September 27, 2016

Skin Tag Questions Answered

Skin tags can be alarming and unsightly. Many people with skin tags erroneously believe they may be something more serious — such as warts or melanoma. Skin tags are medically insignificant, but they may cause discomfort or impact self-esteem.

If you’ve recently noticed or have been dealing with skin tags, we’ve got answers to questions you may have.

Are Skin Tags Dangerous or Precancerous?

No. Skin tags are harmless and usually aren’t painful. They aren’t indicative of any other underlying health problems.

What’s the Difference Between Skin Tags and Warts?

There are significant differences between skin tags and warts:

  • Skin tags are soft and smooth, while warts tend to be irregularly shaped and have a rough or bumpy surface.
  • Skin tags protrude and hang off the skin, but warts are usually flat or only slightly raised off the surface of the skin.
  • Warts are contagious and spread quickly, whereas skin tags do not. A sudden outbreak is more likely to be caused by warts than by skin tags.

Are skin tags contagious?

While it is true that it’s possible to develop additional skin tags, removing one doesn’t cause new ones. Further, skin tags are not contagious either, like other skin conditions such as warts.

What Causes Skin Tags to Form?

This is one of the most common skin tag questions.

There are numerous reasons why people develop skin tags, and some people may develop them for no reason at all. Skin tags are most common in people with diabetes, those who are overweight, pregnant women and older populations. Skin tags often occur in areas where skin comes into contact with clothing or rubs against other skin, which is why skin tags affect overweight people who have excess folds of skin.

Can I Remove Skin Tags Myself?

We get questions like these very often: How do you get rid of skin tags? Can I cut off skin tags myself? Is it safe to cut off a skin tag?

While there are home remedies suggested online, we recommend that you visit your primary care doctor for options in order to prevent scarring, infection and further complications.

When Should I See a Doctor About Skin Tags?

If you have unsightly skin tags in sensitive places, such as eyelids or armpits, you may wish to have your doctor surgically remove your skin tags. Additionally, if skin tags repeatedly catch on clothing and jewelry, causing bleeding, you should seek treatment to remove them. Be advised that skin tag removal is considered a cosmetic procedure and will likely not be covered by your insurance.

A sudden outbreak of many could be indicating a health problem. You’ll want your doctor to be aware of this as further tests may be required.

Learn More About Skin Tag Treatment

Hopefully, this has cleared up some of your questions about skin tags. For more information, or if you have additional concerns, contact your general practitioner. find a Baptist Health provider near you today, or set up a virtual care appointment.


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