clothing or otherwise become bothersome. There are over-the-counter preparations designed to remove skin tags, moles, warts and the like. In addition, people have been known to numb their tags with ice before cutting them off with clean scissors or nail clippers. Keep in mind that the area may rarely but potentially develop serious bleeding and/or an infection, so home surgical removal is not something to be taken lightly.
How Can a Dermatologist Help Me Remove Skin Tags?
Your physician may recommend removing the skin tag using a ligation technique (tying the base of the tag with suturing thread, for example, to cut off the circulation and allow the tag to dry up and fall off), cryotherapy to freeze it off, electrical cauterization, or surgical removal with scissors or a scalpel. When done in a doctor’s office, a numbing cream or injection may be applied, and care is taken to avoid bleeding and infections.
Insurance and Payment
Unfortunately, most insurance companies, including Medicare, do not cover the removal of skin tags. Be sure to read your policy or check with your insurance carrier before scheduling an appointment solely for the removal of skin tags. At Northern Utah Dermatology we will remove up to 10 skin tags for $100. Each additional tag removal is $10, up to 25 total tags. Due to time constraints, we cannot remove more than 25 skin tags during one visit.