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Skin tags removal

What are skin tags?

A skin tag is a small flesh-coloured flap of tissue that hangs off the skin by a connecting stalk. Skin tags are not dangerous. They are usually found on the neck, chest, back, armpits, under the breasts, or in the groin area. They can be as small as a couple of millimetres or may grow as big as 5cm. Skin tags are more common in people who are overweight or obese.

Skin tags usually don't cause any pain. However, for appearance reasons, a person may want to get them removed. Skin tags can also be inconvenient, becoming irritated if clothes or jewellery rubs on them.

Photo of skin tags on a woman's neck

Skin tag removal

Removing skin tags is likely to be seen as a cosmetic procedure, and would need to be paid for privately rather than through the NHS.

Skin tags may fall off naturally by themselves, but if removal is needed, seek medical advice.

Skin tags can be burned or frozen off in procedures called diathermy or cryotherapy by a private clinic or private GP.

In some cases, for smaller tags that are narrower at the base, a doctor may say a person can treat the tag themselves.

The NHS says this involves using cotton or dental floss to be tied around the base of the skin tag. This will cut off the blood supply to the tag and it should fall off on its own, or with help with sterilised surgical scissors.

This is not without risk and should not be attempted for bigger skin tags because of the risk of heavy bleeding.

Removing skin tags does not mean other skin tags won't grow back in future.

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WebMD Medical Reference

Medically Reviewed by Dr Rob Hicks on February 23, 2016

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