Skin tags are harmless, small skin growths. These are also known as soft fibromas or acrochordons. Skin tags may be movable and loose, such that they can be easily mistaken for peeling skin. These generally do not require any treatment, but if someone finds them annoying, these can be easily removed by a doctor.
At times, skin tags like skin growths might actually be genital warts. Hence, it is important to get a proper diagnosis. The American Osteopathic College of Dermatology reports that almost half of the U.S. citizens have at least one skin tag.  Doctors are still unsure about what causes skin tags, but these are just made up of loose collagen fibers and might also contain blood vessels.
These might be of the same color as that of your flesh or maybe, slightly darker or lighter. Skin tags neither turn into cancer nor cause it. However, experts warn that some cancers might resemble skin tags, so you must always get them diagnosed by a doctor. They are generally painless, but might cause pain, irritation or become infected on prolonged rubbing or shaving.
What Causes Vaginal Skin Tags?
Researchers are still unsure why some people develop skin tags while others don’t. Skin tags, however, do not represent any underlying skin condition. People with human papillomavirus (HPV) are more prone to develop skin tags as per a research.  However, the type of HPV associated with skin tags is of less risky type of HPV than the one, which is associated with cancer.
Risk factors for skin tags include diabetes, insulin resistance, overweight and pregnancy.
Skin tags are more common in areas where skin is folded, dry or exposed to too much of friction. Areas that constantly get rubbed with a cloth and underarms are more likely to develop skin tags.
Talking about vaginal skin tags, they appear around vagina and do not develop inside it. These generally grow on and around vulva. These might also grow on the inner sides of the thighs near vulva. Friction from clothing or underwear not only causes irritation in the tags, but it also poses risk for their development.
Diagnosis of Vaginal Skin Tags
Dermatologist can diagnose a skin tag very quickly just by visually examining it. If the skin tag is of darker color or of unusual shape, a lab test is generally recommended.
If there are lots of skin tags around your genital, the doctor might recommend a test for HPV.
How Are Genital Warts Different From Vaginal Skin Tags?
Skin tag-like growths on the genitals might be actually genital warts. Genital warts are usually caused by HPV virus. Most of the genital warts do not make a person vulnerable to cancer but a few forms of HPV can actually lead to cancer. So, it apparently becomes important to get your skin tag diagnosed by a dermatologist.
Any skin growth is possibly a skin tag in case:
- It is stalk like and loose.
- It is in an area where the skin folds.
- It is located in a dry skin area and is not around or inside the vagina.
- It is not itchy or painful.
- There is a maximum of two growths simultaneously.
Whereas, it could be a genital wart or any other serious health condition if:
- The growth is round and flat.
- There are several growths in clusters.
- The skin growth is around or in anus or vagina.
- It causes pain, itching or bleeding.
How To Do Away with Vaginal Skin Tags?
Removing skin tags on your own can lead to infection and other complications. It is always better to consult a doctor for this. Skin tags might also indicate an underlying condition, such as cancer; hence, it is important to get it properly diagnosed.
Pulling or cutting a skin tag on your own would not necessarily remove the whole of it. Instead, this could lead to bleeding, pain and infection. Scarring and infection might also spread to other body parts. It is even more difficult to remove vaginal skin tags on your own as they are on a sensitive area and surrounded by soft tissues.
Doctors can safely and conveniently remove skin tags. One option is to freeze the skin tag off with liquid nitrogen. Alternately, doctor might inject a numbing solution in the skin tag and cut it off with sterilized scissors or scalpel. Although these procedures are not painful, skin might remain tender for a while.
Know When To See A Doctor
If a skin tag gets caught in a zipper or clothing, you must speak to your doctor to prevent infection and scarring. Skin tags generally do not require any treatment. Hence, it is advised to get it diagnosed to rule out the possibility of any other skin or health condition.
You must also have a yearly skin checkup to ensure that skin growths and moles are not pre-cancerous or cancerous.
Skin tags are usually not harmful and disappear on their own. By the age of 70, most people stop developing new skin tags. You must take care to prevent them from pulling or scratching as it could lead to infection and scarring.
Also, you should not try to pull on or pick at skin tags as these gradually disappear on their own. In case they are not going away on their own, consult your dermatologist for a painless, easy and safe treatment.