Content on this page requires a newer version of Adobe Flash Player.

Get Adobe Flash player


special offers

in the news

photo gallery



faq Skin tag removal


What are skin tags?

  • Skin tags are small, benign growths that are composed of a core of fibers and ducts, nerve cells, fat cells, and a covering or epidermis. Additional names for skin tags include Acrochordons, Cutaneous Papilloma, Cutaneous tag, fibro epithelial polyp, fibroma molluscum, fibroma pendulum, Papilloma colli, soft fibroma, and Templeton skin tag. They are often seen raised from the skin on a stalk called a peduncle.

Who gets skin tags?

  • Both men and women tend to get skin tags as they age. Skin tags are also more common in pregnant women, obese people, and people with type 2 diabetes mellitus. About 46% of people develop skin tags at some point in their lives.

Where do skin tags appear?

  • Skin tags often form in areas where the skin creases, such as the neckline, the groin, the underside of the arms, the area beneath the breasts, and the eyelids. The most common location is the armpit. It is common for skin tags to appear in groups. They often become stuck on jewelry, are shaved in error, and are agitated by clothing. Women who shave their armpits should be careful not to shave or cut skin tags that are located there.

Are skin tags harmful?

  • Although skin tags are technically tumors, they are benign and normally harmless. They can, however, become damaged and become inflamed and sore. If shaved off or rubbed hard, they may bleed.

What causes skin tags?

Although we do not know the exact cause of skin tags, the following are thought to be associated with their appearance:

  • Chaffing and irritation from the skin rubbing together

  • Hormones secreted during pregnancy or in cases of acromegaly (gigantism)

  • Insulin resistance caused by diabetes

  • Human Papilloma Virus (HIV)

  • Illegal steroid use that interferes with the body and muscles, causing the collagen fibers in the skin to bond so that skin tags are formed

How are skin tags removed?

Since skin tags are generally harmless, they are usually removed for aesthetic or cosmetic reasons. Physicians usually remove skin tags using one of the following methods:

  • Cauterization - the skin tag is burned off using electrolysis

  • Cryosurgery - the skin tag is frozen off using liquid nitrogen

  • Ligation - the blood supply to the skin tag is interrupted