What are Skin Tags?

Skin tags are usually painless and benign growths on the skin. They’re attached to the skin by a thin and a rather small trace called a peduncle. Especially for those above 50 years of age, it is common for both men and women. Skin tags are frequently found in areas where the skin folds such as armpits, thighs, neck, eyelids, and under the breast.

Considering they are in visible areas, skin tags can be uncomfortable and embarrassing. Having them appear on your neck, armpits or thighs can really affect the way you dress, act, and work on a daily basis. In this case, you should seek a way to treat or remove it.

Types of Treatment

Fortunately, skin tags can detach naturally, as they may rub off on their own. In other cases, if the skin tags become uncomfortable or painful, you have the choice to have them removed.

Your dermatologist can remove them in the following ways:

Cryptotherapy: Freezing the skin tag with the use of liquid nitrogen

Surgery: Removing the skin tag with scissors or a scalpel

Electrosurgery: Burning skin tag off with electrical energy.

Ligation: Removing the skin tag by tying it off with a surgical strand, and cutting off its blood flow.

Usually, none of these options require any anaesthesia. Depending on your doctor and the size of your skin tag, you may need local anesthesia. It is important to mention that it is not a good idea to attempt skin tag removal on your own. Some DIY techniques may trigger bleeding, burns and even infections. Let a professional dermatologist handle the job.


  • Will more growths occur if I remove the skin tag?

No. There is absolutely no scientific evidence that the removal of skin tags will cause more growths. Skin tag pathology does not suggest that these growths procreate or in any way involve the trigger of more lesions. ‘

  • Are skin tags contagious?

Skin tags are not contagious like other possible skin issues, such as warts. They are very different. The possibility of catching a skin tag from another individual is zero to none.

  • Does my Insurance cover removal options?

Unless the skin tag being removed is malignant or poses a threat to your health, most insurance providers do not cover this treatment. Also, many insurance policies consider skin tags as cosmetic procedures, which are not included in their plans. If the doctor does suggest that the skin tag can be a threat, the insurance should be able to cover it.

  • What are the causes of skin tags?

Skin tags are usually affected by more than one factor. It can be caused by friction, as they are usually found in areas where the skin is folded. They also affect people who are overweight, as they are more likely to have skin folds. The frequency of skin folds is also likely to increase with age. Hormonal changes, loose-hanging skin, and weight gain can all occur with age, and throughout pregnancy. Skin tags can also be due to genetics, so if a parent has many skin tags, you will have a higher chance of getting them as well.

It is important to become familiar with skin tags and knowing how to treat them. Skin tags can form at any moment, and although mostly not dangerous, they can be bothersome. If you decide you want to remove a skin tag at any time, make sure you are reaching out to a Board Certified Dermatologist who knows what they’re doing.

If you have any other skin issues or want to come in for a consultation, Elias Dermatology is your place.