Dermatologists and Skin Care

Skin Tags (Acrochordon): Causes and Treatment

Written by
Dr. Vasantha K S
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.

Published on Jan 22, 2018 and last reviewed on Jul 10, 2019   -  2 min read



Do you have small skin-colored growths on your face? They could be skin tags. Check out ways to identify and treat this annoying skin condition.

Skin Tags (Acrochordon): Causes and Treatment

Skin tags are small, soft, skin-colored growths that hang from the skin and resemble warts.

Common Sites

They are typically seen in the following regions of the body:

  • Underarms.
  • Groin folds/thighs.
  • Eyelids.
  • Neck.
  • Under the breast.


Although the exact reason for their appearance is unknown, they are thought to be associated with the following:

  1. Friction between skin surfaces.
  2. Insulin resistance.
  3. Obesity.
  4. Hormonal changes during pregnancy.

Signs and Symptoms

- Skin tags cause no symptoms.

- They may cause cosmetic issues depending on where they are located.

- They can be a nuisance when formed on the eyelids.

- Rarely, when there is excessive rubbing of the skin, they may cause irritation.

Risk Factors

You are more prone to developing skin tags if you:

  • are overweight,
  • are pregnant,
  • have a family member with the same,
  • have prediabetes/type-2 diabetes,
  • have HPV (human papilloma) infection.


Its appearance is highly variable, but it is often skin-colored and at times gets darker due to pigmentation. It usually hangs from a stalk (base). The size varies from 1 mm to 5 cm. The texture is frequently soft and fleshy, but the bigger skin tags may be wrinkly.

A visual examination by a dermatologist is usually sufficient to differentiate it from a wart or a mole. In some cases, a biopsy may be ordered by the doctor if he/she wants to rule out other skin conditions.

Is Skin Tag a Tumor

It is a harmless, benign tumor. Generally, it is not cancerous. They do not increase the risk of cancer either.

If there is a need to get them removed, that would be a safe option. Removing them does not cause them to spread or reappear. In people prone to it, new ones can appear at different sites at any point irrespective of whether you get the existing ones removed or not.


Generally, no treatment is required unless it is bothersome or poses a cosmetic issue. Treatment options include:

  1. Cryotherapy (freezing with liquid nitrogen).
  2. Surgical excision (with or without local anesthesia).
  3. Electrosurgery (burning with electrical energy).
  4. Ligation (tying it with a sterile thread to cut off blood supply).

For more information consult a cosmetologist online -->

Frequently Asked Questions


What Is Acrochordon?

Acrochordon or a skin tag is a small benign growth that is soft and hangs from the skin. It is attached to the skin through a peduncle or stalk. They are commonly found in the body parts where the skin rubs against skin or clothing, but it can occur anywhere.


How To Remove Skin Tags?

The following are the treatment options for skin tags:
Home remedies - You can apply tea tree oil, banana peel, apple cider vinegar, or garlic on the skin tag for a couple of weeks at night until the tag shrinks and falls off.
Surgery - A doctor can cut the skin tags off with a surgical scissor or with the help of cauterization or cryosurgery.


What Causes Skin Tags?

The cause is still not known, but a skin tag occurs when collagen and blood vessels are trapped under the skin. They are more commonly seen in the skin folds, where the skin rubs against each other. Some of the risk factors for skin tags are obesity, diabetes, pregnancy, HPV infection, hormonal imbalance, hyperinsulinemia, and family history.


How To Remove Skin Tags At Home?

Many skin tag removal kits are commercially available. The main aim of these treatments is to cut off the blood supply to the skin tag, which shrinks and dries them out and they fall off. This can be achieved in the following ways:
- Tying dental floss at the peduncle or stalk of the skin tag.
- Applying skin tag removal creams.
- Freezing it with liquid nitrogen.
- Applying tea tree oil, banana peel, apple cider vinegar, or garlic on the skin tag for a couple of weeks at night.


How To Prevent Skin Tags?

Some tips to prevent skin tags are:
- Consume a diet low in calories and saturated fats.
- Do exercise regularly for at least 30 minutes daily.
- Keep the skin fold dry and apply powder to prevent friction.
- Do not wear tight clothes. Instead, wear cotton and breathable fabrics.


Are Skin Tags A Sign Of Cancer?

No, skin tags are harmless and not a sign of cancer. They are just benign growth of skin and do not increase your chances of cancer in any way.


How Do I Know If Its A Skin Tag?

Skin tags appear as small, soft, painless growths on the eyelids, armpits, neck, and groin. They are attached to the skin through a peduncle or stalk.


Can Skin Tags Be Dangerous?

No, skin tags are not dangerous. They are harmless benign growths, which can be aesthetically unpleasing. You can easily get rid of them through home remedies or you can get them removed surgically by a doctor.


Are Skin Tags A Sign Of Diabetes?

Skin tags are more commonly seen in people who have diabetes as compared to otherwise healthy individuals. But, the presence of a skin tag is not a sign of diabetes.


Can Wart Remover Be Used On Skin Tags?

It is best to consult your doctor before you try to remove the tag on your own, as it can result in infection or scars. There are a lot of wart and skin tag removers available commercially. Always use them after consulting a dermatologist first.

Last reviewed at:
10 Jul 2019  -  2 min read




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