Skin tags are benign growths of normal skin usually in areas of friction, often near the neck, armpit, abdomen, and groin area.
Moles occur when melanocytes, cells that make pigment, in the skin grow in a cluster rather than being spread throughout the skin. Moles are a natural part of skin development and are influenced by genetics and sun exposure. Most moles are flat, but they may be raised as well.
How are skin tags and moles removed?
Cryotherapy uses liquid nitrogen to freeze unwanted cells. The temperature of medical liquid nitrogen that doctors use are -196 degrees Celsius. The skin will look the same for the first few days and then turn black prior to falling off. Depending on the size of the lesion, more than one treatment may be necessary. Skin may become lighter or darker in the area where the lesion used to be.
Electrocautery may also be used to remove lesions. A metal tip is heated and removes skin while sealing vessels to prevent bleeding. The risk of scarring is higher with electrocautery than with cryotherapy, but the possibility of repeat treatments may be lower.
Excess skin may also be excised, shaved, or snipped off depending on the shape and size of the lesion.
What is the aftercare?
Wash gently daily without scrubbing. Apply Vaseline frequently to minimize irritation and reduce scab formation.
Day 1 following treatment: A blister may develop and is best left alone, but may be cleaned with alcohol and then punctured with a sterile (cleansed in alcohol) needle if it is uncomfortable. If draining, you may apply Vaseline or Polysporin antibiotic ointment and a bandage.
Days 2-3: The area may become moist. Mild weeping can be left open to the air. The area can be washed with water and mild soap. Excessive weeping can be covered with a dressing.
Days 3-4: A scab may form and remain for 2-3 weeks. The lesion may need to be debrided prior to falling off.
Will insurance cover removal of skin tags or moles?
Possibly, if there is pain, itching, bleeding, or inflammation.
What is the price? 15 minute visit expected
$45 for 1 skin tag
$85 for up to 5 skin tags
$150 for up to 10 skin tags