Skin tags are small growths of skin that hang off. They commonly form at sites of friction such as arm pits, within the groin area, under breasts as well as around the lower eyelid, neck and anus.  They’re common and harmless but can be removed safely if they’re bothering you. Skin tags can be safely removed under local anaesthetic. Home remedies to remove skin tags tend to fail often causing pain and removing only part of the tag. Dr Nelson can remove all your skin tags in a dedicated dermatology clinic. Skin tags can and do regrow although usually after many years.

What do skin tags look like?

Skin tags are essentially small pieces of soft skin-coloured skin that hang off. They can vary in colour and size from a few millimetres up to 5cm wide. Most people will have several skin tags bilaterally.

Why do I have skin tags?

Both men and women can develop skin tags. They tend to occur in older people and people who are overweight or suffer with type II diabetes. Some people develop them for no apparent reason. Skin tags tend to grow in the skin folds, where the skin rubs against itself, such as on the neck, armpits or groin. This is why they tend to affect overweight people who have excess folds of skin and skin chafing.

When skin tags can be a problem

Skin tags are typically asymptomatic but can be unsightly and cause emotional distress.

Removing skin tags

Should you wish to have your skin tags removed Dr Nelson can perform this in a dedicated dermatology clinic with upmost privacy. The skin is first cleaned then anaesthetised. Smaller tags can be frozen with a short precise amount of liquid nitrogen. Larger tags can be snipped off under local anaesthetic.

Freezing or burning skin tags can cause irritation and temporary skin discoloration, and the skin tag may not fall off and further treatment may be needed.

Surgical removal has the advantage of removing the skin tag completely, but there is a risk of minor bleeding. Never attempt to remove large skin tags yourself because they will bleed heavily.


For Wood MediSpa Okehampton please call: 01837 516629 | For The Duchy Hospital, Truro please call Claire on 07812 095769 or email: enquiries@tobynelsondermatology.com. A referral from your GP is preferred.