Pregnancy Skin Tag

Pregnancy can have various effects on the skin and many women notice changes to their skin’s elasticity and appearance when they are carrying a child. When hormone levels fluctuate, a pregnancy skin tag may form. Although some people do not like the appearance of these skin tags, they are usually harmless and do not pose a risk to their health.

What is a pregnancy skin tag?

A skin tag is a small cluster of cells which present as a small growth of skin. Usually, they are rooted to the body via a tiny stalk and are very small. People of all ages can develop skin tags but they are particularly common during pregnancy.

A pregnancy skin tag usually forms because of changes to the woman’s hormone levels. Due to these changes, the skin can behave differently. One consequence of this is pregnancy skin tags.

What are the symptoms of a pregnancy skin tag?

When a pregnancy skin tag forms, patients may notice the following symptoms:

  • A small bump or growth of skin
  • Increased skin tags in areas in which the skin rubs together
  • Small growth of skin which may be skin-colored or slightly darker

Fortunately, skin tags are not usually painful and they do not typically cause discomfort, nor do they harm the baby in any way. In fact, many individuals don’t even realize that they’ve developed pregnancy skin tags because they don’t suffer any symptoms.

Although a pregnancy skin tag can form on any part of the body, they are most common on areas of skin which rub together. As many women naturally gain weight during pregnancy, they may notice their skin rubbing together more than usual. If a cluster of skin tags is adding to the friction, patients may notice some additional symptoms, such as, skin irritation or itching.

In the vast majority of cases, however, a pregnancy skin tag will not cause any ill-effects. For many patients, the only symptoms of a pregnancy skin tag will be the growth itself.

What causes a pregnancy skin tag?

Although anyone can develop skin tags, a pregnancy skin tag is usually formed because of the woman’s changing hormones levels. When pregnant, women have elevated hormone levels and this can result in their skin changing.

As skin tags are formed by a cluster of skin cells, changing hormone levels can cause the cells to grow and, when this happens, a skin tag will form.

Whilst hormone levels are responsible for a significant number of skin tags, a pregnancy skin tag can also be caused by friction being placed on the skin. If your thighs rub against one another when you walk, for example, the friction may cause skin irritation and discomfort. In addition to this, friction may cause a skin tag to form.

Can a pregnancy skin tag be treated?

Skin tags can usually be treated very easily, but pregnant women may be advised to wait until after they have delivered their baby to have them removed. Providing the pregnancy skin tag is not causing any uncomfortable symptoms, treatment may not be even be necessary. In most cases, patients who choose to have pregnancy skin tags removed do so because of aesthetic reasons, rather than medical ones.

When treating skin tags, there are over-the-counter treatments which may be effective in removing the skin tag from the body. However, patients should always obtain medical advice before using these formulas, particularly if they are pregnant.

Alternatively, skin tags can be removed by a physician of dermatologist. Various forms of treatment are available, but they should only be used after delivery, rather than during pregnancy. These include:

  • Disintegrating the stalk of the skin tag
  • Cauterizing
  • Freezing
  • Cutting the skin tag

When applied to the skin tag, specialist topical creams can effectively disintegrate the stalk, causing the skin tag to fall away from the body. This is generally the least invasive form of treatment and usually works well to remove any pregnancy skin tags.

Alternatively, physicians can cauterize the skin tag, destroying the stalk and removing the tag from the body. Similarly, liquid nitrogen can be used to freeze the skin tag, which will cause it to fall away from the skin on the body. Finally, a physician may use the straightforward method of simply cutting the skin in order to remove the tag. If necessary, a numbing gel or cream can be applied to the area in order to minimize any discomfort during the procedure.

Although these forms of treatment are usually highly effective, it may not be necessary to treat a pregnancy skin tag at all. In many cases, women who have developed skin tags during pregnancy notice that they naturally drop off over time. Often, skin tags will darken and may turn black and this usually indicates that they will become detached from the skin in the near future.

Whilst pregnancy skin tags are usually nothing to be concerned about, individuals should also consult a physician or dermatologist if they are concerned about any new growths on their skin. As skin tags sometimes appear as small bumps on the skin, individuals should obtain a thorough diagnosis from a medical professional. Once a pregnancy skin tag has been confirmed, patients are usually advised to wait until after the delivery to consider starting any treatment options.

Although there are natural products designed to remove skin tags, it is not advisable for these to be applied during pregnancy either. Despite being all natural and available to buy over-the-counter, they could potentially have a harmful effect on the patient and/or their unborn baby. When applied to the skin, creams and lotions could penetrate the skin and enter the bloodstream. Due to this, patients should always seek medical advice before treating a pregnancy skin tag.

Can a pregnancy skin tag be prevented?

As pregnancy skin tags can be a natural consequence of changing hormone levels it can be difficult to prevent them forming. If individuals notice that their skin is rubbing against itself, they may want to choose clothing which prevents this from happening. In some cases, this could help to reduce a pregnancy skin tag from forming but, in general, it’s not possible to prevent this type of growth from developing during pregnancy.