Cause of Skin Tags
Skin tags usually occur on the neck, armpits and around the groin and can measure from a few millimetres up to about two inches wide.
They can develop in men and women and incidence increases with age and it is estimated that half the population will get a skin tag at some stage of their lives. They occur more regularly in pregnancy and are particularly common in patients with type 2 diabetes and obesity.
Their cause is not fully understood but it is believed that human papillomavirus (HPV), insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome may play a part.
Treatment for Skin Tags
They are not malignant or contagious but can cause irritation and chaffing. They are easily diagnosed by a GP but removal should be conducted by a dermatologist.
Skin tags can be snipped off with surgical scissors or treated with a laser to degrade the growth. Some can be treated with photodynamic therapy which involves an application of a chemical which is activated by a strong light resulting in the destruction of the skin tag.
They can also be frozen off or surgically removed under local anaesthetic.