Medical Q&As

Skin tags - what are they?

I am 48 years old. Lately I have noticed what seem to be skin tags developing at various sites on my body. I have noticed some under my breasts and under my arms. They are not moles or brown or hairy. They just seem to be extra bits of skin. Is this something to be worried about or is it the normal ageing process. I am significantly overweight.

Skin tags are benign skin growths that are absolutely harmless. They are commonly seen on the neck, armpits, trunk, body folds and eyelids. They have a narrow stalk and are usually skin coloured or occasionally can be darker. They tend to occur from middle age onwards. The cause of skin tags is unknown. If they are cosmetically unacceptable they can be removed by cryotherapy, which is a form of therapy that eliminates the skin tag through freezing. There is no need to be worried about skin tags because they do not have any malignant potential. It is perfectly reasonable to leave them untreated. I note your comment about being overweight. Skin tags occur in thin people too.