Skin Tag Removal: Myths and Misconceptions

Oct 5, 2023 3 min

Discover the truth about skin tag removal. Debunk common myths and misconceptions with this comprehensive guide.

Skin tags, those small, benign growths that can appear anywhere on your body, are a common concern for many people. 

Despite their prevalence, there's a lot of misinformation out there about skin tags and their removal. 

In this comprehensive guide, we'll debunk some of the most common myths and misconceptions surrounding skin tags and their removal.

Myth: Skin Tags are a Sign of Poor Health

Some people believe that the presence of skin tags is a sign of poor health or underlying medical conditions. 

While it's true that skin tags can be more common in people with diabetes and obesity, the presence of skin tags alone is not an indicator of poor health. They are benign growths that don't cause health problems.

Contrary to popular belief, skin tags are not caused by poor hygiene or an unhealthy diet. So, what causes skin tags? 

They are actually caused by friction between skin surfaces, which is why they often appear in areas where the skin folds, such as the neck, armpits, and groin. 

It is important to note that skin tags can sometimes resemble other skin conditions. If you notice a skin tag that is changing in size, colour, or shape, it's important to have it evaluated by a health professional to rule out other conditions. 

This is a crucial point to remember: while skin tags themselves are not dangerous, they can sometimes mimic more serious conditions, and any changes should be promptly evaluated.

Misconception: Skin Tags Only Appear in Older Adults

While it's true that skin tags are more common in older adults, they can appear at any age. 

Factors such as genetics, friction from skin rubbing together, and hormonal changes can cause skin tags in people of all ages. Even children can develop skin tags, although this is less common.

It's important to note that anyone can develop skin tags, regardless of age or gender. However, they are more common in older adults and people who are overweight. Pregnant women may also notice an increase in skin tags due to hormonal changes.

Myth: Skin Tags are Contagious

This is a common myth that needs to be dispelled. Skin tags are benign growths caused by friction; they are not caused by a virus or bacteria, so they cannot be passed from person to person.

This myth may stem from the fact that skin tags can sometimes resemble warts, which are caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV) and are contagious. However, skin tags and warts are different conditions and should not be confused with each other. 

Understanding the difference between these conditions can help you take appropriate measures and avoid unnecessary worry.

Misconception: You can Cut Off Skin Tags Yourself

A common misconception is that you can simply cut off a skin tag with a pair of scissors. While it's technically possible, it's not recommended. 

Cutting off skin tags without proper medical supervision can lead to infection, scarring, and even excessive bleeding.

Moreover, cutting off a skin tag can be quite painful without proper anaesthesia. It's always best to consult with a health professional for safe and effective skin tag removal options. 

They can provide you with a range of options, from surgical removal to cryotherapy, depending on the size and location of the skin tag. 

It's crucial to remember that improper self-removal can lead to complications, and it's always safer to seek professional help.

Myth: Over-the-Counter Skin Tag Removers are Ineffective

Over-the-counter skin tag removers are an effective option for skin tag removal. They work by freezing off the skin tag, causing it to fall off over time. However, it's important to always read the label and follow the directions for use and to consult with a health professional if you have any concerns.

It's also worth noting that while these products can be effective, they may not be the best choice for everyone. For example, people with sensitive skin or skin tags in sensitive areas may find these products irritating. 

Always consult with a health professional before starting any new treatment.

Misconception: Skin Tag Removal is Painful

Many people avoid seeking treatment for their skin tags because they believe the removal process is painful. However, this is a misconception. 

Most skin tag removal procedures, such as cryotherapy (freezing the skin tag), cauterisation (burning the skin tag), or surgical removal, are done under local anaesthesia, so you won't feel any pain during the procedure.

In fact, many people report feeling a sense of relief after having their skin tags removed, especially if the tags were located in an area where they caused discomfort or embarrassment. 

It's important to remember that the fear of pain shouldn't deter you from seeking treatment, as most procedures are painless and can significantly improve your quality of life.

Myth: Skin Tags will Grow Back After Removal

Another common myth is that skin tags will grow back after removal. While it's possible for a new skin tag to form in the same area, the same skin tag will not grow back once it has been removed. 

This is because the removal process destroys the base of the skin tag, preventing it from regrowing.

Misconception: All Skin Tags Should be Removed

It's a common belief that all skin tags should be removed. However, this isn't necessarily the case. 

Skin tags are benign and don't pose a health risk. If they're not causing any discomfort or cosmetic concern, there's no medical reason to remove them. 

However, if a skin tag is causing discomfort due to its location, or if you're self-conscious about it, you can choose to have it removed.

While skin tags can be annoying, they are generally harmless and can be easily treated. It's important to separate fact from fiction when it comes to skin tag removal. 

Remember, a good understanding about the truth about skin tags and their removal can help you make informed decisions about your health. Always consult with a health professional if you have any concerns about skin tags or other skin conditions.