Genital Skin Tags: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment
What Are Genital Skin Tags?
Genital skin tags are fleshy growths that protrude from the groin, anus or vagina. They have several different shapes and colors, including wrinkled or smooth textures, and dark or light hues. They can even attach to the skin differently, from flat orientations to stalked types that dangle. You may have one or a group of skin tags in one concentrated area as well. Genital skin tags, however, are benign and harmless to your health. Sexually transmitted diseases are not associated with these growths either.
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What Are The Different Types Of Genital Skin Tags?
Groin skin tags occur in men, typically around the scrotum, penile shaft or penis head. When the tags are not located on the penis head, they are usually ignored unless they are irritated by underwear chafing or sexual intercourse. Tags on the penis head are often bothersome during intercourse or basic urination. Unsightly and irritating at times, they usually grow from a circumcision line if the skin was not removed correctly during the surgery.
Vaginal skin tags occur along the labia and are often unnoticed by the woman unless the growth is caught or chafed by underwear or other materials. Because of the blood flow to the tags themselves, a woman's menstrual cycle contributes to tag inflammation. Tags are otherwise benign and hidden away most of the time when the cycle is not active.
Anal skin tags occur along the anal verge, or meeting point between the anus and outside skin. Although they are not harmful, these skin tags point to an issue with the digestive system, such as anal fissures or hemorrhoids. Tags erupt as a side effect to damage around and inside the anus. Fissures, in particular, may cause anal skin tags because the body is trying to heal the internal tear. Excessive skin growth results in one or more tags protruding from the anal verge. As an added concern, you must keep tags clean in the anal region to avoid infection from fecal matter.
What Causes Genital Skin Tags?
Aside from an underlying anus or rectal issue forming anal skin tags, most skin tags do not have specific causes. Aging and excessive cell growths simply combine to form skin tags along your genital area.
How To You Treat Genital Skin Tags?
Most genital skin tags are not considered medically necessary to remove under most insurance policies. Visit your doctor to see if any of your genital skin tags are part of a larger problem. For instance, the chafing movement down in the genital area can cause tags to swell and become irritated. They can even bleed if the friction is strong enough. Go over any comfort issues with your doctor, along with any digestive issues for anal skin tags, in particular.
Treatment for skin tags often involves excision to physically cut the growths from the body. Doctors use local anesthesia for a small tag grouping, but extensive tags must be removed with general anesthesia. For the best appearance, many people opt for laser surgery which effectively cauterizes the tags from the body. Cryotherapy, using liquid nitrogen, is a tried-and-true treatment option as well. There are natural alternative treatments available to remove skin tags which are less invasive.
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