As we traverse through the journey of life, our skin inevitably narrates our story. One such chapter, often associated with ageing, is the appearance of skin tags. Despite being harmless, the development of skin tags can be a source of discomfort and a dent in one’s self-esteem. But why do skin tags appear more with age? This post unravels the intricate relationship between skin tags and ageing.
Skin tags, medically known as acrochordons, are small, soft, flesh-coloured growths that hang off the skin. They are benign and non-cancerous, composed of ducts, nerve cells, fat cells, and a covering or epidermis.
It's not a mere coincidence that skin tags are more prevalent in older adults. Here’s why:
1. Changes in Skin's Elasticity
As we age, the elasticity of the skin diminishes, leading to sagging and the creation of folds. These folds provide an ideal environment for skin tags to form, particularly where the skin rubs against itself.
2. Collagen Breakdown
The breakdown of collagen, a protein that maintains the skin's firmness, contributes to the vulnerability of the skin to form tags.
3. Hormonal Shifts
Ageing is accompanied by significant hormonal changes. These fluctuations can result in the growth of skin tags, especially in post-menopausal women.
Skin tags commonly emerge in areas where the skin consistently experiences friction, such as the neck, eyelids, underarms, under the breasts, and the groin area. The constant rubbing of skin against skin or clothing in these regions encourages the growth of skin tags, further linking their development to ageing.
While age is a significant factor, other elements may also influence the likelihood of skin tag formation:
A family history of skin tags increases one's susceptibility to developing them.
2. Weight Gain
An increase in body weight, often experienced with ageing, heightens the risk due to additional skin folds.
People with diabetes are more prone to developing skin tags.
Completely preventing skin tags may not be feasible, but understanding their triggers and addressing them can undoubtedly minimise their occurrence:
1. Maintain Healthy Weight
A balanced diet and regular exercise can help manage weight and reduce the chance of skin tag development.
2. Proper Skincare
Proper skincare regimes, including hydration and moisturisation, can maintain skin health and elasticity, potentially reducing the likelihood of skin tags.
1. Over-The-Counter Solutions
There are numerous over-the-counter products specifically formulated to remove skin tags. They typically work by freezing the skin tag, causing it to drop off.
2. Medical Procedures
Dermatologists can remove skin tags through various procedures, including excision, cryotherapy (freezing), or electrosurgery (burning).
3. Natural Remedies
Some individuals opt for natural methods, such as tea tree oil or apple cider vinegar, although their efficacy is subjective, and a healthcare professional should be consulted before proceeding.
Understanding the relationship between skin tags and ageing allows individuals to take proactive steps to potentially lessen their occurrence. Proper skin care, maintaining a healthy weight, and regular check-ups can aid in early detection and removal.
Though skin tags may appear more with age, acknowledging the various aspects and options available for management and removal offers reassurance and control in navigating this aspect of the ageing journey. Armed with this knowledge, managing skin tags effectively becomes an attainable reality, ensuring they remain but a small footnote in the larger, vibrant story of your life.