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All About Skin Tags

Are you suffering from skin tags — those little flaps of skin that often look like little bumps? Skin tags are usually not considered dangerous; however, people often find that they can be unattractive, or can snag on jewelry or clothing, causing them to become irritated or itchy.

What Are Skin Tags?

Skin tags are simply soft skin growths. The often appear on the neck, armpits, groin folds, under the breasts, or on the eyelids. Skin tags are benign growths that look like tiny balloons of hanging skin. The tags can be flesh colored or darkly pigmented and stand out from the surrounding skin from a narrow stalk. They can range in size from small (about half the size of a pencil eraser) to relatively large (about the size of a fig).

Nearly everyone will develop a skin tag, although middle aged and/or obese adults are most likely to experience skin tags. In some cases, hormone changes, such as those associated with pregnancy, can cause skin tag formation. In fact, skin tags are seen more in pregnant women.

Skin tags are harmless skin growths and are benign. They are not usually cancerous and typically will not become cancerous if left untreated. However, there are very rare cases where a skin tag can become precancerous. Should the skin tag bleed, grow, or develop multiple colors, a biopsy should be performed to rule out skin cancer.

Skin Tag Removal

While most skin tags do not require removal or treatment, they may be an irritant or just an unattractive skin issue. There are several treatments that are available if you feel you wish to have a skin tag removed.

Skin tags can be removed through the application of liquid nitrogen to essentially freeze it, which will cause it to fall away. Electric cauterization is another skin tag treatment, along with simple removal via scalpel or scissors. Many people incorrectly believe that when a skin tag is removed, more will grow in its place. However, this is not true. Additionally, there is no strong evidence that skin tags are contagious and absolutely require skin tag treatment.

Dr. Wright, medical director of Laser Lipo and Vein says, “We understand that skin tags are usually a cosmetic issue rather than a medical one.” He continues, “My staff and I can help you treat these tags, and should you be concerned that the tag may be cancerous, we can examine the tag and make a diagnosis to ensure your skin remains healthy.”

Photo By Jmarchn – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,