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How to Stop Your Cut-off Skin Tags from Bleeding?

Skin tags could be really annoying, especially when it affects some of the things you usually do with your skin. And when you have one, your natural response is to remove it. Well, skin tags can be removed by yourself or much preferably by a doctor. Or you can also wait for it to naturally fall off because, in some cases, it usually does. But it is highly discouraged to remove skin tags by yourself because of some health risks. Examples of it are pain and bleeding.

What Are Skin Tags?

Skin tags are common and are usually acquired benign, skin-colored growths. It looks like a small, soft balloon suspended on a slender stalk. Its growth can vary in number from one to a hundred. Skin tags can appear in any part of your body. But commonly, it is found on the neck, underarms, under the breast, and in the groin area.

Why do we have skin tags in the first place? Skin tags are often caused by genetics. So, if your parents had some, there are chances that you could also have one. Another factor is what we call “chronic friction,” which is most common in obese persons. This is the reason behind obese people being prone to skin tags. During pregnancy, where there are high levels of growth factors also contributes to having skin tags. And lastly, people who have insulin resistance also have a higher chance of having skin tags.

These people are usually those who have diabetes. There is no gender bias when it comes to skin tags because both males and females are prone to having it.

Why Do People Remove Their Skin Tags?

Skin tag removal
Skin tag removal

Some people chose to ignore the existence of their skin tags, especially when they are only small and can be hidden behind their clothes. However, there are also instances wherein skin tags grow near to the person’s eye. It could become bigger and can affect the eyesight of that person. There are cases where skin tags grow in the groin area, the place between the abdomen and the thigh on either side of the pubic bone.

When this happens, it could get stuck when the person is using pants with a zipper. It could bleed and be more annoying than it already is. These are only a few instances where people choose to remove their skin tags for their convenience. But removing your skin tags could cause a problem, especially if you will not do it in a safe way. It could cause a lot of bleeding, which should be acted upon immediately.

What Are The Causes Of Bleeding Skin Tags?

Skin tags offer no harm to anyone. It is harmless and is very common, especially to overweight or obese people. However, there are cases where some people report that their skin tags begin to get irritated and bleed out of the blue. If left unbothered, skin tags will give you no problem. But there are certain activities that disrupt the peace of your skin tags.

An example of that is shaving. Your skin tag could be irritated and start to bleed once you accidentally cut one during shaving. It could be easily cut off since most of them could be small and very soft. However, it could cause throbbing pain and bleeding for only a couple of minutes if immediately treated.

Your clothes could also contribute to the irritation of your skin tags. This happens especially if your clothes have a rougher texture than the cotton ones. The friction between your clothes and your skin tags will cause irritation, it will cause uncomfortableness, and will bleed over time.

There are also instances wherein the blood flowing through the area where the skin tag develops increases. When this happens, it becomes an inconvenience since it starts to feel painful, especially when you touch it. The color of the skin tag also changes. The skin tag may have developed with a skin tone color. But when there is more blood flowing to it, it becomes redder in tone.

This case does not make the skin tag dangerous; it does not associate with any severe conditions. However, when this happens, the person having this could have a hard and painful time coping with it. Skin tags could also get infected. At this point, it is very necessary to consult a health professional. Because the infection is left untreated, it could spread to other areas, which could cause a more serious problem.

The immune system is usually the front liners in combating such infection, but if you have a weak one, it might not defeat the infection all by itself. Help from a dermatologist is highly advised when this happens.

Is It A Skin Tag Or Something Else?

Before worrying if the skin growth that you have is actually a skin tag or something else, you should be aware of what a skin tag looks like. And if it is otherwise, it could be either something not to be worried about, like skin tags, or something that might indicate a serious illness. Skin tags are usually gray, black, or similar to the neutral skin color.

When it comes to its shape, skin tags are narrow and with a small bulge at the end. If your skin growth is similar to these descriptions, then there is nothing to worry about. Skin tags are benign, which means it is not cancerous or anything serious. They typically develop in various places, specifically in the groin, armpit, and back-rubs.

Other skin growths that are often mistaken as skin tags are skin cysts. Skin cysts are like tiny sacks that are filled with keratin. They grow under the skin and can also be seen in various parts of the body. Another one is warts; warts are like tiny lumps on the skin. They are commonly found on the hands and feet. Warts are caused by viruses.

How To Treat A Bleeding Skin Tag?

Bleeding skin tag
Bleeding skin tag

Bleeding skin tags are usually caused by accidents like shaving, irritation caused by rough clothes, or by attempts to remove the skin tags by themselves. The bleeding that comes from the skin tag looks just like the bleeding is normal wounds. To stop the bleeding, it is advised to apply pressure on the skin tag for about 10 to 15 minutes. But there are also cases wherein the skin tag bleeds more than usual.

This situation happens when the skin tag has been more irritated, became larger than before, and became red or inflamed. The bleeding becomes excessive because the skin contains more blood flowing through it. This makes it bleed faster than it usually should. Alleviating the situation through the tissue will not completely stop the bleeding. It is advised to use medical cloth in this scenario because it acts more efficiently in stopping the bleeding. You can also use ice since it helps to reduce the swelling.

Bleeding skin tags are not characterized as dangerous and could lead to serious complications. However, it does not close the possibility that it might indicate something more bothersome. So, if your skin tags increase in size and become more painful, and bleed more often, then it is advisable to see your dermatologist as soon as possible.

How To Prevent Skin Tags From Bleeding?

Bleeding skin tags can be prevented, especially when it is usually caused by irritation and accidents. If you have a skin tag in the area where you usually shave, it is much preferred to have the skin tags removed completely. This will eliminate the risk of suddenly cutting off the tags and have them bleed. But if the bleeding of the skin tags is caused by the irritation resulting from the friction between the skin tag and your clothes, there are two ways to prevent this from happening.

First, you can put a bandage in your skin tag to act as a barrier. If that doesn’t work for you, the second option is to wear looser clothing that will not cause much friction to your skin. You could also wear clothes with softer textures such as silk and cotton.

Is It Safe To Remove Skin Tags On Your Own?

The safety of removing your skin tags on your own depends on their size. If the skin tag is small, you can definitely remove it by yourself. But you should still follow precautionary measures to avoid a lot of pain and bleeding. This is because removing a skin tag has health risks that should be taken into consideration. It will depend on how you will remove it and what tools you will use to minimize the chances of it having infections.

Small Size

If the skin tags are small, which size ranges from 2mm to 5mm in diameter, you can just remove them using sharp, clean scissors, specifically cuticle scissors. It may sting a bit and bleed, of course, but it should immediately stop after compressing it. Now, if the thought of using scissors scares you out, you can use a tie floss or thin thread. Using any of these, you can tie it at the base of the skin tag and leave it there until the skin tag falls off on its own.

Big Size

Sometimes, the skin tag is big. It could be as large as a big grape or 1cm in diameter, or a fig, 5cm in diameter. This is the type of skin tags that can be obviously seen even with a slightly longer distance. It is recommended that it should be removed by a medical professional. Removing a large skin tag on your own can cause a lot of pain and even excessive bleeding.

This is why it is important that it will be removed at a medical office. The medical providers will be the ones to administer anesthesia prior to the procedure, and they can also control the bleeding when it becomes excessive. They can also avoid any bleeding to happen through freezing the tag off. It is much convenient to approach the professionals in this matter because removing skin tags could cause serious infections if done inappropriately.

After removing a skin tag, there are small chances of growing it again. But there are also other cases where it grows again in the same area it was located before. It’s also not expected for a skin tag to grow more on different areas of the body after one is removed.

Common skin tags are also not contagious in any way. In general, skin tags will not cause any disturbances in terms of one’s health if you will just leave it alone. It can only be bothersome when it comes to the appearance of the people who have it. But skin tags or not, whatever skin growths that you notice in any part of your body, especially if it makes a change in size and color over time, it is important to consult the doctor before it gets worse.

Is It Safe To Remove Skin Tags By Applying Cream?

Cream for skin tags
Cream for skin tags

If you wish to remove skin tags using creams or essential oils, then here’s bad news for you. There are still no medically approved creams that are guaranteed to remove your skin tags. It can only be removed through physical methods using the above-mentioned simple tools. Although this is the case, there are still a lot of removal products and techniques that are available online and in the market.

There are kits with cream and an applicator. The cream would cause a mild stinging sensation on the skin tag, but it will fall off within 2-3 weeks. There are also skin tag removal products that use liquid nitrogen and will cause the skin growth to fall off within ten days. But experts are not recommending these products and other home remedies that are still unapproved such as Dermasil, wart removers, tea tree oil, nail polish, toothpaste, or hair-removal creams like Neet or Nair.

None of these are scientifically proven to remove your skin tags when used constantly. It could, however, create irritations and possible secondary complications.

About The Authors

Paolo Reyna

Paolo Reyna - Paolo is a senior at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, majoring in International Studies with a Latin American emphasis. During the fall semester of 2012, he had the opportunity to study abroad in Peru, which piqued his interest in international growth. He learned about the disparities that impact indigenous peoples, got a taste of Peruvian culture, and improved his Spanish skills. Mitchel interned with the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, conducting research on food security in Latin America, after being inspired by his foreign experience. He wants to work in international development and for a government department, writing legislation. He loves playing intramural basketball and practicing for the Chicago marathon when he is not thinking about current events in Latin America.

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