Skin Tags and Pregnancy

During pregnancy, you may notice your body going through so many changes. These changes include changes to your skin, and that is normal, and it’s nothing to be alarmed about. It is, however, understandable that some of these changes might be bothersome to you.

Skin tags can cause some alarm if you see them for the first time, and you don’t know what they are. It’s vital to be able to identify these growths and to know what to do about them when you do see them on your skin.

If you’re going through pregnancy and you notice these skin tags on your body, here’s all you need to know about them.

How to Identify Skin Tags During Pregnancy

Pregnancy causes a lot of changes to your body, and that includes changes to your skin. It varies per person, but the frequent skin changes are stretch marks, varicose veins, and spider veins. Some people don’t develop a lot of these changes while some get them quicker than others do. You may be now discovering changes and growths on your body that you haven’t had before, but you want to be able to recognize and know what they are.

If you see a protruding flap that may look like a slightly deflated balloon on your skin, then that’s probably a skin tag. They’re attached to your skin on one end, and they come in different sizes. They can grow to a diameter of around one centimeter.

These skin tags are benign growths, meaning they cannot become cancerous, and they can have the same color as your skin or a bit darker. You can be sure that they are not dangerous, and they won’t bring harm to you and your baby. Still, it’s not an uncommon cosmetic procedure to have them removed because they are unpleasant to look at.

Does Pregnancy Cause Skin Tags?

There are no known causes as to why skin tags appear. It looks like they happen more often to those who are over 50 years old, and to those with health complications like diabetes and obesity. But in pregnancy, while it’s also still unknown, researchers believe that a change in hormones causes them.

It’s likely that in pregnant women, it’s the mixture of skin friction because of weight gain and the change in hormones that is causing the skin tags. Commonly, the growths show up when the second trimester of the pregnancy starts. The areas where they grow are usually on the neck, under the breasts, the stomach, and groin. That is why a lot of pregnant women don’t realize that they’ve developed these growths until they’ve given birth to their child.

It seems to be more common in women who haven’t had them before. If you’re pregnant and you haven’t gotten skin tags yet, you may start to see a few grow and develop during your pregnancy, especially if you happen to be prone to them. They also tend to multiply and grow in size.

Are they harmful? Should they be removed?

Medically, there is no reason to have these benign growths removed since they won’t cause your body any harm. You can have them cosmetically removed if they make you feel uncomfortable or if you simply dislike how they look on your skin. Otherwise, they won’t disappear on their own, and you’ll probably have them on your skin forever.

In pregnancy, however, there’s a possibility that these tags will vanish after you give birth to your baby. This is likely because of a change in hormones again or a different reason. Skin tags that disappear after pregnancy don’t need treatment. Although they can keep appearing in the same area, they won’t appear in precisely the same place.

Can you Remove Skin Tags While You are Pregnant? 

There are many procedures for removing skin tags. A lot of these methods are deemed safe. It is generally advised that pregnant women wait until after pregnancy if they want their skin tags removed. There are also surgical removal methods that should be avoided during pregnancy, some of which are:

  • Scalpel removal: surgical removal at the stalk using a scalpel
  • Cauterization: using heat to burn the tags off
  • Cryogenics: using freezing to burn the tags off
  • Laser treatment: using a laser to burn the tags off

There are also no oral medications that get rid of skin tags. You should be wary of any ointments or creams that you think can help because they might have chemicals that are harmful to you and your baby during the time of pregnancy. However, there are some products or solutions that are safe for you to use.

Make sure to talk to your doctor first before starting any home remedy treatment on your own.

Tea Tree Oil

You’ve probably seen this name on different skincare products. This is because tea tree oil is an anti fungal, antibacterial, and antiseptic properties. It is used to treat various skin conditions, including skin tag removal.

While many products have this oil in their ingredients list, it’s still safest to use it as is without the other chemicals that may come with the product. However, there’s a possibility that it can irritate and dry your skin in its purest form. This is why using a diluting agent is highly suggested. The diluting agent lessens its concentration so you can safely use it on sensitive skin.

Putting tea tree oil on your skin tags will dry them out, and you will notice that after days or weeks that it will start to shrink and then fall off.

The following are ways on how you can use tea tree oil on skin tags:

  1. Wash the affected area and make sure it’s clean and dry so the oil will penetrate the skin without causing any contamination.
  2. Use pure tea tree oil or mix it in with water or carrier oil, such as olive or castor oil.
  3. Dip a cotton ball into the solution, and gently apply it all over the skin tag.
  4. You can also leave the cotton ball on the skin tag, wrap it with a bandage, and keep it there for hours for a more concentrated effect.

More Natural Remedies

You might find in your kitchen some more natural solutions that can be used to treat your skin tags, some of which are: garlic, apple cider vinegar, and lemon juice. While these solutions are natural and are generally safe, the effects on one’s skin will be different per person. Remember to always seek your doctor’s approval before using any of these products on your skin.

Skin Tags and Pregnancy
 (A close-up of a pregnant woman’s belly)

Over-the-Counter Skin Tag Removal Products

If you’ve already given birth and you have skin tags you want to remove, there are a couple of over-the-counter products you can safely use. One of which is the TagBand Skin Tag Remover.

TagBand Skin Tag Remover

If not surgically removed, skin tags will only fall off if they don’t have proper oxygen and blood flow. That is precisely what TagBand does. The kit is a quick solution that helps restrict the skin tag’s blood flow by tying it with a band by the stalk, and after a few days or weeks, the skin tag will simply dry out and fall off.

How to use the TagBand Skin Tag Remover:

  1. Clean the skin around the skin tag using the included cleaning cloths.
  2. Insert the band on the cone and roll it till it’s by the most significant part of the cone.
  3. Insert the cone from the smaller end into the hole of the L-shaped applicator.
  4. Place the cone over the skin tag, then slide the applicator down the cone until the band is wrapped around the stalk of the skin tag.

Once the band is around the stalk of the skin tag, it will immediately start to restrict its blood flow. You might see it turn into a darker color or a smaller size after days or weeks before it ultimately falls off. Patience is the key.

Tips and Advice for Pregnant Women

Skin Tags and Pregnancy
 (A pregnant woman sitting on the grass)

When you see your skin go through different changes during pregnancy, don’t be alarmed. It’s normal for your body to go through various changes throughout the stages of pregnancy. If these changes cause you any discomfort, you can always have them treated, as long as you keep in mind to avoid chemicals that may be harmful to your baby.

If you find that you have a skin tag, pregnant or not, never pull them off on your own. Other than that, it won’t be entirely removed when you do that because of their stalks. It also might lead to complications like skin infections that can be dangerous to you and your baby.

When to See a Doctor

While skin tags are benign and not harmful, there might be instances where you’ll want to see a doctor and have them checked. Keep an eye out for abnormalities such as:

  • A quick change in size. As mentioned earlier, skin tags can grow up to a diameter of a centimeter, but if they grow too fast and too much, there might be a problem.
  • Inflammation or irritation. Skin tags shouldn’t itch or be inflamed.
  • Bleeding. Unless they accidentally got wounded, bleeding is a sign that there could be something wrong.

You’ll generally want to have your skin tags removed after pregnancy. Still, abnormalities such as the ones listed above should not be taken lightly. See a doctor if you notice any of them. They’ll likely have it surgically removed, and they’ll check if it has any other serious complications that came with it.

Will Skin Tags Disappear After Pregnancy?

A lot of the changes that happen to your body during pregnancy might not go away, like stretch marks, for example. Although there are treatments available for them, they might be difficult to remove. Skin tags, however, are straightforward to get treated as long as you have them removed safely.

As mentioned earlier, don’t try to have skin tags removed during pregnancy, and they may also disappear after you give birth to your baby. Otherwise, there are natural and over-the-counter treatments available at your disposal. Check with your doctor first if these treatments will be okay for you to use.

These changes to your body are reasonable, and for the case of skin tags, there’s no reason for them to stay forever. If they make you feel uncomfortable or you find them unpleasant to the eye, you have the option to have them surgically removed. Otherwise, the remedies listed above will help you take care of them on your own.