ZocdocAnswersWhat causes skin tags?

Question

What causes skin tags?

I have had skin tags removed from my armpits and I have more on my upper legs and eyelids.

Answer

Skin tags, also known as acrochordon are small benign tumors of skin cells that arise somewhat randomly preferring areas of the skin which rub up against skin (such as the arm pit). Despite how common they are, we do not understand completely how or why they form. Nevertheless they are easily removed. The best type of physician for you to see about these skin tags is a dermatologist. There are a few theories about why skin tags form. Most likely an infection with human papilloma virus plays a role in some skin tags. Others probably form from a combination of unknown environmental factors combined with genetic susceptibility. Finally people that are overweight or have diabetes seem to have a higher risk for them, also for unclear reasons. I suggest that you schedule an appointment with a dermatologist. He or she can examine your skin tags and determine with certainty that they do not represent something more concerning. Finally, the dermatologist can recommend treatment options for you to choose from which will include various methods of removal (surgery, freezing, etc). Likely, the dermatologist will recommend different methods for removing the skin tags from your legs from the one on your eyelid. Obviously with the eyelid, he or she will need to be more careful about the surrounding tissue. Good luck.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.