Skin tags are soft, small skin-coloured benign growths on the skin that develop in both men and women.
Skin tags, medically known as acrochordons, are usually a few millimetres in size but some can grow as big as 5cm.
They are commonly found on the neck, under the arms, around the groin or under the breasts. They can also grow on the eyelids or under the folds of the buttocks.
Why skin tags occur?
Anyone can develop skin tags and some people are prone to developing them for no apparent reason. It is thought that skin tags grow where skin rubs against skin or clothing.
Skin tags are harmless and don't usually cause pain or discomfort but people may consider having skin tags removed if they're affecting their self-esteem, or if they catch on clothing or jewellery and bleed.
Skin tags can fall off on their own if the tissue has twisted and has died from a lack of blood supply but it is not recommended to try to remove these yourself!
Skin tag or wart?
Skin tags can resemble a wart. Here's how to tell if you've a skin tag.
Compared to warts, skin tags are:
- smooth and soft (warts tend to be rougher with an irregular surface)
- knobbly and hang off the skin (warts are usually slightly raised or flat)
- not contagious (warts spread very easily, so a sudden outbreak or cluster of growths is more likely to be warts)
Removing skin tags
If you have a skin tag that's causing problems, speak with a skin specialist.
Skin tags can easily be burnt or frozen off in a similar way to how warts are removed. They can also be surgically removed and removed using diathermy.
For more details on Skin Tags and removal contact the Claudia McGloin Clinic.