Skin tags are harmless small flesh-coloured or brown growths, which can be up to 5 cm wide. These growth hang off the skin, and have the appearance of a soft squidgy balloon on a thin stalk. Very small skin tags may not have a stalk. Occasionally, a skin tag may be mistaken for a wart, as they have many of the same characteristics.


How To Tell The Difference Between A Skin Tag And A Wart

-Skin tags are smooth and soft, warts are usually rougher and have an irregular surface.

-Skin tags normally hang off the skin whereas the majority of warts are flat.

-Skin tags are not caused by infection and are not contagious. Warts are contagious, and can spread very easily. Sudden outbreaks of tag like growths or clusters of growths are more likely to be warts.

-Skin tags can usually be found in characteristic locations such as: base of the neck, underarms, eyelids, groin folds, buttock folds and under the breasts. 


What Causes Skin Tags?

Over half of the population will develop a skin tag sometime during their lives. They tend to develop where the skin rubs against the clothes or against other skin. Although, skin tags are not directly related to a disease, they tend to be more prevalent in obese adults and children, who have more excess skin folds. 

Skin tags are also more prevalent in older people and people with diabetes, hormone levels during pregnancy can also cause skin tags to occur. However, often they will develop for no reason. 



Although, skin tags are harmless and cause no pain and discomfort, you may want to have the skin tag removed for cosmetic reasons. Cryotherapy kills the tissue by using sub zero temperatures to freeze the skin tag. If the skin tag is particularly large or has no stalk, surgical removal would be a more appropriate choice. 

If the skin tag is very small and has a narrow base, it is also possible to remove it at home by tying dental floss or thread around the base of the skin tag. This will stop the blood supply to the tag and cause it to drop off. Alternatively, sterile scissors can be used to cut of the skin tag at the base. Large skin tags should not be removed at home as they could cause heavy bleeding. 

Once a skin tag has been removed it will not grow back. However, if you are prone to developing skin tags you may find that others will occur close to the same site. Skin tag removal does not cause skin tags to spread. 

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