What are skin tags? Tags are benign (non-cancerous) skin growths that often look like small pieces of hanging skin. A more detailed description can be found at the symptoms page. The growths are harmless and if they are left on the skin they will not lead to skin cancer. Other names for these skin growths are acrochordons, soft fibromas, or cutaneous papillomas. Although some people mistake tags for moles or warts, they are neither.
A tag on the skin is very common with up to fifty percent of the population experiencing them to various degrees at some point in their lives. There is no preference for the growths affecting males or females and they can target any age group. Tags can affect healthy people as well as unhealthy individuals. However, some are more susceptible to them than others. For example, adults seem to get the skin growths more.
What causes tags to appear on the body? There are in fact a few suspected causes of these skin growths to discuss. They are not present at birth but appear later in life for a variety of possible reasons. Heredity plays a role in their development as it does for many other skin and health conditions. Certain individuals are predisposed to these skin growths because their parents or other genetic relations were also susceptible to them. Friction or the constant rubbing of a skin area is suspected as being a cause for tags. Another tag cause is weight. Overweight or obese individuals develop skin tags more often than slender people. This may be because obese individuals experience more friction of skin areas because of frequent skin to skin rubbing.
Pregnancy is another answer to the question of what causes these non-cancerous skin growths. Their development may be linked to changing and elevated hormone levels during the pregnancy period or after childbirth.
Individuals who develop this type of benign skin growth tend to develop more than one and it is not unusual to have multiple tags on the body. They do not spread but may develop in the same area because the same cause is acting in that area (e.g. friction).
Finally, age seems to be a cause for these skin growths. Tags are more common in middle aged adults than in teens and younger children. The frequency of occurrence increases as people reach the age of 60.
Note that tags on the skin are not contagious and therefore coming in contact with someone’s tags will not cause this skin growth to appear on your skin.
Although tags on the skin are not dangerous, removal is often desired and the removing skin tags page discusses reasons why individuals remove these skin growths. The how to remove skin tags page discusses ways that these growths of hanging skin can be removed by a doctor. The treatment procedures are for the most part simple and uncomplicated. Although generally not recommended, many people search for home removal remedies of this excess skin and at home remedies are discussed on this page.
Another common question is whether these skin growths can be prevented.
Finally, pictures of these tags on the skin can help individuals deduce whether they have a tag or some other skin care problem.
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