If you’re interested in treatment, please visit our Skin Tag Removal page.
These strange looking skin growths are very common and are benign (harmless), occurring equally in both males and females. They are small and soft in appearance and can be either flesh-coloured or brown, looking much like tiny pockets of hanging skin; in fact, they often project from the surrounding skin from a tiny narrow stalk (they are pedunculated.)
Skin tags are composed of a core of fibres and ducts, nerve cells, fat cells and a covering or epidermis.
Skin tags are typically only a few mm in diameter (2 – 5mm), but some can grow as large as 5cm, about the size of a fig.
The medical name for skin tags (or skin tabs as they are sometimes known) is acrochordons.
Where do skin tags form?
They may appear on any part of the body, but are generally located in areas where skin rubs against skin, for example; on the neck, on the eyelids, in the armpits, under the breasts, around the groin or in the folds of the buttock area.
What causes them?
Factors associated with the increased risk of skin tags forming include; being overweight or obese, having diabetes or polycystic ovary syndrome, having HIV or even being pregnant. Others just appear with age or because of genetics. In any person, skin tags can grow in numbers from one, up to the hundreds and whilst some will spontaneously fall off if the tissue has died from a lack of blood supply, most will remain permanently.
Remember that although they can look unsightly, these growths are completely harmless.
Why do people get them removed?
Sometimes skin tags cause no symptoms at all, you may even have had skin tags in the past that you haven’t noticed. In many cases however, clothing, jewellery and the shaving of the skin cause the tags to be rubbed or irritated repeatedly, causing discomfort, bleeding or annoyance. In some cases, large skin tags can burst under pressure. Many people opt to have skin tags removed for these reasons.
The NHS will not generally pay for the removal of skin tags and you will usually need to pay privately for their removal.
It is important to note that the removal of skin tags does not cause more to grow in their place.
How are skin tags removed at Good Skin Days?
There are two effective methods of removal and the size and nature of the skin tag will determine which of these is the most suitable. If the skin tag is on a stalk, the Doctor will use a piece of equipment called a Hyfrecator, which excises the tag from the skin and seals the tiny capillaries surrounding it, to prevent bleeding. This procedure takes just a few minutes and there is no need for stitches.
If the skin tag is closer to the surface of the skin, a class 4 medical grade laser can be used to quickly and easily ablate the skin tag.
In either case, the Doctor will inject a local anaesthetic into the surrounding area, so the treatment is relatively painless.
If you would like to talk to our medical team further about skin tags or to make an appointment, please call us on 01943 882011 or email email@example.com