Skin tags are benign growths that look like small dangling papules or bumps and are around 1mm-5mm in diameter. While skin tags can form all over the body, common areas of development include the eyelids, upper chest and neck, buttocks, armpits, and groin area. They are usually harmless and painless, but they may become irritated from rubbing against clothing.

Skin tags are not present at birth, and their likelihood of occurring increases with age. They can be observed in about 25% of adults. Studies have shown a genetic predisposition to the development of skin tags, so they can be hereditary. In addition to genetic factors, skin tags are believed to develop due to friction between adjacent areas of skin or between clothing and skin. As such, they are more common in overweight or obese people. They also can occur more frequently in pregnant women due to the hormonal changes of pregnancy, especially during the second trimester.

Occasionally, skin tags can become red or black, or even bleed if they become twisted on their blood supply or get caught on clothing or jewelry. If this happens, they can be removed using liquid nitrogen or a sharp, sterile tool. Skin tags can also be removed for cosmetic reasons. The type of treatment depends on the number and size of skin tags to be removed. There is little downtime required for treatments, but there may be some redness followed by scabbing at the treatment locations.

If you would like to learn more about skin tag removal in Palm Desert, California, please contact Dermatology & Plastic Surgery Specialists at 760-773-6616 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Messina. We look forward to your call!