Skin tag, a small piece of skin that may grow on any surface of a person’s body, has been medically proven to be harmless. It is benign and not considered cancerous. For this reason, you can’t find any insurance coverage including its removal. However, you might still feel wary, especially when it appears on your baby’s body.
Skin tags normally appear right around the opening of the ear of newborns and while they are essentially harmless, people have drawn a lot of wrong assumptions about them. It is normal to have them removed when you don’t feel safe about its growth. However, when it comes to skin tags on a baby’s ear, you have to be more cautious.
When you find a skin tag in your newborn baby’s ear, you are right to feel worried. In some cases, this might indicate an underlying serious medical condition. But is there a difference between skin tags that appear on the ear and those that appear in other areas of the body? Let’s study some facts about skin tags.
Skin Tag on Your Baby’s Ear: Is it a Problem?
There are skin tags that grow on your skin as an adult. However, if they show up on a newborn baby, it can be concerning. Skin tags that appear on a baby’s ear are specifically called accessory tragus or ear tags.
Normally, skin tags are benign. While you can have them removed for aesthetic purposes, you don’t have to. The removal, however, is simple and easy for doctors. In some cases, rare as they are, these skin tags can cause health issues.
Let’s take ear tags on babies. While skin tag can form in any part of the body, it usually appears on the ears of the babies first. Why? It’s because the ear is one of the first parts of the body that develops while inside the uterus. As tissues are forming and changing to create the ear, skin tags can grow as well.
There are two common ways ear tags are formed. One is when there’s excess fat, skin, or cartilage. The other is when it’s a genetic problem. If it’s the latter, then it’s more likely to be worrisome.
Probable Health Issues That Come with Skin Tags on Baby’s Ears
Upon finding an ear tag on a newborn, doctors normally have it tested. They will first check the hearing of your baby. The appearance of the skin tag might be an indication of a formative problem. What does this mean? It is possible that the inside of the ear has not formed correctly. Thus, it can be associated with hearing loss.
The doctor will also have to check other parts of the baby’s body, specifically their mouth, jaw, and kidneys. These are the areas that develop at the same time as the ear. Checking if there are any abnormalities in them is standard procedure.
Once it’s assured that your baby’s hearing is okay, and the other areas of the body are fully functional, there are a few other tests that must be conducted. If the problem isn’t formative, it might just be genetic.
Goldenhar syndrome is considered a rare inborn condition. It is characterized by abnormal development of the ear, eye, and spinal column. How is ear tags connected to the Goldenhar syndrome?
The syndrome means that the baby’s bone structure and facial features haven’t fully developed while inside the uterus. This often occurs to one side of the face and body. While Goldenhar syndrome is a genetic disorder, it is uncommon for it to be passed from parent to child. The more probable cause of this condition is chromosome abnormality during the formation of the baby.
Ear tags are considered the first indication of this problem. Other notable signs vary depending on the severity of the case. They might include a missing eye or a cleft palate. Thus, doctors might have to examine your baby’s vision, conduct X-Rays, and perform other diagnostic tests.
Hemifacial microsomia is another inborn disorder. This affects the lower half of the baby’s face, including the ear, mandible, and mouth. Like Goldenhar syndrome, it only occurs on one side of a child’s face. About one in 4,000 newborns suffer from this condition.
Hemifacial microsomia happens around the first trimester. This is when blood flow still heavily affects the development of the face. Because it is a non-progressive condition, it does not get worse as the baby is born and the child grows into adulthood. Nevertheless, it comes with several complications.
Immediate treatments are necessary at birth. Failure to do so might result in breathing and eating problems.
This condition can also be treated through surgery, facial reconstruction, respiratory support, and more. Any kind of surgery can only be done when the child is at least 6 years old. If the ear or any other parts of the face are greatly deformed, doctors might have to use prosthetics to replace them or make them appear more normal.
Diagnoses a Newborn with an Ear Tag Must Undergo
Diagnosis for facial structure and organ development issues are done immediately. If your doctor determines that there is no serious medical condition, you can take this as a conclusive diagnosis unlikely to change as your baby grows up.
To make sure that there is nothing wrong with the baby, doctors run several tests. Some of these are to ensure that the baby’s hearing is okay. These tests might be done every six months. X-rays are also done so that they can assure that the baby’s body will continue to grow without any problem.
All the tests and diagnoses will lessen and eventually be stopped as your child grows older. If there are no problems detected in any of these tests and diagnoses, you can rest assured that your baby will grow up healthy.
Cosmetic Issues Regarding Skin Tags on Baby’s Ear
Once you’ve ascertained that your baby has no serious health problems, you can rest easy. At this point, it’s nothing more than a cosmetic issue.
In many instances, the ear tag will only remain until your child is 16 years old. As it is harmless, you don’t have to subject your child to surgery to have it removed. In the instance that your child does want to remove it, you can support them. Cosmetic surgeries are less critical compared to health surgeries.
How to Treat and Remove Skin Tags on Ears
Treatment for ear tags is similar to the treatment of skin tags found on other parts of the body. If you decided to remove the ear tag from your baby’s ear, you have several options to choose from. You can ask your doctor for guidance on what’s the best method to use.
Tying the Skin Tag Using a String
While this is considered an old remedy to removing skin tag, some doctors still use it. Tying a string around the ear tag will cut the circulation of the blood flow. Eventually, the ear tag will fall off. It is a painless and cost-free procedure.
Removing Skin Tag Through Surgery
Nowadays, the more common option to treat skin tag is through surgery. A minor excision is all it needs. You can go to any outpatient facility.
Ideally, they won’t use anesthesia for your baby. However, the doctor will still numb the area where the surgery is going to be done so that your baby won’t have to feel as much pain. Once the area is numb, they will create a tiny incision and extract the skin tag. The whole procedure will not take more than a few minutes. After the surgery, there are no other necessary treatments.
While not recommended, there are cases when doctors have to use anesthesia. This is especially true when your baby has several tags that are clustered together. In cases like this, the doctor needs to create a slightly bigger cut. Thus, anesthesia is necessary. However, once the procedure is done, you don’t have to worry about regrowth.
Home Treatments to Remedy Skin Tags
Home remedies to treat skin tags are mostly harmless. However, you might not want to do any of them without consulting your doctor first. Even when the skin tag is benign, you might cause damage to your child especially since the ear is a sensitive area.
Using substances and procedures that haven’t been proven safe might backfire and cause serious health risks. If you really want to try a home remedy, talk to your doctor first.
Treating Skin Tags When Child is Older
If you don’t want to remove the ear tag while your child is still a baby, you can leave it be until your child is old enough to make their own decision on whether to remove or keep it. When older, you can consider the ear tag completely harmless. It is just another skin tag. It may already be okay for your child to try some home remedy options, especially after your child turns sixteen.
Skin tags won’t fall off by themselves though. If you do nothing about it, it will remain on your child’s ear even as they grow bigger and bigger. You or your child will eventually have to decide whether or not to remove it via surgery or not. But then again, this is purely an issue of cosmetics. If it’s not harming the child’s confidence in themselves, then it will do no harm to just leave it be.
After Learning the Alarming Truth About Ear Tags at Birth
So far, we’ve talked about the potential dangers of having an ear tag at birth and the remedies and treatments that you can do in order to remove it. Nothing said here is used to scare you. When you ask a doctor, do your own research, or read medical message boards, you will learn the same things. In fact, ear tags in newborns are more common than people think, but only as a cosmetic issue. There is very few documentation as to what happens after its removal, and doctors assume that’s because children are already safe from harm.
It’s Not Necessarily a Serious Health Concern
While there is a possibility that the ear tag is a symptom of a serious problem, it’s not always the case. In fact, it rarely is the case. You don’t have to panic if you find out that your baby has one. There will be a little difference in the way your baby’s ear looks. Sometimes, it will also seem like the ear has not properly developed at all. However, in most instances, this is not a cause for concern.
If your child has an inborn ear tag, it’s probably just an ear tag. While you can prepare yourself for the possibilities, there’s no reason to be excessively terrified. If your baby really did experience chromosome damage or genetic disorder while in your womb, you’ll be able to notice other signs and symptoms.
Get a Hearing Screening for Your Baby
The greatest concern when it comes to having an inborn ear tag is whether or not it affects the child’s hearing. Thus, it’s imperative that hearing screenings are done right away. You can take your child to these screenings regularly until the doctor is a hundred percent sure that there’s nothing to be worried about.
A properly developed body is necessary for a healthy baby. However, having complications while they are a newborn doesn’t mean that the child can’t grow healthy and strong.
Do Your Own Research and Ask Questions
If you want to be informed about your child’s condition, you need to do your own research. It’s so easy to be the prey of your own worries. Prepare yourself for the possibilities. However, stay calm at the same time. Choose a removal treatment or remedy that you deem is best for your baby. It could be a simple surgery or a stronger treatment to help with a more complicated condition.
Every parent should know more about skin tags on their baby’s ears and what they mean. Once it has been diagnosed, they can choose the treatment that works for their child, be it a cosmetic surgery or a medical remedy.