Skin tags

These are small brown or pink coloured growths which hang off your skin and are particularly common in older people. They are harmless and don’t cause any problems unless you find that they catch on your clothing or are detrimental to your appearance.

Skin tags look similar to warts except that they are soft and smooth, non-infectious and hang off the skin rather than lie flat. They are very small although a few can grow to a few centimetres in size.

Where do skin tags develop?

They develop in the skin folds, e.g. under the breasts or the armpits; on the neck or eyelids or around the groin/buttocks.

Skin tags are known as ‘acrochordons’.

Causes of skin tags

There is no obvious cause. But they often develop on older rather than younger people. They develop on areas of the body which rub against clothing or areas of skin which chafe against each other, e.g. under the breasts. This is a particular problem for overweight or obese people.

When skin tags become a problem

Skin tags can be left as they are harmless growths of skin which do not affect your health. But there are people who find that they have a negative effect on their confidence or self-esteem and decide to have them removed.

This is a cosmetic procedure which is not available on the NHS. If you want to have your skin tags removed then you will have to find a private clinic and pay for treatment.

But there are situations where the skin tags shrivel and fall off by themselves.

Treatment involves freezing the skin tags until they shrivel and die, and fall off.