Skin Tags/Sebaceous Hyperplasia
PLEASE NOTE: Advanced Dermatology does not treat skin tags at this current time. This article is for education and information purposes only.
A skin tag, or sebaceous hyperplasia, is a hyperplastic lesion that is benign. These skin tags often occur in those individuals that are overweight and are very common as one ages. Sebaceous hyperplasia is a technical name for the bumps that occur. This leads to the problem of overactive producing oil glands. These glands become overly large and will clog. A soft to firm white to yellowish outer rim will appear on the skin, with a depressed center. These bumps can come in singles or more than one, either spread out on the skin or clustered together. It is most often seen on the forehead and parts of the face, such as the cheeks and temples , but technically skin tags can appear anywhere on the body. They are often found where there are many oil glands on the skin, and is often hereditary. This condition is not contagious and often look similar to skin cancer. All bumps on the skin should be fully evaluated by a dermatologist to be certain the skin condition is not life threatening.
One can treat skin tags with a trip to the dermatologist. At the dermatologist’s office, several treatments can be discussed. The treatments used to cure sebaceous hyperplasia include the following:
- Prescription retinoid/azelaic acid- This prescription will be used to reduce the appearance of sebaceous hyperplasia, but it will not eliminate them all together.
- Facial peels- Salicylic acid or trichloroacetic acid will be applied to the skin to help eliminate sebaceous hyperplasia.
- Surgical extraction of the bumps- A last resort option will be surgery to remove the bump. Keep in mind that this can lead to scarring, but there will be no more bumps present where surgery took place.
- Liquid nitrogen- Liquid nitrogen can be placed on the skin to kill the bump. However, if it penetrates too deep into the skin, there could be scarring or a loss of skin pigmentation where it penetrated the skin.
- Photodynamic Therapy- This treatment is done in several visits to the dermatologist office. This light emitting treatment works due to the gel that is applied before the procedure.
- Electric Needle- An electric needle can be used to break down the bump, so a scab appears. It usually falls off in a week or two. This is a painless treatment that may or may not have local numbing injections.
- Laser Skin Resurfacing- This procedure leaves the skin renewed, soft and smooth. A laser removes the outer layer of the skin.
- Antiandrogen medication- Antiandrogen medication reduces testosterone, which is a hormone in the body. Testosterone often stimulates oil production. This is also used as a last resort method.
Some are advocates of home remedies to help relieve skin tags. Retinol is often believed to help. It helps to control the growth of skin cells that clog the lining of the pores. Essentially it is designed to control oil production.
Vitamin B niacin amide can also help with sebaceous hyperplasia or skin tags. There are many great products on the market that are rich with this vitamin that can help to reduce the effects of sebaceous hyperplasia.
Skin tags are a nuisance to those who are graced to have it. However, it is a cosmetic flaw that is not dangerous. Keep in mind that the bumps can become irritated when scratched, thus causing a red appearance. They may also bleed. If Skin Tags are bothersome to you, contact your dermatologist to set up an appointment to see about treatments that are right for you.