Skin tags are small growths that hang off your skin. They’re common and harmless, but can be removed if they’re bothering you.
What do skin tags look like?
Skin tags are small, soft, skin-coloured growths on your skin. They can vary in colour and size – from a few millimetres up to 5cm wide.
Skin tags are usually found on the neck, armpits, around the groin, or under the breasts. They can also grow on the eyelids or under the folds of the buttocks.
They can look like warts but skin tags are usually:
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)
Skin tags do not usually cause any pain or discomfort.
Skin tags are made of loose collagen fibres and blood vessels surrounded by skin. Collagen is a type of protein found throughout the body.
Both men and women can develop skin tags. They tend to occur in older people and people who are obese and type 2 diabetes but anyone can have them.
Pregnant women may also be more likely to develop skin tags as a result of changes in their hormone levels. Some people develop them for no apparent reason.
Skin tags tend to grow in the skin folds, where the skin rubs against itself, such as on the neck, armpits or groin. This is why they tend to affect overweight people who have excess folds of skin and skin chafing.
Skin tags are harmless and do not usually cause pain or discomfort.
However, you may consider having skin tags removed if they’re affecting your self-esteem, or if they snag on clothing or jewellery and bleed.
The technique we use to remove skin tags is very quick and pain free.
We use a hand held device that produces a small spark of energy that burns the stem of the tag and cauterises at the same time.
Multiple tags can be removed in one sitting.
There will be a slight wound at the sight of the tag that will need to heal for a few days.
While the area is healing you will need to avoid sun beds and hot tubs, as it is an open wound and is susceptible to infection.
Keep the area clean and dry.
Normal daily activity can resume straight after the appointment.