A Guide to Removing Skin Tags on the Labia, Vulva & Vagina
Dr. Angel Rivera
Most of us don’t know that much about skin tags, why they appear, and how to safely remove them. The chances are that you’ll get at least one skin tag during your lifetime, and a high number of women will get them in the vaginal area.
While skin tags on the labia or vulva are a source aesthetic concern, the good news is that they aren’t a health risk. They’re a benign skin condition, unlike a malignant melanoma. It’s relatively easy to tell the difference between malignant and non-malignant growths.
Before you learn about the causes skin tags on the vagina, and how to find a treatment, you need to find out more about why these small growths appear. Understanding how to identify a skin tag on the body can help you to identify them correctly in the genital area.
It’s believed that skin tags are most likely caused by the friction of skin against skin. When it comes to skin tags appearing on your outer labia or the vulva, they’re likely caused by everyday occurrences. This includes friction from underwear, the use of feminine hygiene products, body piercings, and sexual activity (intercourse and oral sex). There are also genetic, hormonal, and weight-related reasons as to why they occur.
Skin tags on the labia and vulva, more commonly known as genital skin tags or vaginal skin tags, will often go unnoticed. That is unless the chafing of underwear is causing pain and infection, or they are starting to affect your self-confidence and personal relationships.
There are no dangerous health concerns associated with vaginal skin tags. They are as harmless as they would be anywhere else on the body. They only require manual removal if they become a cosmetic issue, or if they’re affecting your relationships.
You can either treat skin tags at home or get a dermatologist to remove them.
A skin tag is a small and soft growth with the appearance of an extra flap that protrudes from your skin. They are either the same color as the rest of your skin, or slightly darker. Think of them as semi-deflated balloons made of skin, hanging off your body. While that may not sound like a pleasant sight, they tend to get ignored because they’re quite small and covered by underwear.
While there is no concrete notion as to what causes skin tags, as already discussed, many scientists and doctors alike have theorized that they may be caused by friction. Because of the most common locations of skin tags – armpits, neck, and eyelids – the theory has been widely accepted.
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Are Skin Tags Risky?
Provided that skin tags are identified correctly, they are non-malignant and aren’t a sign of cancer. They’re referred to as a benign skin condition, which means that they’re completely harmless. If you’re unable to diagnose them, booking a consultation with a doctor is advised.
Being aware of every possibility is important. Sometimes what you may think is nothing more than a skin tag could be something more serious. They can easily be mistaken for the following conditions:
When the labia rub together due to tightly worn underwear, or other chafing factors, it can cause irritation to the genital area. This could result in polyps, and these can loosely resemble skin tags. Reducing the irritation and friction can help to reduce the appearance of polyps.
Warts are caused by HPV (human papillomavirus), and HPV can be a serious condition. What’s a good way to tell the difference between warts and skin tags?
Warts will have a rougher surface and an irregular shape. Skin tags are mostly smooth and have a narrow stalk. Additionally, there are hardly ever any symptoms that go along with skin tags, while warts might cause itchiness.
There is no link to sexual activity (except for the skin-to-skin friction). If you are experiencing a skin disorder of the vaginal area, get a diagnosis from a doctor.
Pregnancy and Menstruation
While pregnancy itself doesn’t cause skin tags in the genital area, hormonal fluctuations can cause them to appear. A woman may also notice them while she’s pregnant, due to fast weight gain and a higher blood flow. This can cause skin tags to look more prominent.
The basic treatment for genital skin tags on the labia or vulva is no different than treatment anywhere else on the body. Once you’ve ruled out other possibilities and are 100% certain you have skin tags, getting them removed is a personal choice.
The vaginal area can be extremely sensitive. Given that skin tags will only fall off if they’ve been deprived of oxygen, it requires some restriction of blood to get rid of skin tags.
Some products work, but the best thing to do to get rid of skin tags on your genitals is to see a doctor. There are no stigmas or stereotypes that go along with vaginal skin tags, so there’s no need to feel any embarrassment.
We’ve found five medical options for removing skin tags. These include the following:
- Surgical – If you choose to remove your vaginal skin tags surgically, your doctor will have to cut them off individually.
- Laser – Doctors will use radiofrequency lasers to burn off the tags.
- Cryogenics – Using liquid nitrogen, doctors will freeze skin tags instantly. Once they are hardened, they are easy to remove.
- Cauterization – After numbing the area, a doctor will use an electrical current to burn off skin tags.
- Tie them off – A thread is tied around the stalk, depriving the skin tag of a source of oxygen. It won’t be able to survive, so it’ll fall off after about a week. People have also got results with the TagBand device, which is a more sterilized form of ligation.
Coping Each Day with Genital Skin Tags
Don’t feel ashamed if you have skin tags on the labia, vulva, and genital area. They can appear anywhere. While vaginal skin tags may seem more personal than skin tags elsewhere on the body, it’s up to you regarding whether you’d like to get them removed. The reason for removing them is that they can have implications for your sex life, your level of confidence, and there’s also an increased risk of irritation/infection.
As long as you’ve ruled out other, more serious medical possibilities, skin tags on your genitals needn’t be a problem. They’re just as common as skin tags elsewhere, but it’s a subject that people are reluctant to bring up because they incorrectly feel in some way responsible.