Skin tags, also known as acrochordon, can be described as small pieces of soft skin, hanging from the body. These lesions can develop on any part of the body, but they are most common in areas where the skin rubs a lot. These areas include the groin, armpits, neck, eyelids and the crease at the base of breasts. The lesions affect both men and women of any age group, but majority of people who get skin tags are often past their life’s middle years.
An earlier biopsy of the lesion showed the presence of dilated blood vessels and collagen clumps. However, the exact cause of skin tags is not known. Nevertheless, different studies have depicted various factors that contribute to their appearance. Here is an article that enumerates some of these factors. Read on.
- Friction. One of the main causes of skin tags is friction due to skin rubbing against skin. This is why they are most common in areas where skin rubs alot, as aforementioned. This theory can be supported by the fact that the lesions aren’t present when one is born, but acquired through life.
- Obesity. Overweight people are susceptible to lesions. This is chiefly because obese people have more skin which often forms rolls. The rolls cause skin to rub against skin and thus lead to friction then the blemish follow.
- Diabetes. Diabetes patients tend to have skin tags. In fact, some medical practitioners believe that the presence of blemishes can signify that a person is suffering from diabetes.
- Pregnancy. When a woman is expectant, her body undergoes several hormonal changes. These changes are associated with the clumping together of collagen which leads to the production of skin tags.
- HPV (Human Papilloma Virus). Different studies have shown the presence of the human papilloma virus DNA in numerous lesions. Experts are of the opinion that the virus enter the body when slight abrasions form on the surface of the skin due to friction. Out of the countless strains of HPV, strain 11 and 16 are thought to be responsible for the development of these lesions.
- Genetics. It has been noted that many people who acquire skin tags have immediate relatives who have or had skin tags as well. For that reason, experts say that genetics has a role to play in the formation of skin tags.
- Steroids. Steroids have also been associated with the development of lesions. Steroids cause hormonal imbalance, leading to the clumping of collagen in the skin. This results to the development of skin tags.
- Wrinkles. As we age, the skin loses its elasticity, strength and firmness. This leads to the formation of wrinkles, stretchmarks and face-lines. Wrinkles in particular, create more skin folds which rub against each other, causing friction and eventually leading to the development of these lesions.
You should verify the exact cause of skin tags as it helps you to rule out the existence of any underlying health condition. However, it’s important to note that the lesions are benign (non-cancerous) and thus no cause for alarm. As such, many people choose to remove them for cosmetic reasons or because of the irritation; not because they are problematic.