Demystifying Skin Tags: Causes and Removal Tips

Written by: Charlotte Raines


Do you ever feel like your skin tags are holding you back from feeling beautiful and confident? You're not alone! The prevalence of skin tags is high among adults, affecting almost half of the population at some point.

They may seem mysterious and somewhat unsettling, but they're generally harmless. These small growths are noncancerous and can appear anywhere on your body - but are most commonly found in areas where the skin folds or creases.

Whether your goals include reducing discomfort or improving the look of a specific area with skin tag removal – we’ll explore the best options for you.

Unraveling the Mystery of Skin Tags

Discover the truth about skin tags! Also known as acrochordons, these harmless growths pop up where skin comes into contact with other skin or clothing. Don't worry; they're usually no bigger than 5mm.

Unlike other skin conditions that demand urgent medical intervention or fancy creams, most skin tags are made up of collagen and healthy skin cells. No malignant cells here - skin tags are not associated with skin cancer! So you can relax and learn more about taking care of these little nuisances.

The Prevalence and Frequency of Skin Tags

Did you know that about half of all adults will develop a skin tag at some point in their lives? It's a common occurrence, especially as we get older. In fact, it's not uncommon to have multiple skin tags at the same time, especially in areas that experience friction, like the neck and underarms.

But here's something important to note: if you notice any sudden changes in your skin tags, like rapid growth or changes in color, it's crucial to seek professional advice right away to get your skin tags examined. Though rare, these changes could indicate underlying health issues, such as diabetes or hormonal imbalances.

That's why it's so important to get your skin tags checked out. Early detection is key to successfully treating many diseases and disorders that can affect our skin, which is our body's largest organ. So don't hesitate to reach out to a professional if you have any concerns about your skin tags.

Ruling Out Other Conditions

Attempting to diagnose skin tags may not always be as straightforward as it seems. It could indicate more significant conditions like moles, seborrheic keratosis, molluscum contagiosum, or neurofibromas. Proper diagnosis is crucial to ensure the right treatment - especially if related to a skin disease.


Leave it to the professionals who can accurately identify whether it's a harmless acrochordon or something more. They'll examine its characteristics and location on the body to provide the right answer.

Key Takeaways:

Skin tags, harmless but prevalent growths on the skin, are primarily composed of collagen and healthy epidermal cells. They commonly appear in areas prone to friction like necklines and underarms. Though typically benign, any sudden changes should prompt immediate professional consultation to rule out underlying health issues.

Prevalence and Causes of Skin Tags

These benign growths can appear anywhere on your body but are most common in areas where skin rubs against skin or clothing, such as the neck, armpits, groin area, and eyelids. The causes behind these formations aren't entirely understood yet. However, several contributing factors have been identified.

The Role of Genetics in Skin Tag Formation

Your genetic makeup plays an integral role in developing skin tags. If one or both parents had them during their lifetime, there's a high probability you might also develop them at some point. Research conducted by NCBI suggests that certain genes may be responsible for this predisposition towards forming harmless yet often bothersome skin tags.

This could explain why, despite similar lifestyle habits and environmental exposure, some people experience more instances than others throughout their lifespan.

Impact of Lifestyle Factors on Skin Tag Development

Lifestyle factors can greatly influence who will develop skin tags throughout their lifetime.

Obesity is one of the primary risk factors; increased body weight often results in more skin folds and creases, leading to greater skin friction. Moreover, individuals with type 2 diabetes or insulin resistance have been observed to have a higher prevalence of skin tags, suggesting a potential link between skin tag formation and metabolic disorders.

Hormonal changes and imbalances, as witnessed during pregnancy, can also precipitate the growth of skin tags. Additionally, age is a notable factor; as one ages, the likelihood of developing skin tags increases. It's worth noting that while these growths are harmless and non-cancerous, monitoring and understanding one's body and the effects of lifestyle choices can assist in managing and potentially reducing their occurrence.

Key Takeaway:

Almost half the population deal with skin tags, common benign growths often found where skin rubs against itself or clothing. Genetics play a key role in their development, but lifestyle factors like type 2 diabetes, hormonal changes during pregnancy and menopause, weight gain causing friction between skin folds, and HPV infections can also contribute.

Home Remedies for Managing Skin Tags

Skin tags, although harmless and noncancerous, can sometimes be a cause of concern or discomfort. While professional skin tag removal procedures are available, there are several home remedies that have been found effective in managing these small growths.

Using Tea Tree Oil for Skin Tag Removal

Looking for a natural way to get rid of skin tags? Tea tree oil might be the answer! This popular remedy has been believed to have antiseptic properties that can help dry out and shrink skin tags. Here's a simple step-by-step guide to using tea tree oil for skin tag removal:

Start by cleaning the area around the skin tag with mild soap and water. Dry it thoroughly with a clean towel. Make sure you're using 100% pure tea tree oil. Avoid diluted versions or products with added ingredients that might not be as effective and could irritate your skin.

Dip a clean cotton ball or a Q-tip into the tea tree oil and gently apply it to the skin tag, making sure to cover the entire tag with the oil. To keep the oil in place and prevent accidental rubbing off, place a bandage over the skin tag. Repeat this process 2-3 times a day for best results. Consistency is key!

Keep an eye on your skin. Over time, the skin tag may darken and eventually fall off, taking anywhere from a few weeks to a few months. If you experience any irritation, redness, itching, or other adverse reactions, stop using the tea tree oil immediately. After the skin tag falls off, remember to moisturize the area and protect it from direct sunlight to minimize scarring.

The Power of Banana Peel in Skin Tag Management

Have you heard of using banana peels to remove skin tags? It's a popular home remedy that has been circulating for years. The theory is that certain enzymes and nutrients in banana peels can help dry out and shrink skin tags. Here's how you can try it out for yourself:

Start by gently cleaning the area around the skin tag with mild soap and water. Make sure to dry it thoroughly.

Cut a small piece of banana peel, just enough to cover the skin tag. Place the inside part of the peel (the white part) against the skin tag. Secure it in place with a bandage or medical tape. It is recommended to leave it on overnight so the skin tag shrinks while undisturbed.

Replace the banana peel daily and continue the process until the skin tag dries out or falls off. This can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks. Be sure to keep an eye out for any skin irritation, redness, or other negative reactions. If you experience any of these, stop using the banana peel.

It's important to note that scientific evidence for the effectiveness of using banana peels for skin tag removal is limited. Many home remedies, including this one, are based on personal experiences rather than scientific research. Before trying any home remedy, it's always a good idea to consult with a dermatologist or medical professional. They can provide safe and effective methods for removing skin tags.

Over-the-Counter Solutions for Removing Skin Tags

Over-the-counter (OTC) solutions offer a convenient way for individuals to address skin tags without needing a prescription or visiting a dermatologist. Some of the common OTC solutions for removing skin tags include:

  • Cryotherapy Kits: These are OTC versions of the liquid nitrogen treatments dermatologists use. They work by freezing the skin tag, causing it to fall off after some days. Popular brands include Compound W Freeze Off and Dr. Scholl's Freeze Away.

  • Skin Tag Removal Creams and Solutions: These often contain ingredients like salicylic acid or lactic acid that help to dry out and eventually remove the skin tag. Always follow the instructions on the product label.

  • Skin Tag Removal Patches: These patches are infused with natural ingredients or medications designed to dry out the skin tag. They're discreet and can be worn throughout the day.

  • Tag Bands or Micro Banding Kits: These kits come with small bands that are placed around the base of the skin tag, restricting its blood supply. Over time, this causes the skin tag to fall off.

  • Over-the-Counter Electrocautery Devices: These devices use heat to burn off the skin tag. It's crucial to follow the manufacturer's instructions carefully and be aware of the risks, such as burns or scars.

While OTC solutions can be effective, they might not be suitable for everyone or for skin tags located in sensitive areas, like the eyelids or groin. Before using any OTC product, read the instructions thoroughly, conduct a patch test to check for allergic reactions, and consider consulting with a dermatologist to ensure it's safe and appropriate for your specific situation.

Carefully Follow Product Instructions

The importance of adhering closely to provided instructions cannot be overstated when dealing with over-the-counter remedies like freeze-off treatments or creams containing salicylic acid aimed at removing unwanted growths from our skins.

To ensure safety while utilizing these products, always conduct a patch test first, applying a small amount to an inconspicuous area of your body before proceeding with a full application of the affected sites; misuse could lead to not only ineffective results but also undesirable side effects, irritation, even burns to sensitive areas around the lesion itself.

Key Takeaways:

When it comes to skin tags, there's no need for panic. Over-the-counter solutions like freezing kits can effectively remove these pesky growths. Just remember to follow the instructions carefully and do a patch test first, as everyone's skin reacts differently.

Surgical Procedures for Permanent Skin Tag Removal

Dealing with skin tags can be frustrating, but surgical removal offers an effective and permanent solution. These procedures are typically outpatient, helping you say goodbye to unsightly skin tags once and for all.

Cauterization: A Heat-Based Solution

A common method in the battle against skin tags is cauterization. This procedure involves using heat to destroy unwanted skin tissue that extends beyond the normal surface level - the actual 'tag' itself.

The process begins when your healthcare provider numbs the area around your tag with local anesthesia. Then they use a special tool designed specifically for this purpose, which heats up rapidly enough to burn off the tag without causing damage to surrounding tissues.

This technique has proven quite successful in removing multiple skin tags at once while minimizing bleeding due to its ability to seal blood vessels during the operation. Minor side effects such as temporary discoloration or slight pain might occur post-procedure; however, these usually fade over time, providing long-term benefits in maintaining a healthy appearance and boosting self-confidence.

Cryosurgery: The Cold Approach

If you're looking for professional help regarding those pesky little growths known as 'skin tags', cryosurgery could be just what you need. Unlike cauterization, which uses heat, cryosurgery employs extreme cold instead.

Your doctor will apply liquid nitrogen directly onto your tag via a spray device or a cotton swab. The freezing temperature causes cells within the collagen-surrounded tissue (the actual 'tag') to naturally die.

In about 10 days following the procedure, the piece of flesh gradually darkens before falling away completely. Just remember, it's crucial not only to follow up with the physician but also to take care of yourself by keeping the affected area clean to prevent infection from setting in afterward.

Once removed, following good skincare habits like regular cleansing and moisturizing can further enhance your appearance, ensuring that it stays clear and beautiful forever after.

Key Takeaways:

Surgical procedures offer a permanent solution to skin tags. Cauterization uses heat to destroy the tag, while cryosurgery employs extreme cold. Both methods require proper aftercare for optimal results and maintaining clear, healthy skin.

Post-Procedure Care for Skin Tag Removal

The aftermath of a skin tag removal procedure requires specific care measures to ensure successful healing. This process helps protect against potential infections that could impede your recovery or lead to complications. Bandages should be changed regularly until complete healing is achieved.

Maintaining Hygiene After Skin Tag Removal Procedure

Beyond applying antibiotics and covering up wounds, maintaining proper hygiene around the treated site is another critical aspect of post-procedure skincare.

Always wash your hands before touching the affected area to reduce the chances of introducing bacteria, which can result in infections. Gently cleaning the treated spot daily during showers will help prevent irritation while promoting faster healing after skin tag removal procedures. Harsh soaps might irritate sensitive skin following such treatments, causing further discomforts like itching or redness.

Promoting Healthy Healing Habits

Healthy habits play significant roles in fostering optimal results after a skin tag removal procedure. Eating nutritious foods rich in vitamins A and C aids tissue repair by boosting collagen production within our bodies, leading to quicker recoveries according to NCBI studies on nutrition's role in wound-healing processes. For a topical dose of vitamins, try this Vitamin C Serum that combines Vitamin C and Vitamin E in a base of moisturizing aloe.

Remember, each individual scenario varies; therefore, always consult healthcare professionals regarding personalized guidance for caring for wounds following procedures like removing multiple skin tags.

Maintaining Healthy Skin Post-Removal

Having successfully removed skin tags, it's time to focus on preserving the health and beauty of your skin. This involves embracing a skincare routine that nourishes, revitalizes, and protects your complexion.

The first step is cleansing. Choose a moisturizing cleanser like this Gentle Face Wash, which contains jojoba oil and honey for hydration, and coconut milk which is a natural antibiotic.

Nourish Your Complexion with Serums & Moisturizers

The next step is nourishing your skin with vitamin, minerals, and essential hydration. Serums are packed with active ingredients designed specifically to target all kinds of skin concerns. For example, this Hyaluronic Acid Serum helps your skin stay plump and hydrated, whereas this Renewal Serum targets skin dysfunction and multiple signs of aging.

A good moisturizer keeps your skin healthy and your complexion hydrated - while providing essential nutrients necessary for repair and rejuvenation following procedures such as tag removals. This Moisture Therapy Cream is blended with shea butter, vitamin E, sunflower oil and wild geranium - an excellent choice, particularly if you have sensitive or dry skin recovering from procedures like tag removals.

Exfoliation: The Pathway To Radiant Skin

A key part of maintaining healthy post-procedure skin is exfoliation. By gently removing dead cells from the surface layer once or twice a week, you reveal fresh new cells beneath, leading to brighter-looking skin. This Purifying Charcoal Mask cleanses the skin of impurities while exfoliating dead skin cells - and provides deep nourishment with vitamins C and E and grapeseed oil.

Be careful not to over-exfoliate, as it can cause irritation or redness. Always follow up with a moisturizer after each exfoliation session.

Make Sunscreen Your Skincare Staple: Protect Your Skin Daily

Keep your skin healthy and glowing with a simple but powerful step - sunscreen. We all know that the sun's UV rays can harm our skin, causing premature aging and increasing the risk of skin cancer. But did you know that using exfoliating skincare products makes daily sun protection even more important?

Exfoliants, whether chemical or physical, remove the outermost layer of our skin. This can leave your skin more sensitive and prone to sun damage. That means faster and more severe sunburns, hyperpigmentation, and other skin issues caused by UV exposure.

To maintain the effectiveness of your skincare routine and keep your newly revealed skin layers safe, it's crucial to pair exfoliation with consistent sunscreen use. By shielding your skin from harmful UV radiation, you'll not only protect against sunburns and skin damage but also ensure the long-lasting benefits of your skincare regimen.

Stay proactive and empowered by making sunscreen a daily habit. Your skin will thank you for it! And ror more information about the importance of sunscreen in your daily beauty routine, click here.

Skin Tag FAQs

What are skin tags?

Skin tags, medically known as acrochordons, are small, benign, flesh-colored growths that hang off the skin and are typically connected to the skin by a thin stalk. They are non-cancerous and are common in adults.

Where do skin tags commonly occur?

They often develop in areas of friction, such as the neck, armpits, groin, under the breasts, and around the eyelids. 

What causes skin tags?

While the exact cause is unknown, skin tags are believed to develop due to friction between skin folds. Factors like obesity, diabetes, genetics, hormonal changes (e.g., during pregnancy), and age can increase the likelihood of developing skin tags.

Are skin tags harmful or cancerous?

No, skin tags are benign and are not cancerous. However, any sudden changes in a skin tag's appearance or any growth that bleeds, itches, or causes pain should be evaluated by a dermatologist.

How are skin tags removed?

Common medical removal methods include cryotherapy (freezing), excision (cutting off with a scalpel), electrocautery (burning off), and ligation (tying off). Over-the-counter solutions and home remedies are also popular, though their effectiveness varies.

Do skin tags grow back after removal?

Once a skin tag is removed, it doesn't grow back. However, new skin tags may develop in the same area or other body parts.

Are there ways to prevent skin tags?

While there's no foolproof way to prevent skin tags, reducing skin-to-skin friction, maintaining a healthy weight, and managing underlying health conditions like diabetes can potentially reduce the risk of developing them.

Can skin tags turn into moles or warts?

No, skin tags, moles, and warts are distinct skin growths with different characteristics and origins. However, if you're uncertain about a growth, it's best to consult a dermatologist.

Is it safe to remove skin tags at home?

While there are many home remedies and OTC products for skin tag removal, not all are safe or effective. Before attempting any home treatment, it's advisable to consult a dermatologist, especially for tags near the eyes or in sensitive areas.

Do skin tags indicate an underlying medical condition?

While skin tags themselves are harmless, an increased number of them may be associated with conditions like insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, or obesity. If you notice a sudden increase in skin tags, it's a good idea to consult with a healthcare provider. Always consult a dermatologist or medical professional regarding any concerns or questions about skin tags or other skin conditions.


Remember, in order to effectively manage skin tags and maintain your skin's health and beauty, it is important that you understand what is causing them, as well as know the available treatment options. Practicing good skincare habits such as regularly using botanical-based skincare ingredients can help keep your skin looking its best.

With the right products and knowledge, there’s no reason why you shouldn't achieve beautiful, healthy-looking skin. So don’t wait any longer, reclaim your natural beauty today!  Use it to feel empowered and be more confident in yourself. Take charge of your own self-care journey and get ready to say goodbye to skin tags once and for all!