What are Skin Tags?
Skin tags are soft lesions that appear to “hang” off of the skin. They are very common and completely harmless. Skin tags develop in men and women as they grow older and are skin-colored or darker in color that can range in size. Most often they are found in skin folds around the neck, armpits, and groin, and they tend to be more numerous in obese individuals with type 2 diabetes mellitus. They can also be referred to as:
- Fibroepithelial polyps
- Soft fibromas
- Filiform (thread-like)
While it is not known what causes skin tags, there are several factors that may play a role:
- Chaffing or skin irritation
- Insulin resistance (syndrome X)
- Human papilloma virus (HPV – “wart virus”)
- High levels of grown factors (especially during pregnancy)
Skin tags can be removed by a dermatologist. Removal of skin tags is considered a cosmetic service and is not covered by most insurances.