Skin tags are small flaps of skin that hang off your body. They are connected to the underlying skin by a narrow stalk. Although skin tags are sometimes unpleasant to look at, they are harmless. They have a flesh-colored or brown hue, and rarely grow larger than a few millimeters in size.
How do skin tags develop?
Skin tags can grow on any area of the body, but most commonly occur where one area of skin is in constant contact with another. Typically, these locations are the neck, underarms, eyelids, groin and in the chest region, just below the breasts. No one is born with skin tags, but they can occur due to genetic factors. Rather, they develop with age, and become more frequent later in life. An estimated 25% of adults have skin tags.
How are skin tags treated?
Because skin tags are benign growths, most do not require treatment. Skin tags typically do not cause pain either. If a skin tag is itchy, bleeding or painful, you should consult a dermatologist to diagnose what is causing the irritation. Minor surgery is an option for those who wish to remove their skin tags due to discomfort or for aesthetic purposes.
The diagnosis process is simple. A doctor can distinguish a skin tag from another skin condition based on its distinct appearance. Some other skin conditions, such as moles and warts, can occasionally resemble skin tags, but it is especially rare for a more severe condition to result in the emergence of a skin tag. Skin tags can be easily removed with a blade or by freezing or burning them off. Unless the skin tag is particularly large, there is not even a need for local anaesthesia.
When skin tags are removed, they will not grow back, though other skin tags may appear in other locations at a later point. There is no surefire way to prevent skin tags, but since obese people tend to be at higher risk, weight loss can help avert developing skin tags.
If you have a skin tag that you would like to have examined by a professional, schedule an appointment on our website or by calling 651-209-1600.