Skin Tag Tips & Tricks

The Truth About Skin Tags: FAQs Answered by Dr. Zac Lind

Jan 4, 2024

While skin tags themselves aren’t inherently problematic, there are a few reasons why someone might consider them an issue, ranging from cosmetic and discomfort concerns to medical reasons. It’s important to remember that skin tags are generally harmless and don’t require treatment unless they cause distress. Ultimately, the decision of whether or not to remove a skin tag is a personal one, best made in consultation with a healthcare professional.

Whatever the reason for your skin tag removal, understanding the condition can help you make the best decision possible to ensure your skin tag is removed safely. Claritag developer and renowned Dermatology and Dermatologic Surgery PA, Dr. Zac Lind, dives into all of your skin tag frequently asked questions (FAQs) below.

Skin Tag FAQs

What causes skin tags?

While the exact cause of skin tags remains a bit of a mystery, there are several factors believed to contribute to their formation, including friction and rubbing (skin tags often appear in areas where skin folds rub against itself or against clothing). Hormonal fluctuations could also trigger skin tag growth due to their influence on skin cell production and blood flow. Additionally, genetics could play a part. If other family members have them, you’re more likely to develop them as well.

Other potential factors include medical conditions like obesity, insulin resistance, and metabolic syndrome. The underlying mechanisms behind this association are still being explored.

Are skin tags contagious?

Skin tags are not contagious. You cannot spread them to another person through any kind of physical contact. Unlike many other skin conditions, like warts or fungal infections, skin tags aren’t caused by viruses, bacteria, or other infectious agents.

Are skin tags dangerous?

No, skin tags are not dangerous. They are generally harmless growths of skin and pose no health risks. Most people live with skin tags without even noticing them.

Skin tags are non-cancerous and don’t pose any threat to your overall health. They typically don’t cause any pain or discomfort unless irritated by rubbing against clothing or jewelry.

Can skin tags turn into cancer?

It’s extremely rare for skin tags to turn into cancer. The vast majority of skin tags are benign and pose no to very little risk of becoming cancerous.

Skin tags develop from an overgrowth of skin cells stimulated by friction, hormones, or genetics. Cancers, on the other hand, arise from genetic mutations that cause cells to grow uncontrollably. These are fundamentally different processes. Additionally, skin tags typically stay small, have a smooth surface, and remain flesh-colored or slightly darker. Cancers tend to grow larger, change in size or shape, and may exhibit color variations, bleeding, or irregular borders.

However, it’s always crucial to be aware of any changes (growths, color, etc) in your skin, including skin tags. If you have any concerns or uncertainties about growth on your skin, getting a professional diagnosis from a dermatologist is always the best course of action.

How long does it take for them to naturally fall off?

Unfortunately, skin tags rarely fall off naturally. While friction, rubbing, or even natural skin shedding might occasionally cause a very small, pedunculated (stalked) tag to detach, it’s not a reliable or common occurrence.

Most skin tags, especially larger ones or those with thicker stalks, remain indefinitely unless treated. Even with repeated friction or irritation, their sturdy structure usually prevents spontaneous detachment.

Do skin tags need to be treated?

If your skin tags are small, inconspicuous, and cause no pain, irritation, or bleeding, treatment isn’t necessary. They’re harmless and pose little to no health risks. Even if you notice them, if their location and appearance don’t bother you, you can safely leave them alone.

Medical treatment might be considered if you are experiencing discomfort or irritation, have aesthetic concerns, or notice rapid changes in size, color, or shape.

Will removing a skin tag make more grow back?

Removing a skin tag does not inherently cause more skin tags to grow back in the same spot. However, new skin tags can form elsewhere on your body over time due to the same reasons that caused the initial tag to appear (friction, genetics, obesity, hormonal changes, and medical conditions).

What can I do to prevent skin tags?

While you can’t completely prevent skin tags, there are steps you can take to minimize your risk:

  • Stress management: Chronic stress can contribute to hormonal imbalances, so finding healthy ways to manage stress is important.
  • Looser clothing: Wear garments that don’t rub against your skin, especially in areas prone to tags like underarms, neck, and groin.
  • Weight management: Excess weight can increase skin folds and friction, so maintaining a healthy weight can be beneficial.
  • Hydration: Keeping your skin well-moisturized may help prevent dryness and irritation that can contribute to skin tag formation.

Can skin tags be treated at home?

Yes! There are safe at-home options available for consumers that utilize the same technologies typically used by dermatologists for skin tag removal. FDA-cleared, easy-to-use tools, such as Claritag, enable individuals to properly weigh cost, convenience, and the likelihood of recurrence.

If you have concerns about your skin tag or its location, it is advisable to consult with a healthcare professional before attempting home treatment methods.

For Claritag FAQs, please visit our FAQ page.

*Disclaimer: Individual results may vary. All content found on this website—including text, images, audio, or other formats—is created for informational purposes only. Claritag Advanced provides full body coverage except as noted in the Instructions for Use. The content of this website is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider for any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. Nothing contained in this website infers or creates a warranty, promise, or guarantee of any kind with respect to the clinical outcome or result from treatment using the Claritag Advanced device. If you are unsure if you have a skin tag or have a potentially cancerous lesion, consult your dermatologist.