Skin tags (also known as papillomas, fibroepithelial polyps) are common and harmless soft bumps that appear to hang off the skin and develop in men and women as they mature.
They are usually flesh-colored but may appear darker, and usually range in size from one millimeter to five centimeters. They are most commonly found in the skin folds of the neck, underarms, and groin. Although most skin tags do not cause problems, they can become irritated when traumatized or snagged by jewelry, becoming red and swollen, painful or itchy.
Skin tags are essentially benign outgrowths of the skin that do not become cancerous. The cause is unknown but factors such as constant irritation from skin rubbing, obesity, insulin resistance and pregnancy may play a role.
How can they be removed?
Skin tags can be removed if they are bothersome, or for cosmetic reasons by the following methods:
- Surgical Excision (often with scissoring)
- Cryotherapy (freezing)
- Electrosurgery (diathermy)
- Carbon Dioxide Laser (for tiny skin tags)