Skin tags are small, benign growths of skin. They can develop anywhere on the body but typically occur in places where there is constant friction against the skin or areas of the body where skin folds.
Skin tags are very common. According to the American Osteopathic College of Dermatology, “It is estimated that almost half of adults have at least one of these harmless growths.”
The exact cause for skin tags is unknown; however, it is believed that hormones, insulin resistance or genes may be contributing factors.
Some people are more likely to get skin tags than others. Those who are at a higher risk include:
- People with diabetes
- Those who are overweight or obese
- Pregnant women
- Those with certain forms of the human papillomavirus (HPV)
- Those who have family members with skin tags
Skin tags are generally harmless and painless, but they may get caught in jewelry or clothing. Some have them removed due to this issue or for cosmetic reasons.
Skin tags can be removed with the assistance of a doctor or with over-the-counter treatments. It is strongly advised that you see your doctor before attempting to remove them on your own.
If needed, your doctor may apply the following treatments to remove skin tags:
- Cryosurgery (freezing)
- Cauterization (burning)
- Ligation( interrupting blood supply)
These procedures should only be performed by a trained skin care specialist, such as a dermatologist. To schedule an appointment with a doctor at Flushing Hospital Medical Center, please call 718-670-5486.
All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.