Hymen skin tags are mostly seen in newborn girls, but they disappear as the child grows. This does not happen in all cases as some ladies notice these flesh-colored skin tags sticking out of their vagina during puberty. In others, hymenal skin tags develop after sexual intercourse.
Read on to learn about hymenal skin tags, their causes, and how to identify them.
What Are Hymenal Skin Tags
The hymen is a thin membrane that closes the opening of the vagina and is torn during the first sexual intercourse. Although not all girls have a hymen, most might have skin tags on them.
Hymenal skin tags are tissues that stick out from the edges of the hymen. They might be seen at birth, or as remnants after the membrane has been torn after the first sex.
These tags are normally non-cancerous and do not cause any discomfort. However, they might not be a good sight and for that, can be removed in later years.
How To Identify Hymenal Skin Tags
These tags could be seen as projections of extra skin at the entrance of the vagina. Hymenal skin tags are mostly confused for other conditions like hymenal polyps, but the former has its distinct characteristics.
- They are the same color as the surrounding skin but might be a little bit darker.
- Hymenal skin tags do not cause any problems except irritation in some cases. This irritation is caused by friction against the tags during sex, masturbation, or from your underwear.
- They are soft and have blood vessels within them
- Their shape varies, but most look like a balloon hanging from a stalk.
- Some might be as small as 2 millimeters while others might extend to 10 millimeters.
Hymenal polyps are stalk-like projections of the hymen itself, unlike hymenal skin tags that are tissue outgrowths projected from the edge of the hymen.
Although some causes of vaginal skin tags are yet to be discovered, here are some common causes;
Some families have a history of hymenal skim tags. If it is so for you, the possible guess is that it is in your genes.
You could find out the nature of the tags and if they came with infections from other family members.
As stated earlier, a common cause of vaginal skin tags is friction or chafing. Skin tags are known to grow in areas of the skin fold, like in your vagina.
If the skin folds rub against each other, clothing, or other skin like during sex or masturbation, it could lead to friction and then skin tags.
When you are overweight, you have an increased body mass in all parts of your body, including your vaginal folds. This increases friction between the skin folds. In turn, large body mass causes increased chances of vaginal skin tags.
During pregnancy, there are hormonal fluctuations that inspire bodily changes, especially in the genital area. These changes include changes in body size which mean more chances for friction, and possibly skin tags.
According to a research study done in 2010, most women that have skin tags are insulin resistant. This works in coordination with other criteria like high BMI and large body mass.
In one 2008 research study done on 37 people that had skin tags, more than half tested positive for low-risk Human Papilloma Virus.
Human Papilloma Virus is a sexually transmitted infection that causes genital warts and skin tags.
This is a hormonal anomaly where too much growth hormone is secreted by the pituitary gland. This anomaly encourages the growth of hymenal skin tags.
As we age, the skin loses collagen which makes it lose elasticity and become loose. Together with hormonal changes, loss of collagen from the skin makes the skin drop, which enhances the formation of skin tags.
When To See A Doctor
Although hymenal skin tags do not pose any threat to your health or fertility, some signs might indicate otherwise. These signs include;
- Extreme pain while inserting a tampon
- Painful penetrative sex, particularly during entrance or thrusting.
- Inflammation and opening of the vaginal opening
- Painful masturbation
- Difficulty putting on underwear.
Treatment For Hymenal Skin Tags
Sometimes, hymenal skin tags could go away on their own, but what if they don’t like in other cases? Well if they do not leave on their own, you could remove them surgically.
As the lining of the vagina is very sensitive, this is the most recommended treatment compared to other skin tag removal methods.
Hymenal skin tags should only be removed by a licensed obstetrics and gynecology doctor.
How Are Hymenal Skin Tags Removed?
Here are the major steps involved in removing hymenal skin tags surgically;
- After taking off your undergarments, you would be asked to lie down on the exam table with your legs spread apart. (The same way you do during a pelvic exam)
- You would also be given a drape to place over your knees and legs. After which your vagina would be cleaned with a wipe, and anesthesia would be given to make the area numb.
- Without wasting time, your doctor would carefully cut off the hymenal skin tag with a surgical blade or scissors.
- He or she would also apply pressure on the area to stop the bleeding. After this, the procedure is done.
This entire procedure of hymenal skin tag removal takes less than 20 minutes. You could begin normal activities a few hours after the removal surgery. If you feel pain, you could take some over-the-counter painkillers.
What To Expect After A Hymenal Skin Tag Removal
After removing a hymenal skin tag, you might experience light bleeding and pain for some days. You could use a panty liner or a light pad to manage the spottings. You could also use painkillers to reduce the pain.
Instructions regarding how to wash your genital area after hymenal skin tag removal would be given strictly by your doctor. However, it is generally advised to use fragrance-free soaps and pat the area (instead of rubbing).
Also, it is bat to wait for a few days before engaging in sexual activities or anything that would entail insertion, like wearing a tampon. For better advice on what you should and shouldn’t do until you are healed, contact your doctor.
Hymenal skin tags are mostly seen outside the vaginal opening and are not a pleasant sight for a lot of people. These skin tags could be removed with minor surgical procedures by an expert.
After this one procedure, you would watch and care for your body to prevent pose infections.