Everything You Need to Know About Skin Tag Removal

It’s hard to ignore the itch of curiosity when you find an odd, fleshy bump clinging to your skin.

Skin tags are nearly always harmless, but their appearance can be discomforting or even embarrassing for some.

While skin tags might not be dangerous, the discussion around their removal is more than
skin-deep. It’s a conversation that can touch upon dermatological care, aesthetic concerns, and even emotional well-being.

The Anatomy of a Skin Tag

A skin tag is a benign growth consisting of a small flap of tissue that hangs off the skin by a connecting stalk. Medically known as “acrochordon,” these tags are made up of collagen fibers and blood vessels enveloped by skin.

They can occur anywhere on your body but are most commonly found in areas where skin may rub against skin, such as the neck, underarms, and groin.

Why Do Skin Tags Occur?

Though the exact cause is still not fully understood, skin tags are generally associated with friction. Those who are overweight or have diabetes may be at higher risk, as are individuals over the age of 50. Hormonal changes during pregnancy can also contribute to their appearance.

Your Removal Options

There are multiple avenues to consider for skin tag removal, each with its benefits and drawbacks:

Surgical Removal

A dermatologist can snip off the skin tag using sterile surgical scissors. This method offers the advantage of immediate removal and is usually low-risk when conducted by a healthcare professional.


Freezing the skin tag using liquid nitrogen causes it to fall off within a week or so. This method is effective but may sometimes cause slight, temporary discoloration of the skin around the tag.


This involves burning off the skin tag by applying an electric current through a wire that becomes hot. While effective, it may require a local anesthetic and poses a slight risk of scarring.

At-home Treatments

Products like skin tag removal creams and patches are available over the counter. Though they offer convenience, their effectiveness is not always that great, and they may require repeated applications.

Risks and Considerations

Removing a skin tag may seem straightforward, but caution is advised. If a skin tag is large, bleeds, or shows signs of irregularity, a biopsy may be necessary to rule out more serious conditions like skin cancer.

Professional Advice Is Necessary

Your skin is a delicate organ, and treating it should be approached with care. While home remedies might seem like a quick fix, consulting a healthcare provider ensures that you’re making the most informed and safest decision regarding skin tag removal.

Navigating the Healthcare System

Even within the seemingly trivial issue of skin tag removal, the labyrinthine healthcare system can pose obstacles. Insurance may or may not cover these procedures, and a preliminary consultation is generally advisable.

Whether you opt for surgical intervention or a less invasive procedure, being well-informed is your best tool.