What Are Skin Tags?

These soft little (or not so little) balloons of the flesh are considered ugly by many. Skin tags are harmless growths that can vary in number from one to hundreds. Although some skin tags may fall off spontaneously, most persist once formed. The medical name for skin tag is acrochordon or even “skin tabs”. It is a very common condition that doesn’t pose any threat to the health and is not any sort of cancer or tumor.

A dermatologist may use to describe a skin tag include fibroepithelial polyp, acrochordon, and soft fibroma. All of these terms describe skin tags and are non-cancerous, painless skin growths. There are extremely rare instances where a skin tag could be cancerous.

Where Does Skin Tag Appear?

The most common areas for skin tags are the neck and armpits. Other common body areas for the development of skin tags include the eyelids and private areas of the body such as breasts or thighs. Younger children may develop tags at the upper eyelid areas, often in areas where they may rub their eyes. Children who are plump may also develop skin tags in areas where skin rubs against skin, like the thighs.

Skin tags typically occur in the following areas:

  • Neck
  • Eyelids
  • Underarms
  • Groin folds and Buttock folds

How Can Skin Tags Be Treated?

Deciding not to get rid of a skin tag is always a reasonable option if the growths are not a problem to your appearance. Multiple homes & medical treatment methods are available to treat and get rid of them as per your convenience. Skin tags are typically removed by physical methods like cutting off or tying off with dental floss.

Often skin tags are also inadvertently shaved off while removing hair from the armpit either with a razor or by waxing. Skin infection is a rare possible complication of accidentally shaving off skin tags. Additionally, skin bumps that have bled or rapidly changed may also need a pathologic examination. Skin tags that have changed color or bleed may require your doctor’s opinion.

What Causes Skin Tags?

There is no particular cause for this condition. Sometimes it is even caused because of hereditary. Skin tags are not present at birth and their frequency increases with age. Because of the increased skin-to-skin contact and friction, skin tags are most common in fat people. As they are more common in skin folds, they may be mainly caused by skin rubbing against skin. The hormonal changes of pregnancy can also stimulate the growth of skin tags, particularly during the second child.

They have also been associated with diabetics, majorly when there is too much insulin circulating in the blood. Large skin tags, especially in areas where they may rub against something, such as clothing, jewelry or skin, may be removed due to irritation. 


About 25 percent of people will develop skin tags, usually starting after the age of 50. Skin tags are more common among people with diabetes as well as people who are overweight or obese – conditions that often go together.

If you have a skin tag, then you must show it to a dermatologist.

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