Genital Skin Tags: Symptoms, Causes, Treatment, & Prevention
A deeper insight into why these tags appear and the various ways to treat them.
Skin tags, also known as acrochordons, are harmless growths that appear on skin folds and affect almost 25% of the population. They can be found on your face, neck, or even the genitals. Read on to understand more about them and treatment options.
In This Article
What Is A Genital Skin Tag?
A genital skin tag is the same as a regular skin tag only that its located in the genital area. They are harmless and painless unless when pinched or rubbed, which causes them to become itchy and irritable.
Male genital tags are found on the scrotumi XA part of male genitalia that looks like a pouch and contains testes, epididymis (a duct), and the lower part of the blood vessels. and in very rare cases on the penis (2), while females have them near the pubic region, vulvai XThe outer part of the female genitalia that plays a role in the individual's reproduction and urination. , and labia majora. These tags are generally 2-5mm in size and are harmless (3).
In the next section, let us look at some of the symptoms of genital skin tags.
Genital skin tags have the same symptoms as regular skin tags.
- They appear as tiny bumps on the skin that is soft to touch.
- Over a period of time, they grow into a flesh-colored piece of skin attached to the surface of the skin by a stalk.
- You can develop blood clots and a painful sensation if you twist the stalk of the skin tag (4).
Now that you’ve understood the symptoms of genital skin tags, you are likely to be more careful with them. In the next section, let us look at some of the causes of genital skin tags.
There are no definite reasons as to what causes skin tags to appear. Researchers suspect that when clusters of collagen and blood get trapped inside a piece of skin, skin tags appear (4). They also tend to appear commonly in areas where your skin folds, like your armpits, under your neck, and genital areas (4).
Genital skin tags may also appear if you are obese, diabetic or have genetic diseases (4), (5).
Now let’s see genital skin tags are diagnosed.
If you notice any sort of bumps or anything out of the ordinary in your genital area, you should consult your doctor. Women can consult their OBGYN and men can consult their general physician if they notice any abnormal bumps or pimples near their genitals.
During your examination with the doctor, he may ask a few questions to ascertain whether you have a genital skin tag or an STD, your sexual history will also be part of the conversation to help the physician know what exactly they are dealing with. If it is a harmless skin tag, you won’t require further tests.
When diagnosing vaginal skin tags, your doctor will perform a pelvic examination where tissue cultures will be collected to understand the cause of the growth.
Though harmless, some people may want to remove them because of aesthetic reasons and also as they may cause interference during sexual intimacy. There are 4 procedures that you can choose from to remove genital skin tags.
There are 4 procedures that you can choose from to remove genital skin tags.
This is a non-invasive procedure where the doctor uses liquid nitrogen to freeze the genital skin tag which falls off on its own after 4-5 days of the procedure.
In this process, the doctor burns the genital skin tag and it drops off after a couple of treatments.
A surgical thread is tied to the genital skin tag to cut off blood flow, causing it to gradually fall off.
With the use of a local anesthetic, the doctor uses a surgical knife to cut the skin tag.
Are you wondering if genital skin tags can be prevented? Let us find out in the next section.
The following are some of the ways genital tags can be prevented:
- Avoid wearing tight-fitting clothes and undergarments.
- Exercise regularly for 30 minutes to keep your weight in check.
- Avoid sugary foods.
It is important to understand that following these tips may help in minimizing the chances, but, no scientific evidence has backed these up.
In the next section, we will see how you may be able to get rid of genital skin tags.
To remove skin tags near the genital region, people try many over-the-counter medications and home remedies that are not recommended by doctors. Household ingredients like Tea tree oil, apple cider vinegar, and iodine are some of the items known to be used at home for skin tags.
Skin tags are abnormal, harmless growths on the skin folds like on the face or neck. They arise for many reasons, and they are generally harmless and painless unless irritated. However, those occurring on the genitals may cause some discomfort. But worry not – getting rid of such skin tags is fairly straightforward. In the following infographic, we have listed a few easy ways to treat and get rid of genital skin tags. Take a look.
In conclusion, all skin tags are the same – they are benign lesions and are not a skin disease.
Although you cannot prevent genital skin tags, if left alone, they cause no harm. Rubbing them and twisting them may cause irritation and even bleeding. However, they can be permanently removed with assistance from a medical doctor.
Frequently Asked Questions
What can be mistaken for genital warts?
Moles, skin tags, or the small bumps found on the genital areas may be confused for genital warts.
Can you pop a genital wart?
No, you should not pop a genital wart. Popping a genital wart may lead to bleeding or infection.
Will a genital wart go away by itself?
In some cases, a genital wart may go away by itself. Otherwise, you may follow home remedies or medical treatment to get rid of them.
What happens if you leave genital warts untreated?
If left untreated, genital warts may go away on their own or make you more uncomfortable. Sometimes, these warts may also spread.
How long do genital warts last?
Genital warts may last for a few months or years. That is why it is always best to get them treated on time.
- Genital skin tags are harmless and appear as a tiny bump on the skin. They may cause itching and irritation when rubbed. Often, they are found in places, like armpits and the genital areas.
- Treatment options available include cryotherapy, cauterization, ligation, and excision.
- They can also be minimized by wearing loose fitted clothes and limiting consumption of sugary foods.
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