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Genital skin tags are abnormal growths of skin that extend from the genitals in a stick, pouch, or finger-like projection. Though these projections of skin are benign, which means they are not cancerous, people are often alarmed to find them and dislike their appearance. Fortunately, however, genital skin tags are not contagious, and can be treated by a doctor, often with freezing techniques or minor surgery. While a person awaits treatment, the growths are unlikely to cause any serious issues, though they can sometimes become uncomfortable and even bleed.
In general, skin tags are small growths of skin that project from a stalk-like piece of tissue. They are usually benign and can appear on just about any patch of skin, but they are more likely to develop where the skin has a good deal of friction. When they develop in the genital area, they are referred to as genital skin tags. These growths are no different from those that develop on any other part of the body, however, and are not contagious. Despite this fact, many people find them disturbing, no matter how tiny they are, and prefer to have them removed.
When a woman gets genital skin tags, they often develop on the outer part of the vagina, which is referred to as the vulva. A woman may prove more prone to developing skin tags on her genitals and other parts of her body when she is pregnant. She can get them without regard to whether she is expecting a child, however. Additionally, some women notice that their skin tags appear to change in relation to their menstrual periods. When this occurs, the skin tags often swell during the menstrual period and then return to normal after it's over.
Men typically develop genital skin tags on the penile shaft. They are most likely to develop on men who are sexually active because of the friction against the penis during sex. Sometimes children may develop on them on the penis in relation to circumcision, though they can also develop for no apparent reason.
Genital skin tags do not usually cause harm, and a person does not have to seek treatment. They can, however, catch on clothing, get irritated, or bleed in response to friction. In such a case, the affected person may experience discomfort.
There is no proven effective home remedy for genital skin tags. A patient will typically need to see a doctor for help, and medical treatment options often include minor surgery or freezing of the skin tag using liquid nitrogen. A doctor can also burn off skin tags, but this may prove less attractive to those seeking treatment of the genital area.