What are skin tags?

Skin tags (acrochordons) are small flesh-coloured or brown growths that hang off the skin and look a bit like warts. They’re very common and harmless.

Skin tags can vary in size from a few millimetres up to 5cm wide.

They’re 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.

Why skin tags occur?

Anyone can develop skin tags, but they’re particularly common in older people and people with diabetes. Pregnant women may be more likely to develop skin tags, caused by changes in their hormone levels. Some people develop them for no apparent reason.

Skin tags tend to grow where skin rubs against skin or clothing. This would explain why they also tend to affect overweight people or younger children who have excess folds of skin and skin chafing.

When can skin tags be a problem?

Skin tags are harmless and don’t usually cause pain or discomfort.

However, you may want to consider getting them removed if they are

a) Looking unsightly and affect your self-esteem, or

b) If they snag on clothing or jewellery and bleed.

Removing skin tags

If a skin tag is upsetting you, consider making an appointment with a Dermatologist to have it removed.

Electrofulguration and electrodessication with Hyfrecator for DPN’s, freckles, plain warts and skin tags; bloodless surgery for excision of skin cancers and benign growths with radio frequency

Don’t attempt to remove large skin tags yourself because they will bleed heavily.

Skin tag or wart?

Here’s how to tell the difference:

  • Skin tags are smooth and soft, whereas warts tend to be rougher with an irregular surface.
  • Skin tags are knobbly and hang off the skin, whereas warts are usually flat.
  • Skin tags aren’t contagious, but warts spread very easily, so a sudden outbreak or cluster of growths is more likely to be warts.

Consult your Dermatologist for safe and painless wart removal

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