What are skin tags?
Skin tags are soft, tiny bumps loosely attached to your skin. Though they are mostly painless, friction against clothing or jewelry may result in inflammation or irritation.
Like every other symptom during pregnancy, there are old wives’ tales associated with skin tags, suggesting if you have them, it might suggest that you will be having a boy.
What do skin tags look like?
These pink or brown spots are as small as a rice grain, 1mm to 2mm in size. However, they may also acquire a dark or black color, mostly when they get twisted and lack blood supply. In such cases, they fall off within three to ten days of their color change.
Where do you develop skin tags during pregnancy?
They appear in areas most exposed to heat, moisture, or skin parts often subjected to friction.
- Folds of the neck
- In the armpits
- Region around the eyes
- Area under the breast
- Folds of the buttock
- Opening of the anus
- Genitals (vagina, vagina lips, labia)
Is it normal to get skin tags while pregnant?
Skin tags are quite common during pregnancy. Moreover, they are benign and do not hurt the baby.
What causes skin tags during pregnancy?
They are primarily caused by the hyperactive growth of certain cells in the outer layer of the skin.
Hormonal fluctuations: The changing hormone levels during pregnancy may be one of the factors resulting in such disturbances in the skin cells.
Weight gain: If you have acquired a lot of weight or become a little obese during pregnancy, then you may be prone to skin tags as there is a higher chance of the skin coming in friction with itself, thus resulting in these eruptions.
Can you prevent skin tags?
These eruptions on your skin might be a little annoying to you, but there is no way in which you can avoid them.
Should you remove skin tags during pregnancy?
Removing the skin tags would not be a safe option during pregnancy. It is recommended to wait until your baby is born, as they mostly go away on their own. However, if they remain post-delivery, consult your doctor to find ways to get rid of them.
How to get rid of skin tags at home?
Small-sized ones with a narrow base are advised to be removed at home by tying the base with a cotton thread or dental floss. They fall off quickly as the blood supply is cut off.
Tea tree oil is one of the effective home remedies for skin tags since its antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral properties may help them to gradually dry from within and fall off. Applying 2 to 4 drops of it on the affected area at least three times daily would help. You may also apply this oil for itchy skin tags because of its antiseptic properties.
Cutting the tags with sterilized scissors is another method for removing them. However, use caution while doing it lest you may end up injuring yourself.
Large or swollen skin tags cannot be removed at home as they may lead to severe bleeding. In such cases, consult a doctor for medical procedures like freezing or burning to eliminate these eruptions.
Tips to keep the skin tags from getting worse
- Wear loose-fitting clothes, so your skin tags do not rub against the fabric, leading to itching and irritation.
- Wear minimum jewelry if you have skin tags on your arms, hands, or neck.
- Do not fiddle or prick at the bumps, as it might lead to infection.
Dr. Mashiach has completed his MD at the Sackler School of Medicine, TAU; specialization in gynecology at the Lis Maternity and Women’s Hospital, Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center; fellowship in Endoscopy at the Polyclinique de I’Hotel-Dieu, Universite d’Auvergne, Clermont, France.
He is a Senior Physician, Director of the Department of Gynecology, which provides routine and preventative care services to its patients and a full range of gynecological surgical procedures for adequately managing its patients with benign gynecologic disorders.
He offers advanced care in all gynecological subspecialties such as Urogynecology, Colposcopy, Fetal Loss Clinic, and Post Menopausal Clinic.