Skin tags are a very common benign growth, with most adults seeing at least one skin tag in their lifetime. While not harmful, they can be removed if you choose.
Skin tags are noncancerous growths that are similar in color as the surrounding skin. They are the result of excess skin cell development within the top layer of the skin, and most common in areas that face frequent movement or friction. This can include the armpits, neck, breast creases, thighs, groin or eyelids. Patients who have a family history of skin tags, diabetes, obesity, or other skin conditions are more likely to have skin tags. While a skin tag is not harmful to your health, it is recommended to have them examined by a dermatology care provider to rule out similar-looking conditions such as skin cancer.
Skin Tag Removal
Skin tag removal is not necessary for your health, but can be performed for cosmetic reasons or to relieve discomfort from a skin tag that frequently tugs or catches on clothing and jewelry. If you wish to have a skin tag removed, do not attempt to do so at home. This creates a risk of infection, scarring and other complications.
In most cases, skin tags are removed through a simple surgery. Your provider may shave or cut away the excess tissue using a scalpel, surgical razor or surgical scissors. This process does not typically require numbing or local anesthesia. In other cases, your provider may recommend removing the skin tag through cryosurgery (freezing with liquid nitrogen) or electrocautery.