Skin tags are extremely common, with statistics suggesting that nearly one out of two people will develop them at some point or another. For many years scientists have been trying to understand why they occur and who is more likely to get them; unfortunately not too much is known on these two subjects.
Some things that are known, however, are that skin tags vary rarely go on to become cancerous or malignant and for most people they are just something that is a cosmetic nuisance. That said they should not be taken lightly as depending on the location of the skin tag it can have a detrimental effect on a person’s self-confidence or well-being.
These irregular growths, often the size of grains of rice, can grow in many different areas on the body, including:
- On the eyelids
- Around the groin region
- In the armpit area
- Underneath the breasts (on women)
- On the neck
Why do Skin Tags Become Infected?
When a skin tag grows in a region like the neck it can get rubbed or scratched, this can occur from the wearing of shirts or jewellery. Repeated scratching can start to make the skin tag change to a reddish colour, and over a period of time it can also lead to some kind of infection.
Other reasons as to why a skin tag can become infected is often to do with the treatment that an individual has attempted to carry out by themselves, rather than seeking the help of a health care professional.
Things like attempting to cut the skin tag off can go badly wrong if the equipment that is being used isn’t sterilized or hygienically cleaned. There is a much larger chance of getting an infected skin tag from this method. Other times an individual might only be able to partially remove the skin tag, and as a result there is an open wound left behind; these wounds need cleaning dressing and cleaning on a regular basis, so as to reduce the chances of getting an infection.
How to Deal With an Infected Skin Tag
If the worst does happen and the area becomes infected then it is important that proper care and attention is given to the infection, this will include things like:
- Wash the area in clean warm water
- Use a recognized anti-bacterial cleaner
- Apply a liberal layer of topical cream to the area
- Avoid further itching or scratching of the infection
Typically this process would be followed 2-3 times each day until the infection has gone, in some cases it might not be possible to treat the infection without the use of antibiotics; in this event it will be necessary to seek the advice of a health care professional.
Will an Infected Skin Tag Spread?
When a skin tag becomes infected it can be an additional source of worry and concern, many people might be wondering if the infection will cause other skin tags to form. Thankfully there is no scientific evidence to suggest that other skin tags will develop in this particular case. Of course there is nothing to prevent further skin tags from developing at a later stage.
Of course when it comes to the infection itself then this can spread, that is why it is important to clear it up as soon as possible; by the administering of an antibacterial cleaner. Very often something like TCP or similar will work well to help clean up this type of infection.