Moles, Freckles, and Skin Tags
A skin tag is a small flap of tissue that hangs off the skin by a connecting stalk. Skin tags are not dangerous. They are usually found on the neck, chest, back, armpits, under the breasts, or in the groin area. Skin tags appear most often in women, especially with weight gain, and in elderly people.
Skin tags usually don't cause any pain. However, they can become irritated if anything, such as clothing or jewelry, rubs them.
How Are Skin Tags Treated?
Your dermatologist can remove a skin tag by cutting it off with a scalpel or scissors, with cryosurgery (freezing it off), or with electrosurgery (burning it off with an electric current).
Lentigo and Your Skin
A lentigo (plural: lentigines) is a spot on the skin that is darker (usually brown) than the surrounding skin. Lentigines are more common among whites, especially those with fair skin.
What Causes Lentigines?
Exposure to the sun seems to be the major cause of lentigines. Lentigines most often appear on parts of the body that get the most sun, including the face and hands. Some lentigines may be caused by genetics (family history) or by medical procedures such as radiation therapy.
How Are Lentigines Treated?
There are several methods for treating lentigines:
- Cryosurgery (freezing it off)
- Laser surgery
- Creams that are applied to the skin but doesn't permanently remove lentigines. These include retinoids and bleaching agents.
Can Lentigines Be Prevented?
The best way to prevent lentigines is to stay out of the sun as much as possible, especially between the hours of 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Use a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or more when outdoors, and wear protective clothing, such as long-sleeved shirts, pants, and a wide-brimmed hat. Avoid using tanning beds.
Freckles and Your Skin
Freckles are small brown spots usually found on the face and arms. Freckles are extremely common and are not a health threat. They are more often seen in the summer, especially among lighter-skinned people and people with light or red hair.