Cryotherapy Deep Dive – Skin Tags

Cryotherapy Deep Dive Skin Tag

Cryotherapy Deep Dive – Skin Tags

A new series of posts diving into the science behind treating skin lesions with Cryotherapy. This week we cover Skin Tags!

Skin Tags, also called acrochordon are small benign skin tumours that form in areas of friction due skin rubbing against skin in folds or clothes/jewellery. They are usually no bigger than a grain of rice but can in extreme cases become very large over time.

Histologically they consist of fibrovascular core tissue, often with associated adipose (fat) calls and an unremarkable epidermis, as they develop, they become raised from the skin surface, and attached with a peduncle.

It is generally accepted that they are caused by friction, often from skin rubbing against skin, but they may also be seen in areas of clothing and other items which has caused friction.

Some clinical studies have shown that there may be an association with low-risk HPV infection, notably 6 and 11. Although a detailed 2012 study found no such link. They have rarely been seen to be associated with Birt-Hogg-Dube syndrome, Acromegaly and Polycystic Ovary syndrome, but this may be coincidental. It is also thought that there may be a genetic inherited component in the aetiology of skin tags as they are often seen to run in families.

They are reported to have a prevalence in the general population of 46%, which is seen to be higher in overweight and diabetic populations and are more common in female compared to male.

Treatment is simple and effective, should removal be required. Surgical ligation may be the treatment of choice, where the tag is tied off using suture cotton, this restricts blood flow into the tag and the tissues die off, crust and fall away. Other treatments may include, electro cautery or laser destruction along with surgical removal; these treatment however often cause small wounds of the skin with a risk of infection, and possible scarring.

Newer cryosurgical techniques include the use of Nitrous Oxide liquid, which is effective in causing cryonecrosis of the peduncle tissue, into the stratum corneum, and ‘death ‘of the tag, without creating wound, and is therefore almost risk free.

Found out more about our Cryotherapy courses here

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