Aren’t you annoyed by those dark lumps on your pregnant skin? With already enough discomforts enveloping you in pregnancy, the loose growths, called skin tags can be a good reason to worry about. It is natural to develop a series of skin tags during pregnancy. Please read on to know more about skin tags, its causes and treatments.
Skin tags are tiny plops or small loose growths of skin that occur in areas of the body where the skin closely rubs against clothing or the skin itself. It can be the folds of your neck, under your arms, around your groin, upper and lower eyelids, on the bra lines and so on. Though skin tags can be annoying appearances in pregnancy, they gradually drop off after your delivery (1).
Are skin tags common during pregnancy? Also called acrochordons, skin tags are more common in the obese and those with diabetes. A condition like the Birt-Hogg-Dube Syndrome, can also trigger skin tags.
Skin tags have a round head at the top and a thinner strip of flesh connecting it to the body. Depending upon their location of appearance, skin tags can be flesh colored or dark. They can be as small as a few millimeters and can be even 5 cm wide.
- Skin tags are mostly benign. They appear darker than the normal skin tone because the skin is squished together, and the pigment is concentrated in that limited area.
- They look like warts and are harmless. They are painless and do not cause much discomfort.
- Skin tags tend to be painful only if they twist or develop an inflammation. However, if they snag onto clothing or jewelry, bleed and turn too unsightly, you may want to remove them.
- With the belly enlarging by every trimester, it is likely that during pregnancy, this area becomes more susceptible to develop skin tags. It occurs due to the constant friction of the belly with the clothes.
- The skin tags mostly affect those areas of the body which are hot and moist.
- Sometimes these skin tags are mostly neglected in pregnancy and will be noticed only after child birth. After delivery, the hormonal fluctuations during nursing can also cause the skin tag.
- Skin tags mostly pop out at the second and third trimester, and they are a natural part of pregnancy.
[ Read: Skin Care During Pregnancy ]
- Skin tags are mostly genetic.
- An extra growth of cells in the superficial layers of the skin triggers the formation of skin tags.It tends to increase in pregnancy as most systems of the body tend to accelerate during this time.
- Hormonal changes can also cause skin tags.
Skin tags and warts differ in some ways. Here are the differences:
- Warts are rougher in texture and have an irregular surface. Skin tags are smooth and soft.
- While skin tags do not spread easily to other areas of the body, warts are highly contagious. Therefore, you can expect a sudden outbreak of a cluster of growths, if you are affected with warts.
- Warts are flat in shape, but skin tags are knobbly and loosely hang from the skin(3).
Procedure For Skin Tag Removal During Pregnancy
If your skin tag is annoying you too severely, you can talk to your doctor and find a safe removal procedure.
- Skin tags are sometimes burnt or frozen just like warts and discarded from the skin.
- Skin tags can be removed, through a minor surgery using local anesthesia.
- A skin tag with a narrow base can be removed by yourself under the guidance of a general practitioner.
- Using a dental floss or a cotton ball, you may tie the base of the skin tag. It will cut off the blood flow to the skin tag. Gradually, the skin tag will fall off on its own.
- Similarly using fine sterile scissors, the skin tag can be simply cut off by your doctor.
- Don’t attempt to disrupt large skin tags as it can increase the chances of heavy bleeding.
However, it is always advisable not to indulge in any such practices during pregnancy. Pregnancy is the time when the skin will be most delicate. Any minor changes in the body happen due to a reason, and therefore it will be wise to wait for a natural healing process. Disrupting the skin texture forcefully will only adversely affect the skin (4).
If your skin tags don’t disappear on their own after childbirth, you may resort to any of the procedures mentioned above. Ideally, don’t attempt to remove a skin tag if it is less than the size of a grain of rice. If it has got a long narrow base, you can discuss with your doctor whether you can remove it on your own.
[ Read: Skin Darkening During Pregnancy ]
Skin tags don’t need a treatment. They heal on their own after childbirth. However, if they are too annoying to you, talk to the doctor about it. Under his guidance, you can apply hydrogen peroxide to them followed by an antibiotic ointment.
- A physician can also easily remove them with cosmetic surgery.
- Wart Removersare topical creams which can help in disintegrating the stalks that attach these lumps to the body.
But this is not usually advisable during pregnancy. Time is the only cure while gestating. Sometimes, skin tags fall on their own if the tissue has twisted and died from a lack of blood supply (5).
But remember, if you are prone to get skin tags, it is likely that your skin has the potential to develop more. Therefore, there is no use of forcefully getting rid of them during pregnancy.
[ Read: Common Skin Problems During Pregnancy ]
- In an attempt to get rid of the skin tags, some tie strings around the lumps to suffocate its growth. However, this will not help in treating skin tags. Instead, it will result in a staphylococcus infection (6).
- Do not use plant or chemical-based on the skin. Some of these chemicals can penetrate into the blood and affect the pregnant body.
- Skin tags are benign skin lumps which have little tendency to turn cancerous. If they grow red or sore, bring it to the attention of your doctor.
One cannot prevent the incidence of skin tags from happening. However, if obesity has triggered them, losing weight can help. Keep aside the worries of your skin and distract your mind to the wonderful life developing within your body.
Are skin tags still disturbing you? Share your concerns with us; we would like to help you out.
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