Skin Tags during Pregnancy
What are skin tags
Skin tags are soft, tiny bumps, loosely attached to your skin. Though they are mostly painless, friction against clothing or jewelry may result in inflammation or irritation [1, 2]. Like every other symptom during pregnancy, there are old wives tales associated with skin tags, suggesting if you have them, it might suggest that you will be having a boy.
What do skin tags look like
These pink or brown spots are as small as a rice grain, being 1mm to 2mm in size. [5, 7]. However, they may also acquire a dark or black color, which mostly happens when they get twisted and lack blood supply. In such cases, they fall off within three to ten days of their color change .
Where do you develop skin tags during pregnancy
They appear in areas most exposed to heat and moisture, or those parts of the skin often subjected to friction [1, 2].
- Folds of the neck
- In the armpits
- Area under the breast
- Folds of the buttock
- Opening of the anus
- Region around the eyes
- Genitals (vagina, vagina lips, labia)
Is it normal to get skin tags while pregnant
Skin tags are quite common during pregnancy. Moreover, they are benign and do not hurt the baby in any way .
What causes skin tags during pregnancy
They are primarily caused because of hyperactive growth of certain cells in the outer layer of the skin .
Hormonal fluctuations: The changing hormone levels during pregnancy may be one of the factors resulting in such disturbances in the skin cells [1,2].
Weight gain: If you have acquired a lot of weight or become a little obese during pregnancy then you may be prone to skin tags as there is a higher chance of the skin to come in friction with itself, thus resulting in these eruptions [2, 6].
Can you prevent skin tags
These eruptions on your skin might be a little annoying to you, but there is no way in which you can avoid them .
Should you remove skin tags during pregnancy
Removing the skin tags would not be a safe option during pregnancy. In fact, it is recommended to wait till your baby is born, as they mostly go away on their own after that. However, if they remain post delivery, consult your doctor to find out about the ways to get rid of them .
How to get rid of skin tags at home
Small-sized ones with a narrow base are advised to be removed at home by tying the base of it with a cotton thread or a dental floss. They fall off quite soon as the blood supply is cut off [5, 12].
Tea tree oil is one of the effective home remedies for skin tags since its antibacterial, anti-fungal and antiviral properties may help them to gradually dry from within and fall off. Applying 2 to 4 drops of it on the affected area at least three times a day would help. You may also apply this oil for itchy skin tags because of its antiseptic properties .
Cutting the tags with sterilized scissors is another method for removing them . However, use caution while doing it lest you may end up injuring yourself.
Large or swollen skin tags cannot be removed at home as it may lead to severe bleeding [5,12]. In such cases consult a doctor for medical procedures like freezing or burning to eliminate these eruptions .
Tips to keep the skin tags from getting worse
- Wear loose fitting clothes so that your skin tags do not rub against the fabric, leading to itching and irritation.
- If you have skin tags on your arms, hands, or neck, then wear minimum jewelry.
- Do not fiddle or prick at the bumps as it might lead to infection.