Skin Tags

About Skin Tags

Often unsightly or inconvenient and almost always harmless inconvenient, skin tags are are small, soft, skin coloured growths that hang off the skin and look a bit like warts. They are very common, with more than half of the population has been reported to have skin tags at some time in their lives, and a person may have anywhere from one to hundreds of skin tags. 


TREATMENTS FOR skin tags

Our dermatologist can remove skin tags within our clinic, and occasionally during your initial consultation. If several skin tags are being treated further visits will be required to ensure each skin tag can be safely removed.

 

At home Skin Tag Treatment

If your skin tag has a narrow base your dermatologist may suggest that you try to remove it yourself by:

  • tying off the base of the skin tag with dental floss or cotton to cut off its blood supply and make it drop off 
  • cutting it off with fine sterile scissors

However, you should not attempt to remove a skin tag without speaking to your dermatologist first. You must never attempt to self-treat large skin tags, they will bleed heavily and there is a high risk that the surrounding healthy skin will be damaged. 

 

In-Clinic Skin Tag Treatment

During your consultation the dermatologist will assess the skin tags and recommend a treatment based on their findings. The most common treatments for removing skin tags are:

  • Remove the tag with scissors, a local anaesthetic is used to ensure minimum discomfort is experienced.
  • Cryosurgery which consists of freezing the tag with liquid nitrogen. It is important to be aware that with cryosurgery the skin tags may become irritated and dis-colour but not actually fall off, in this instance further treatments will be required. 
  • Burn the tag using electric cautery or electro-desiccation, a local anaesthetic is used to ensure minimum discomfort is experienced.It is important to be aware that with burning the skin tags may become irritated and dis-colour but not actually fall off, in this instance further treatments will be required. 

While it is safe to do so, if you are removing a skin tag during a pregnancy, regardless of the size, we highly recommend seeking the service of a dermatologist. 

Skin tags are harmless and usually without discomfort, only very rarely are they removed for medical reasons. Not treating skin tags is always a reasonable option. 

 

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Causes of Skin Tags

WHAT ARE skin tags?

Skin tags are very common and harmless benign tumours. They look like small, soft balloons of hanging skin that project from a small, narrow stalk (peduncle). They are composed of a core of loose collagen fibres and ducts, nerve cells, fat cell and blood vessels that are surrounded by skin. Skin tags can vary in colour - usually flesh-coloured or slightly brownish - and can vary in size from a few millimeters up to 5cm.

They can appear on any part of the surface of the skin, but most occur in areas where skin may rub against skin or clothing, including on the base of the neck, underarms, eyelids, groin folds, buttock folds and under the breasts. This is why they tend to affect overweight people who have excess folds of skin and skin chafing.

Skin tags are generally not present at birth, but are acquired as we age. While children and toddlers may develop skin tags, most notably in the underarm and neck areas, they are particularly prevalent in people from their middle ages and up to age 60. Both males and females are equally prone to developing skin tags.


CAUSES OF Skin Tags

Skin tags are formed by bunches of collagen and blood vessels being trapped inside thicker bits of skin. 

Several factors have been identified as causing skin tags including:

  • Skin Tag Removal | Harley Medical GroupPregnant women may also be more likely to develop skin tags as a result of changes in their hormone levels.
  • Genetic susceptibility i.e. people with close family members who have skin tags are more likely to develop them themselves.
  • Obese or excessive weight; skin rubbing against skin and inflammation in the body folds increases risk
  • Diabetes, notably type 2 and hyperinsulinaemia
  • Some people are just more susceptible to skin tags than others for no apparent reason.
  • Sex steroid imbalance - changes in levels of estrogen and progesterone (sex steroid hormones) may increase the risk of developing skin tags

symptoms OF SKIN tags

Skin tags usually have no symptoms umless they are repeatedly irritated, rubbed or scratched as may happen with clothing, jewellery or when shaving.  

Some people may have had skin tags and never noticed them - they would have rubbed or fallen off painlessly. In most cases, however, they do not fall off though very large skin tags may burst under pressure.

If you skin tag changes colour, bleeds or causes irritation contact your dermatologist for evaluation. 

 

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The Benefits of Skin Tag Removal

The benefits of skin tag removal

There is no medical or physical reason to have skin tags removed as they usually do not cause any pain or discomfort and are not a risk to health. However many people choose to remove skin tags for a number of reasons including: 

Skin tag removal | Harley Medical Group

  • Aesthetic and cosmetic reasons i.e. they are visually unpleasing
  • In a location that impacts self-esteem
  • They snag on jewellery causing them to bleed
  • Causing pain or discomfort
  • Repeatedly rubbing against clothing of seat belts causing them to bleed
  • It has become black from twisting causing the skin to die (necrosis)

 

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OUR Experts

Our dermatology experts

Skin Experts | Harley Medical GroupFrom the beginning aimed and succeeded in establishing The Harley Medical Group as a leader in the field of Laser & Skin Treatments and Dermatology, with clinics throughout the UK. Our fully qualified medical team are specially selected for their experience, expertise and approachability as well as their friendliness. This means our clients know that they are not meeting with sales people but trained experts, who have the time and the expertise to explain procedures in detail and answer all of your questions. In fact, we’re happy to say that our team is amongst the best.

We are committed to continually improving and refining our services, while researching the latest advances, thereby provide the highest standard of treatment that the medical profession can offer. Our dermatological treatments are performed in our own clinics, all of which are registered with The Care Quality Commission and the HIW in Cardiff. And following your meeting with our Dermatologist you will receive full aftercare instructions and will continue to receive any support you need. 

Prices

Skin Tag Treatment Prices

All appointments with our dermatologist require a £140 consultation fee to be paid at the time of booking. 

Your dermatologist will talk to you about the best treatment for your skin tags.

 

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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Are skin tags and warts the same thing?

Skin tags are not the same things as warts.

Skin tags are:

  • smooth and soft
  • knobbly and hang off the skin
  • not contagious

Warts are:

  • rougher with an irregular surface
  • usually slightly raised or flat
  • spread very easily, so a sudden outbreak or cluster of growths is more likely to be warts

Are skin tags and warts the same thing?

Skin tags are not the same things as warts.

Skin tags are:

  • smooth and soft
  • knobbly and hang off the skin from a stalk
  • not contagious

Warts are:

  • rougher with an irregular surface
  • usually slightly raised or flat
  • spread very easily, so a sudden outbreak or cluster of growths is more likely to be warts

Will removing a skin tag cause more to grow?

There is no evidence to suggest that removing a skin tag will cause it to "seed" or spread. resulting in more skin tags growing. In reality, some people are simply more prone to developing skin tags and may have new growths periodically. Some individuals request periodic removal of tags at annual or even quarterly intervals.

Are skin tags contagious?

There is a common misconceoption that skin tags are contagious. Unlike warts, which are caused by the virus human papillomavirus (HPV) which is very contagious, skin tags are not contagious. 

 

 

Is a skin tag a tumour?

Skin tags are a type of harmless skin growth or tumor, but they are completely benign. Tags are generally not cancerous (malignant) and don't become cancerous if left untreated.

There are extremely rare instances where a skin tag may become precancerous or cancerous. Skin tag-like bumps that bleed, grow, or display multiple colours like pink, brown, red, or black can require a biopsy to exclude other causes, including skin cancer.