Skin Tags

  • Best ResultsDIY 1-2 sessions
  • Treatment RecoveryNA
  • Procedure Time5 to 30 mins
  • Skin SpecialistDavin Lim, Dermatologist
  • Duration of ResultsVariable - years
  • AnaestheticNA
  • Back to WorkNA
  • Cost$-$$$$

Skin Tags

Skin tags are pieces of soft skin that may have a peduncle or stalk. They can appear anywhere on the body, but especially where skin rubs against other skin or clothing. Common locations include the neck, groin & flanks. Most can be treated with DIY home hacks. Read more to find out.

FactsFacts on skin tags

  • Tags occur in flexural areas including the neck, underarms, lower breast & groin areas
  • Occasional tags can be found on the upper eyelids
  • Skin tags are living polyps with their own nerve & blood supply
  • The aim of treatment is to compromise the blood supply of tags
  • Treatments include excision, chemical peels, cryotherapy & simple ligation
  • Read more for DIY hacks to treat skin tags

What are skin tags?

Skin tags are also called acrochordon, cutaneous papilloma, cutaneous tag, fibroepithelial polyp, fibroma molluscum, fibroma pendulum, soft fibroma, and Templeton skin tags. Tags have their own neurovascular supply, namely nerves & vessels. Cut off the blood supply & tags will drop off. More on ‘how to’ below.

Who are prone to skin tags?

Skin tags are more common in:

  • People with a high BMI
  • Diabetics
  • Pregnant women
  • Patients with high blood pressurePatients with high blood pressure
  • People who have high levels IGF1 & hGH hormones
  • Insulin resistance (pre-diabetes)

How do dermatologists treat skin tags?

Dermatologists & skincare experts use one of the following methods to treat tags. Treatment depends on the size, location of tags & the patient’s skin type.

  • Snip excision: Fastest way. Occasionally local anaesthetic is required.
  • Hyfrecator or diathermy with needle tip.
  • TCA high strength acid to small tags.
  • Shave excision with a scalpel, blade or sharp curette
  • Cryotherapy can be effective
  • Lasers; are a massive overkill. Hint- walk away if someone wants to laser your tags, simple treatments are better & more cost effective.

Disclaimer: I do not treat skin tags. For removal, please book an appointment with my nurses.

How to treat skin tags on the eyelid?

Discuss if your GP can do it, or a skin cancer doctor. Failing that, consult a medical dermatologist. Usually for tags on the eyelid, most doctors will inject a tiny bit of local anaesthetic prior to removal. This ensures that you won’t suddenly move during the procedure.

Disclaimer: I do not remove skin tags, even on the eyelid. My procedural work is normally confined to an operating theatre. You do not need to go to theatre to remove skin tags.

Davin’s Viewpoint on Skin tags

Super common condition easily treated. I disagree with the fact that dermatologists should be consulted for tags. Seriously? Too much time on our hands???

Tags are easily treatable by a good aesthetician or dermal therapist. Simple treatments work. In fact, most people do not need to see a skincare professional as DIY treatments, provided one has common sense works. Ice, nail clipper & cotton buds can be found in most household, as can dental floss.

Focal high strength acids applied cautiously is a simple cost-effective option. Your aesthetician may also use a plasma pen; one of the only times I endorse the use of plasma.

My clinical team can treat tags using simple diathermy or pinpoint hyfrecation set at 1.3 to 2.0 watts. Another quick hack is to ice the tag/s, snip with a pair of scissors, then pressure the spot with a cotton bud soaked in aluminium chloride hexahydrate to stop the bleeding. This negates the need for EMLA – numbing cream. Larger polyps are treated with either ligation or simply hyfrecation of the stalk – base. This compromises the blood supply to the tag, resulting in necrosis over a few days. For larger tags, we use local anaesthetic as tags have their own nerve supply, alternative ice can do the trick.

Skin tags on the eyelid require modification to the technique above. Ice application with a snip from a pair of scissors oriented parallel to the canthi can minimise movement & safely treat tags. Another option is to localise the eyelid, then hyfrecator. Lasers are a massive overkill for tags.

Disclaimer: I do not treat skin tags. This includes eyelid or periocular skin tags. Tags located in this area can be treated by cosmetic GPs or GPs with an ‘interest’ in skin-skin cancer. My work is procedural based, you do not require an operating theatre to treat tags.

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