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Skin Tags In Children: Causes And Treatment

Many a time, you would have observed that you or someone whom you meet possesses small, skin-coloured growths that are soft to touch and feel. These are actually referred to as skin tags and are not just present in adults but also found in children. The little growth of extra skin on your child's body (more often near the neck and armpit) might leave you a little worried but it would be relieving to know that these are quite common and not a cause of worry at all (unless your child is extremely upset with its appearance).

At times, especially if it is present in regions such as the groin, it might go unnoticed. This is the case most often especially as skin tags are not painful. However, as the health of our child is our top priority, as parents, you might want to know more details about skin tags. Read on to know more about their causes and what you can do about them.

Skin tags are not harmful; however, they can turn into a cosmetic woe or keep your child depressed and low on self-confidence. It then becomes necessary to take measures to ensure that the effect of the presence of skin tags does not leave your child emotionally stressed out.

What Are Skin Tags?

Skin tags are additional growths of skin that are considered harmless as they do not cause any medical complications. These bulge outward. Sometimes they might vary in terms of colour and size. They might be as small as few millimeters and in some cases can grow up to 2 inches wide. These are not present by birth. They tend to occur in regions of the skin where the skin surface comes in contact with each other and shows friction.

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Skin tags can occur anytime in one's lifetime - they occur in children too. Although not painful, skin tags can get irritated and bleed at times. If your child is experiencing irritating skin tags, you should definitely take him or her to a skin specialist to help him get relieved of the symptoms. Research says that skin tags are more common in a female child when compared to that of male children.


What Causes Skin Tags In Children?

Studies show that about 46 per cent of the world's population is affected by the issue of skin tags. Although not a cause of worry, you might want to know the reasons behind its occurrence. More often, they seem to be associated with the following:

• Acromegaly: This is a condition wherein the anterior pituitary gland produces excess growth hormones.

• Brit-Hogg-Dube Syndrome: This is a genetic disorder wherein genes play a role in one having issues such as kidney cancer. This syndrome also has an effect on the lungs and the skin and hence may be a cause of skin tags as well.

• Polycystic ovary syndrome: Also referred to as PCOS, this syndrome causes severe hormonal imbalances in females. The occurrence of this is attributed to both genetic as well as environmental factors. The occurrence of skin tags in females has been related to this factor as well.


Where Do Skin Tags Occur?

Areas of the skin that rub together are subjected to having skin tags more often. The regions of the body where the skin forms a crease are where you are most likely to find a skin tag, such as the groin area, the neck and the armpit. In adult females, skin tags might appear under the breasts as well.

How To Treat Skin Tags?

As we know, skin tags being benign, it does not necessarily require a treatment. However, in cases wherein it begins to bleed when present on your child's skin and causes a lot of irritation, you would need to get it checked by a medical expert. In case of severe irritation, the specialist might take a decision on removing the skin tag from your child's skin. The following are some of the available options regarding treating skin tags:

• Excision: This is the most opted technique used by doctors for the removal of skin tags. The procedure is referred to as a shave excision. This process can also be used for the removal of lesions, tumours and moles. The tool used for this procedure is a sharp razor-like equipment. At times doctors also choose to use an electrode. This is used to feather the edges of the excision site such that there is no noticeable scar left behind.

• Laser removal: Said to be the most expensive form of treating skin tags, this is usually the last resort in the treatment process. Most of the time, laser removal might require repeated sittings. Lasers works by forming microscopic wounds. This is so because it is known that skin tags are located from deep within the layers of the skin.

Usually, smooth and flawless skin is guaranteed after multiple laser sessions. The laser treatment facilitates the growth of new skin cells and collagen. This ensures that skin imperfections such as skin tags are eliminated. Many choose the laser removal of skin tags technique due to the popular belief that it has the ability to target imperfections without damaging the skin's surface.

There might be mild swelling and redness after the treatment. It usually goes away after sometime post the treatment. In some rare cases, people might experience a burning sensation and temporary blistering.


• Homeopathy:

This can also be a chosen mode of treatment. But needs quite some time before it begins to show results. Parents of children undergoing homeopathy treatment for the removal of skin tags need to be highly patient.

Homeopathic remedies are available widely and can easily be bought from a nearby store and used regularly to start seeing positive results. Thuja is popularly used as a form of homeopathic treatment to cure various ailments. Some of them being respiratory tract infections.

External application of Thuja is said to cure ailments such as osteoarthritis, muscle pain and joint pain. However, Thuja oil has also found ample use when applied externally to treat external issues. It works great when used to get rid of skin issues, such as skin tags and warts.


• Home remedies:

Few people chose to try out age-old home remedies for treating skin tags. One of them being tying the skin tag with dental floss. It is believed that left tied, the skin tag would eventually fall off. This happens because when tied at the base, the blood supply is cut off and hence it facilitates it to fall off. Many people choose to use products that possess antiviral and antifungal properties on the skin tags to facilitate it to fall off.

Products that can be used are tea tree oil, etc. Banana peels also work great in removing small skin tags. Applying garlic juice on the skin tags also help in removal of skin tags naturally. Another method is with the use of cotton soaked in apple cider vinegar. Place the soaked cotton swab on the skin tag and wrap it using a bandage. Leave it for about 30 minutes and then wash the region.

Keep doing this daily for a few weeks. It is believed that the tissue surrounding the skin tag is broken down due to the presence of acidity in the apple cider vinegar. This leads to the skin tag falling off eventually.

Freezing: Freezing is another technique, which is believed to make the tag fall off after about 10 to 15 days. Sometimes, there is a need for a double freeze-thaw technique so that the skin tag would fall off permanently. Hence, requiring more than one sitting.

Post the treatment, the child might develop blisters in that area.

The treatment might take days to heal (although not painful in most cases). It is advised that the area from where the skin tag has been removed should not be exposed to direct sunlight. Children should preferably be kept indoors for a few days after the treatment.

Home remedies should be tried only after keeping your doctor informed. So that it does not result in spreading to other areas. Medical reports claim that skin tags can be successfully removed from sites where they are apparent.


Are Skin Tags Contagious?

Skin tags are the growth of extra skin that have a hanging out form of appearance (especially when compared to warts that appear to be raised or flat). Skin tags are definitely not contagious.

Do Skin Tags Go Away On Their Own?

In some rare cases, skin tags might go away on their own. But in a majority of cases, they continue to stay on the skin and it might also keep growing over time.

Do Skin Tags Grow Back?

After getting a treatment for the removal of skin tags, it would not require much time for the site to heal. There could usually be no trace of the tag after the treatment procedure. Although the skin tag might not grow back at the same site, there is a possibility that new skin tags might form.

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Do Skin Tags Grow Back?

After getting a treatment for the removal of skin tags, it would not require much time for the site to heal. There could usually be no trace of the tag after the treatment procedure. Although the skin tag might not grow back at the same site, there is a possibility that new skin tags might form.

Read more about: skin children treatment
Story first published: Friday, November 23, 2018, 15:31 [IST]