What Is A Skin Tag?

A new growth on your body can be a little scary, even if it is something as harmless as a skin tag. Skin tags are an incredibly common benign skin growth that appear as tiny skin-colored growths. They often appear on parts of your body that have folds of skin, like the armpits, buttocks, eyelids, groin area, neck, and under the breasts. However, they can pop up anywhere on your body.

What are skin tags?

Skin tags are the most common growth on adult skin. In fact, half or more of the world’s population will develop a skin tag at some point during their lives. Some people might just get one, but people can develop hundreds throughout their life!

You might hear your dermatologist refer to skin tags as acrochordon, cutaneous papilloma, or soft fibroma – these are their common medical names. They are typically 2 to 5 millimeters in diameter, but some can reach the size of an olive or even be as large as a fig.

What causes skin tags?

Each individual skin tag’s cause can be tough to determine, but here are a few of the common factors that could cause skin tags to appear:

  • Skin repeatedly rubbing against itself or against clothing
  • Hormone elevations – such as during pregnancy
  • Aging, up until about age 60
  • Obesity

Do I need to treat them?

Skin tags are typically harmless and don’t require treatment unless they become bothersome or unless you choose to remove them for cosmetic reasons. As with any new growth or change in your skin, it’s important to get a skin tag looked at by a dermatologist to ensure that is what it actually is. If you do decide to treat, your dermatologist will likely use one of these methods:

  • Freezing
  • Burning
  • Snipping
  • Strangulation

If you noticed a skin tag, or are dealing with any other skin, hair, or nail issues, Old Bridge Dermatology is here to help. Our dermatologist, Dr. Juan Vaillant, has over 30 years of experience treating a myriad of skin, nail, and hair issues. Give us a call today at 732-679-0222 to book an appointment at our conveniently located Old Bridge, NJ office.