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If you see a tiny outgrowth of skin somewhere on your child’s body, don’t immediately panic. It might be a skin tag, which is usually painless but should be looked into it. A definitive cause of skin tags is unknown, but several factors can determine whether a child is going to develop these skin outgrowths. Let’s read on to find out all about skin tags in children.
What is a Skin Tag?
Skin tags are usually small outgrowths of skin that usually bulge at the end. They can affect anyone of any gender or age, even children. They are usually only a few millimetres long, about the size of a grain and are harmless. They are called papillomas.
Causes of Skin Tags in Children
What causes skin tags on babies? Let’s talk about a few causes below:
1. In-Utero Development
Sometimes, children may be born with skin tags near their ears or elsewhere on their bodies. The ones near the ears are often located in the front as the cartilage that forms the baby’s ears has not yet fully thickened to assume the proper ear shape. These are not harmful, but you can consider their removal for visual reasons.
2. Friction Between Skin
Where the skin is open to frequent rubbing and friction, those areas are prone to skin tags. The most common areas are the armpit, neck, and groin. If the child is overweight or obese, they will have extra folds of skin and are more at risk of their skin chafing and developing skin tags.
Sometimes, viruses that lie dormant in your child’s body can act up and create skin tags, such as the HPV virus. It can spread through close body contact and through towels and surfaces.
If your baby comes under any of the categories, then he or she may be more susceptible to skin tags.
- Overweight or obese babies can be at risk to develop skin tags due to the friction between the skin folds, the underarms and neck being the most common.
- Kids who have diabetes
- If your child is suffering from HPV virus
- Hereditary reasons which also may be a major reason
Where are Skin Tags Found on Children?
Skin tags on children can be found in the following places:
- Buttock folds
- Ear tags are commonly seen in newborns
- Skin tags on the lip are common in children
Are Skin Tags Harmful and Contagious?
Although you might panic on seeing a skin tag on your child, you can relax as skin tags are completely harmless and benign. They’re only extra outgrowths of skin and will not harm your baby in any way. They are also non-cancerous and will remain so if left untreated in most cases. But just to be sure, if the skin tags bleed, change colour or grow, it is always better to take him or her to a physician or go for a biopsy test. Skin tags are non-contagious.
How to Treat Skin Tags in Kids
Skin tags can usually be left untreated as they are not medically harmful, but if you are conscious about the appearance of a skin tag on your child, there are several treatment procedures you can consult on:
1. Laser Removal
You can visit a dermatologist or surgeon and get the skin tag removed by a laser procedure. This method is slightly expensive compared to others.
This is a surgical procedure which involves cutting of the skin portion with a scalpel when the child is under anaesthesia.
You can also opt for homoeopathy treatment, but it will take time. You have to make sure to let your child know that they are the most beautiful human beings so that the presence of a skin tag does not affect their self-confidence.
It is very important to remember that surgery is never advisable for a baby. Wait till the child is older before consulting a dermatologist on skin tag removal, especially if it becomes too big or conspicuous. And never try to remove it on your own at home without consulting a GP first, you may risk hurting or infecting your child. Always consult with a medically certified professional, who will advise you whether you can remove the skin tag at home or not. You can do this by tying the base of the skin tag with cotton thread or dental floss. This will cut off the blood supply so that the skin tag falls off on its own.
How to Care for Your Child’s Skin Post Treatment
After treatment, more often than not, children might develop blisters on the skin. Although the various treatment procedures are not harmful, the area of the skin will take ten days to heal. Make sure not to expose it to the sun and keep your child indoors for the few days after treatment.
Although skin tags may not be very pleasant to look at, they are harmless, and you can rest at ease while they are there. If they are very small, then you can look at letting them go untreated for the rest of your child’s life, but if they are big and start affecting your child’s self-confidence, then you can make the decision of removing the skin tag, with proper consultation with a certified dermatologist.
Also Read: Papular Urticaria in Children