What Causes Skin Tags?

girl with papillomas on skin around eye Skin tags are benign growths that typically occur in areas where the skin creases or folds, such as the armpits, neck, and groin area. While skin tags are not particularly dangerous, they can be bothersome if they persist or become irritated. Skin tags are generally easy to remove and do not require medical treatment. However, some South Florida patients may consider having them removed at Hollywood Dermatology and Cosmetic Specialists.

What causes skin tags to develop?

The exact reason why skin tags develop is unknown, but they are thought to be related to friction or irritation of the skin. Skin tags are more common in people who are overweight or have diabetes.

Other factors that can cause skin tags include:

  • Age
  • Genetics (you are more likely to get skin tags if other family members have them)
  • High blood pressure and high cholesterol
  • Pregnancy
  • Tight clothing

How are skin tags treated?

In most cases, skin tags do not require treatment; however, if a skin tag is causing discomfort or is located in an area that is prone to irritation, it can be removed. Skin tags are removed through a variety of methods, including:

  • Cutting: A skin tag can be cut off with a sharp knife or scissors.
  • Freezing: A skin tag can be frozen off with liquid nitrogen.
  • Burning: A skin tag can be burned off with a hot wire or cautery pen.
  • Ligation: A skin tag can be tied off with a surgical thread. This cuts off the blood supply to the skin tag, causing it to fall off.

You should never attempt to remove a skin tag at home. It may lead to problems such as infection, scarring, and bleeding. Sometimes, skin tags can actually be moles or cancerous growths, and they should be evaluated by a professional.

In-office skin tag removal treatments are safe and effective. After a skin tag is removed, it will not grow back. However, new skin tags may form in other areas of the skin. In that case, you may want to schedule another visit to our practice.

When should I see a doctor?

See your skin doctor and dermatologist if you have a skin tag that is large, bleeding, or located in an area that is challenging to keep clean or is subject to friction (such as the groin or armpit). These types of skin tags may be indicative of a more serious condition and may require medical treatment.

How do I learn more about skin tags and other growths?

It is always a bright idea to visit a dermatologist in South Florida if you develop any noticeable or unusual changes to your skin that need to be evaluated by a professional. Call 954-961-1200 to request a consultation appointment and evaluation with our team at Hollywood Dermatology and Cosmetic Specialists.

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