Skin tags, also known as acrochordons, are small, soft, flesh-colored growths that typically appear on the skin’s surface. They are generally benign and do not cause any pain or discomfort. However, their appearance may cause people to feel self-conscious.
They are most commonly found in areas where skin rubs against skin, such as the neck, armpits, groin, and eyelids. They can occur at any age, but are more common in older adults. Both men and women may have these noncancerous growths.
Causes of skin tags
The exact cause of these growths is not known. People who are overweight or have Type 2 diabetes may be more likely to develop them. They may also be more common in people who have a family history of the condition. They may also be seen more often in people with HPV, though the reason for this is not clear.
Sometimes pregnancy leads to skin tags. Since they tend to show up where there are skin folds, it may be that people who have more skin folds will be more likely to have skin tags.
Skin tags are generally harmless and do not require any medical treatment. However, if it is causing discomfort or is located in an area where it is constantly irritated, the growth may need to be removed. This can be done through a simple outpatient procedure, such as cutting or freezing it off. In some cases, a doctor may recommend a biopsy to rule out any underlying conditions.
Another treatment option is to use over-the-counter remedies, such as creams or ointments. These products contain ingredients that are designed to shrink the tag and make it fall off. However, these products may not be effective for all types of skin tags, and they can also cause skin irritation or other side effects.