By Lisa Batten Kunkleman
Let’s be honest. Sometimes aging is not pretty. There are some body changes we don’t discuss but I think it’s time we should. I’ll start with skin tags. Just what are those tiny pieces of epidermis we call skin tags? Are they more than just fleshy little critters that crop up on aging skin that was smooth just days before? They spring up like mushrooms from soggy ground after a dreary week of rain, making spiky interruptions on necks, underarms, and other unsuspecting areas.
Maybe it’s nature’s way of saying, “Ok people with graying or thinning hair. Listen up. We don’t need you making any more babies so we’re going to ugly you up a little more. It won’t hurt but you’re going to start growing excess skin where you’ve never grown any before.”
I’m producing quite a crop of tiny tags since turning forty a few years ago. I must have been pretty darn beautiful if it takes so much to ugly me up. While looking at my own annoying neck hitchhikers in the mirror recently, I had a brainstorm. Some physicians could offer inexpensive skin tag removal in a travel trailer sort of like the Red Cross uses their Blood Mobile. They could publicize the event and park the trailer in church or business parking lots that cater to middle-aged people. That over forty crowd whose skin has a mind of its own.
A sign could explain the procedure choices. I’m envisioning something like this:
- Strangulation: Medical personnel will tie a string around the offensive skin tags, pull tight and make a knot. Leave on overnight or for a few days. The tag will turn purple and fall off.
- Snip and go: Tiny scissors resembling cat nail clippers snip off tags. This method is perfect for regular tag growers. Harvest time is by the minute so the snipping is very quick. Expect a stinging sensation in the shower for a day or so.
- Freezing: Medical personnel touch tags with dry ice pens and hold onto each tag. There is a stinging cold sensation but little pain afterward. A second treatment may be required for tough leathery sunbaked skin. (Another good reason to use that sunscreen)
- Chapstickization: An expert will apply prescription-grade chapstick liberally on all tags. You continue the treatment at home each night. Tags do not like being suffocated in wax so they release their hold on skin and fall off. (Warning: beware of tags falling off in public. Find a nearby restroom with a mirror if you need to finish disconnecting the tag with your tweezers.)
Skin tags are a serious condition that negatively affects both the skin and psyche of millions of older adults leading to depression and isolation. Caring physicians could remedy this situation. Doctors could indeed follow the Blood Mobile example and take relief directly to the people who need it most.
I know of a retired physician who is doing his part by bartering services with his gardener. The gardener pulls the doctors weeds and in return, the doctor uses the snip and go method of tag removal on this man who has battled massive tag crops for many years. That is almost like Doctors Without Borders thinking. See a need, roll up your sleeves and do what you can to improve that situation. Tag Removal: It’s not just for dermatologists anymore.
Disclaimer: These ideas are not those of medical professionals and are made up by the author. Don’t try this at home.