Skin tags aren’t a medical emergency, but they are often annoying or unsightly and can get caught on things so you probably want to get them removed. Here’s some information on what they are, what causes them, where they commonly occur, and how to remove them:
What are skin tags?
A skin tag is a small skin growth that is usually painless and harmless. It usually consists of hanging skin that may have a stalk. Skin tags are also known by these names: acrochordon, cutaneous papilloma, cutaneous tag, fibroepithelial polyp, fibroma molluscum, fibroma pendulum, soft fibroma, and Templeton skin tags.
They can appear anywhere on your body but are very common where skin can rub against more skin or clothing such as the eyelids, neck, groin area, and armpits. Skin tags are small, usually measured in millimeters, but can grow to a half-inch in length.
Once formed, they typically don’t get much bigger. You can get just one or two or may have many skin tags. They can also occur in isolated spots or together as a group.
Who gets skin tags?
Skin tags are very common, with over three million men and women in the U.S. experiencing them. They may be genetic, but anyone can get them. They’re more common in adults than children, though people of all ages, genders, and skin types can get skin tags.
Researchers have noticed that certain people tend to be more prone to getting skin tags, including obese, diabetic, and pregnant patients as well as those with Crohn’s disease.
What causes skin tags?
A skin tag may develop without noticing it. Doctors don’t know for sure what causes them, but they could be formed by a mix of genetics and environmental factors. Skin tags can also form because of skin rubbing together where it folds.
Skin tags are not cancerous and don’t increase the risk of cancer.
How to remove a skin tag
You don’t necessarily have to remove a skin tag, but many patients choose to for cosmetic reasons or so they don’t rub on other skin and get irritated. You also want to get your skin tag checked out by a Dermatologist if it changes color or size.
However, if you do want to remove your skin tag then you’ll want to see a Dermatologist for the removal so that you don’t risk excessive bleeding, hurting your skin, or getting an infection. A Dermatologist can also conduct a skin exam to make sure there aren’t any other medical concerns with your skin.