What are skin tags?
Skin tags are very common, soft, benign (harmless) lesions that are attached to the skin. They tend to appear in skin folds such as the neck, armpits and groin. The exact cause of skin tags is unknown, but several factors predispose people to getting them: obesity, diabetes mellitus type 2, repeated irritation or rubbing of the skin and pregnancy, amongst others.
How are skin tags diagnosed?
A dermatologist can usually diagnose a skin tag on appearance alone. Skin tags may look similar to other lesions, such as seborrhoeic keratoses and molluscum contagiosum so an expert opinion may be needed.
How are skin tags treated?
Skin tags are usually a cosmetic problem. For this reason, they can be removed using the following methods:
- Cryotherapy (freezing with liquid nitrogen)
- Diathermy (using heat to cut the lesion)
- Shaving or snipping under local anaesthetic