When Are Skin Tags and Cysts Cause for Concern?

Do you have a skin tag or cyst that you want checked out? Make an appointment with Dr. Mikell at Dermatology Associates of th

Wrinkles and saggy skin aren’t the only unsightly signs of aging. Most people experience some sort of skin growth, such as skin tags or cysts, as they get older, too. Fortunately, these skin marks are simpler to eliminate than wrinkles. But they can also be a sign of a more serious health issue.

Although these unsightly lumps and bumps are usually harmless, it’s always a good idea to mention them to your dermatologist during your annual checkup. If they become painful or you want them removed for aesthetic reasons, we at Dermatology Associates of the Lowcountry can help. 

What is a skin tag?

A skin tag is a skin growth that usually forms where your skin often rubs together. Common places for skin tags to form include your armpits, the folds of your neck, and your groin. 

They look like a little bump or stalk that erupts from your skin. They can affect people of any age but usually, form on middle-aged people. In fact, about half the population gets skin tags. They are generally harmless, but not that attractive. 


What is a cyst?

A cyst is a small bump that protrudes from your skin. They’re filled with keratin, a soft protein material. They grow slowly over time from a blocked hair follicle or oil gland.

Usually, cysts are benign, but they can become inflamed or infected. It’s also a good idea to have us check a strange bump or growth on your skin to make sure it’s not something harmful.

When you should be worried about skin tags and cysts

If you’re not concerned by the appearance of skin tags or cysts, and they’re not painful or bothering you, you don’t have to worry about them. Simply mentioning them at your annual checkup should suffice. 

But if your skin tag or cyst is painful, is bleeding, or appears infected, you should make an appointment to see us right away. And if the sight of them bothers you, meet with our dual board-certified dermatologist, Oswald Mikell, MD, to learn how to get rid of them. A cyst should usually be checked to rule out other health issues such as a tumor.

Treatments for skin tags and cysts

At Dermatology Associates of the Lowcountry, Dr. Mikell conducts a thorough exam to determine the cause of your skin issue and discusses treatment options. For skin tags, for example, he could snip, freeze, or surgically remove bothersome ones. 

For infected cysts, he might prescribe an antibiotic. Other cysts may require a procedure to open and drain them or surgical excision. 

Do you have a skin tag or cyst that you want checked out? Make an appointment with Dr. Mikell at Dermatology Associates of the Lowcountry. We have three locations for your convenience. 

 

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