Skin tags

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What is a skin tag?

Also called Acrochordon; Fibroepithelial polyp, skin tags are small growths of tissue on the skin's surface. They are usually benign and painless and do not grow or change.They are more common in people who are overweight or who have diabetes. [caption id="attachment_272" align="alignleft" width="300"]Acanthosis nigricans of the neck Acanthosis nigricans of the neck[/caption]

Skin tag.jpg

What causes skin tags?

Skin tags are usually a result of underlying metabolic issues such as insulin resistance. They are usually a sign of impaired carbohydrate metabolism.

What are the symptoms and signs of skin tags?

The tag sticks out of the skin and may have a short, narrow stalk connecting it to the surface of the skin. Some skin tags are as long as a half an inch (1 centimeter). Most skin tags are the same color as skin, or a little darker.

Can skin tags lead to itchiness or an urge to scratch?

Yes, in some people, skin tags can be itchy.


What should I do if my skin tag is growing quickly in size?

You should get it checked as any rapid growth could be a sign of skin cancer although it is rare.

Does my insurance cover removal of the skin tags?

Yes, most insurances do cover the removal of skin tags as long as they are causing some problems or symptoms.

How can reduce the chances of getting more skin tags?

Losing weight and reducing your insulin resistance can help as skin tags are often caused by it.

Can skin tags be transmitted genetically to my offspring?


Which areaWhile the exact cause of skin tags is not fully understood, they are generally thought to be related to a combination of genetic and environmental factors, such as obesity and insulin resistance. However, skin tags are not typically considered to be a genetically transmitted condition, meaning they are not passed down from parent to offspring in a predictable pattern.

That being said, there may be certain genetic predispositions or factors that could make an individual more likely to develop skin tags. For example, some studies have suggested that skin tags may be more common in individuals with certain genetic conditions, such as Birt-Hogg-Dubé syndrome.

Micrograph of acrochordon (skin tag).jpg

What areas of the body are skin tags seen most often?

Places where skin tags occur include:

  • Neck
  • Underarms
  • Middle of the body, or under folds of skin
  • Eyelids
  • Inner thighs
  • Other body areas

How can I get the skin tags removed?

They can be found most anywhere on the body but are usually located on the neck, armpits, trunk, and body folds. The growths may be surgically removed by freezing (cryotherapy), or electrically burned off (cautery).

If I do not have insurance, how much does it cost to remove skin tags?

At most W8MD centers, it only costs $99.00 to remove up to 6 small skin tags in areas other than the face. W8MD does not remove skin tags on the face as it needs further dermatologic evaluation.

Can W8MD weight loss, sleep and medspa centers remove the skin tags?

Yes, and most insurances might cover these especially if you are having some symptoms from these annoying skin tags.

Are skin tags a sign of underlying medical problems or risk of future medical problems?

Skin tags indicate impaired glucose metabolism according to research and are a sign of future risk of diabetes.

What exams and tests might be performed on skin tags?

Most physicians are able to diagnose this condition by looking at your skin. Sometimes a skin biopsy is done.


What options are available to treat skin tags?

Treatment is often not needed. Your provider may recommend treatment if the skin tag is irritating, or you don't like how it looks. Treatment may include:

  • Surgery to remove it
  • Freezing it (cryotherapy)
  • Burning it off (cauterization)
  • Tying string or dental floss around it to cut off the blood supply so that it will eventually fall off

What is the prognosis if I have skin tags?

A skin tag is most often harmless. It may become irritated if clothing rubs against it. In most cases, the growth usually does not grow back after it is removed. However, new skin tags may form on other parts of the body.

When to Contact a Medical Professional

Call your provider if the skin tag changes, or if you want it removed. Do not cut it yourself, because it can bleed a lot. Other related questions

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How can W8MD help?

W8MD can not only help remove the skin tags but also help reduce the chances of future skin tags as we address the underlying issues such as insulin resistance that causes these skin tags.

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W8MD Weight Loss, Sleep & Medspa Centers is a network of medical centers located in New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and surrounding areas that provide comprehensive care for weight loss, sleep disorders, and aesthetic treatments.

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