Skin tags are small growths that hang off your skin. They’re common and essentially harmless but can be removed if they bother you.
What do skin tags look like?
Skin tags are small, soft, skin-colored growths on your skin. They can vary in colour and size – from a few millimeters up to 5cm (about 2 inches) wide.
They are usually found on the neck, armpits, around the groin, or under the breasts, but they can also grow on the eyelids or under the folds of the buttocks.
They can look like warts, but skin tags are usually smooth and soft (whereas warts tend to be rougher with an irregular surface).
Skin tags are knobbly and hang off the skin (whereas warts are usually slightly raised or flat)
Skin tags are not contagious (whereas warts spread very easily, so a sudden outbreak or cluster of growths is more likely to be warts)
NB: Skin tags do not usually cause any pain or discomfort.
Why do skin tags occur?
Skin tags are made of loose collagen fibers and blood vessels surrounded by skin. Collagen is a type of protein found throughout the body.
Both men and women can develop skin tags. They tend to occur in older people and (significantly) people who are obese or have prediabetes or type-2 diabetes.
Why do Skin tags matter?
If you have a diet high in carbs and sugars, your insulin will be high as a result. (Insulin controls blood sugar, so more sugar = more insulin). But insulin has numerous actions on the body, one of which is cell-proliferation (important for example at puberty, when the body grows rapidly). Uncontrolled cell growth is a bad thing however, which is why people with type2 diabetes are more prone to cancer. Skin tags are benign and harmless but they DO indicate that your insulin levels are probably too high. As ever drop us a line with any queries – no pressure – just helpful qualified, professional advice
(Never attempt to remove large skin tags yourself because they’ll bleed heavily.)