Genital Skin Tag: Is It Dangerous?

Skin tags are small flesh-colored, benign skin growths. They are very common among adults and completely harmless. They only become a cause for irritation when they get snagged by jewelry or get rubbed by clothing.

Just like any other skin tag genital skin tags too are completely harmless except when irritated.

But sometimes people mistake genital warts for genital skin tags and vice versa.

So, in today’s blog we’ll discuss how you can identify genital skin tags, what are the causes of genital skin tags, and more.

Genital Skin Tags:

Genital skin tags occur near the groin or the pubis. They are less common. Due to the moist nature of the vagina, most skin tags in this area are caused by friction but the moist environment prevents it.

Genital skin tags still develop on the labia or pubis.

What Are The Causes For Genital Skin Tags And Who’s At Risk?

Causes For Genital Skin Tag
Causes For Genital Skin Tag

As of yet no symptom or condition has been pinpointed for the reasons and causes of skin tags. Although researchers have identified six risk factors many people with genital skin tags shared,

Friction:

It has been found skin-against-skin or skin-against-clothing friction is a common cause of genital skin tags.

They are found in areas of the human body where a lot of frictions occur.

Like for example around the neck, in between or below your buttocks folds or under breasts.

So over time, the friction of the genital area may lead to these flesh-colored benign growths.

Pregnancy:

The second cause is pregnancy. Increased pregnancy hormones like leptin or estrogen can be the cause of skin tags.

Studies indicate that there is some strong association between the skin tag and the two hormones. It increases a woman’s chances of developing skin tags.

Changes to the body may also lead to increased friction with the clothes and with skins.

Human Papillomavirus(HPV) 

Yes, I know what you’re gonna say. Even though I’ve mentioned that this HPV is the cause for genital warts, hear me out.

A study conducted in 2008 found that almost half of the skin tags test which was tested on 37 patients were positive for HPV DNA.

Obesity

Obesity is also another reason which causes skin folds leading to tighter clothing and hence more skin tags. This explains the causes of additional skin tags.

People who are obese are more likely to develop skin tags. Because of the larger body size, people who are obese or overweight may experience more skin-on-skin friction, which could explain the additional skin tags.

Insulin Resistance

Study conducted in 2010 found that people who had multiple skin tags were most likely to be insulin resistant.

With further studies, researchers came to the conclusion that people who had multiple skin tags were also the people who more likely had high body mass index and increased triglyceride levels.

Genes

If you have a family member with skin tags, you may be or are more likely to develop them.

How To Identify Genital Skin Tags?

Genital skin tags often cause STD-like symptoms. Knowing how to identify them is important.

How To Identify Genital Skin Tags?
How To Identify Genital Skin Tags?

Tips For Genital Skin Tag Identification:

  • Genital skin tags look like a deflated balloon or like the head of a pin. The head is connected to the skin with a stalk(also called peduncle). The tag’s color will be exactly like the surrounding skin or may sometimes be darker.
  • They are very small. Their size typically varies between 2mm-10mm. Sometimes in very rare cases they grow quite large. As large as a grape.
  • Genital skin tags are most of the time flat. When they’re flat that’s when they are mistaken for genital warts. But one thing to remember is that skin tags occur by themselves whereas genital warts may continue to grow and form a whole cluster.

Diagnosis of Genital Skin Tags:

Think you have genital skin tags? Don’t wait! Consider visiting a doctor to confirm it.

As tags are confused with other conditions, a diagnosis might help you confirm your doubts and also put you at ease on the fact that what you have is completely harmless and not contagious.

Your doctor will perform a pelvic exam in order to diagnose genital skin tags.

In this exam, they may take a culture or biopsy of your tissue if they are concerned that the skin growth may be a cause of something else.

Can You Remove Skin Tag On Genital?

Getting your genital skin tag treated is not necessary. They most of the time fall off on their own. If they are not causing you any discomfort or pain, you can choose to just leave them be.

Genital skin tags sometimes interfere with sexual intercourse.

Women tend to remove vaginal skin tags due to cosmetic reasons.

If any such situations apply in your case, you can talk to your doctor and schedule an appointment to get them removed.

How To Safely Get Rid Of Genital Skin Tags Via Medical Treatment?

How To Safely Get Rid Of Genital Skin Tags Via Medical Treatment?
How To Safely Get Rid Of Genital Skin Tags Via Medical Treatment?

There are four treatment options available which you can use to remove genital skin tags. These include,

  1. Electrosurgery
  2. Ligation
  3. Cryotherapy
  4. Surgical removal
  1. Electrosurgery:

The dermatologist will use a device to transmit electrical current to burn off the skin tag. The good thing about this method is that it prevents the skin tag from bleeding.

  1. Ligation:

This is another bloodless procedure. In this process, the bottom of the skin tag is tied up to stop its blood flow. In a couple of weeks, the skin tag will darken and turn to a blackish color and eventually fall off. 

  1. Cryotherapy:

The process of using extreme cold to freeze and remove a skin tag is known as cryotherapy. Liquid nitrogen is applied to the skin tag. It may sting or burn a bit but the good news is that the frozen tag will fall off in 10 days!

  1. Surgical Removal:

As compared to the above-mentioned procedures, this is a very quick one. The doctor will first numb the affected area and using a scalpel or some other sharp medical instrument remove the skin tag. 

When it comes to procedures like ligation or electrosurgery, skin tags on genitals can be hard to remove due to the location but it’s not impossible. As long as you will remain calm during the procedure, there is nothing to be worried about. 

How To Safely Get Rid Of Genital Skin Tags Via Skin Tag Removers?

If the medical treatments don’t look too pleasing then try these skin tag removers. Skin tag removers contain salicylic acid which is the key ingredient in removing skin tags. Why? 

Skin tags and even skin warts fall into the same category. They both are considered as healthy skins. Weird right? Salicylic acid will soften and loosen the skin tags thus making it easier to remove them. 

Following are some of the most trusted skin tag removal products,

HaloDerm Advanced Skin Tag Remover:

HaloDerm Advanced Skin Tag Remover is an ointment used to target the base or the roots of the skin tag.

It’s a homeopathic formula which is acid-free and infused with herbs. It can effectively remove the annoying skin tags.

It ensures that the tag falls out in just six to nine days.

HaloDerm is formulated with pure ingredients and is gentle. It can be safely used on the face. 

Pros Of Using HaloDerm:
  • Non-acidic
  • Acts fast
  • Infused with pure herbs
  • Homeopathic gentle formula
  • Safe to use on face
Cons Of Using HaloDerm:
  • Expensive

H-Skin Tags Formula:

H- Skin Tag Formulas is made up of only natural homeopathic ingredients and is perfect for all skin types.

The pure blend of ingredients allows this serum to work effectively without scarring the face or without any pain.

The natural formula allows it to safely be applied on any body part i.e. arms, eye folds, and groin, etc.

Pour some H-Skin Tag Serum on a cotton ball or your finger and apply directly on the skin tags.

Due to its formula and ingredients, only a few drops will be enough. The product will start showing results immediately.

Pros of Using H-Skin Tags Formula:
  • Made up of 100% natural high quality ingredients
  • Natural and gentle on the skin
  • Effective and safe
  • Smoothens the skin
Cons of Using H-Skin Tags Formula:
  • Takes 2-6 weeks to show results.

Compound W Skin Tag Removal:

Compound W Skin Tag is a DIY skin Tag removing device that removes skin tags without harming the surrounding skin tissues. This device adheres lightly to the surrounding healthy skin in order to protect it from scarring. 

How To Apply?
  • It’s foam tip applicator is pressed on the skin tag.
  • Apply a light gentle pressure on the applicator tip and hold it in one place for about 50 seconds. 
  • It removes the tags without any scarring. Although you may feel a slight tingling sensation.
Pros Of Using Compound W Skin Tag Removal:
  • Works fast
  • Does not harm the surrounding skin
  • It can be used on the body and face
  • Effective and safe
  • Does not cause scarring
Cons Of Using Compound W Skin Tag Removal:
  • May be tedious to use.

Factors To Keep In Mind When Buying Skin Tag Removal Products:

There are some factors to consider when you are purchasing a skin tag removal product,

Tips To Choose The Right Product

  • Preference – Do you want a skin tag removing band, an ointment, or a cryo-freeze device? Ointments can be applied topically. The other types of skin tag removers may cause a slight tingling sensation.
  • Size – Depending on the size of the skin tag, choose a product that can effectively remove it. 
  • Healing Time – While some skin tag removers take eight days to remove the tags, others take about two weeks. Choose a skin tag remover based on this need.

How To Avoid Genital Skin Tags?

It’s not possible to prevent skin tags but you could decrease the chances of getting one. Here are some tips to reduce the chances of getting one,

  1. In the case of eyelid skin tags, try to avoid rubbing your eyes.
  2. Plan a nutrition plan which has low saturated fat and calories with a nutritionist.
  3. Exercise regularly to avoid gaining weight
  4. Keep all of your skin fold dry to prevent friction between them. Apply powder between the folds.
  5. Put vaseline on the skin tag in order to avoid the friction.

What Could Be Easily Mistaken For Genital Skin Tags?

Genital skin tags and genital warts are easily mistaken, so if you’re concerned or not sure what you’ve got, it’d be a good idea to see a doctor.

Depending upon the cause, genital skin tags may or maynot be contagious.

However genital warts are known to be a cause of human papillomavirus (HPV) and can be passed to your sexual partner. Some other conditions which are confused for skin tags are,

Polyps 

Skin tags and polyps are similar in appearance. It’s thought that a certain level of estrogen and inflammation can lead to polyps.

Polyps are bigger than skin tags and can cause pain because of their size.

Other STDs

STDs other than genital warts can cause growths that may resemble genital skin tags.

Difference Between Genital Skin Tags And Genital Warts:

Take a quick look at this table which is listed below to see the differences between genital warts and genital skin tags,

Genital Skin TagsGenital Warts
Occur by themselvesContinue to grow and form a whole cluster
Genital Skin Tags are round and soft growth that develop on stalkGenital warts are flat or have bumps which are either slightly raised or flat.
They are not contagiousGenital warts are contagious
Caused due to friction mostlyCaused due to HPV
Treatment is not necessaryTreatment is necessary

Final Verdict:

Whether you have skin tags or skin warts, both are highly effective. But even with the treatment, there’s no guarantee that genital skin tags won’t develop again.

If it is a genital wart, no treatment would cure you of it. The virus forever remains inside your body. Meaning that you’ll experience a lot of genital warts outbreaks in the future.

But don’t worry, neither genital warts nor genital skin tags are considered to be such serious concerns and the bumps are most definitely not cancerous. But if you notice any changes, pain or irritation then you should probably see your doctor.

Skin tags are mostly quite common and pose no harm to your health whatsoever.

They may fall off on their own time(some prevail). Skin tag is a cosmetic procedure and so no health insurance covers it.

If you have genital skin tag but are unsure whether to remove it or not, experiment on living with them.

If they cause any discomfort, talk with a doctor and schedule an appointment to get it removed.

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