Boots WebMD Partners in Health
Return To Boots

Skin problems health centre

Select a topic to explore more.
Select An Article

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 having it done 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.

Next Article:

WebMD Medical Reference

Medically Reviewed by Dr Rob Hicks on January 03, 2018

Today in skin problems and treatments

Popular slideshows & tools on BootsWebMD

How to help headache pain
rash on skin
Top eczema triggers to avoid
Causes of fatigue & how to fight it
Tips to support digestive health
woman looking at pregnancy test
Is your body ready for pregnancy?
woman sleeping
Sleep better tonight
Treating your child's cold or fever
fifth disease
Illnesses every parent should know
spoonfull of sugar
Surprising things that harm your liver
woman holding stomach
Understand this common condition
What your nails say about your health