What Causes Skin Tags?

Your skin changes all the time. Some changes are more welcome than others, though. If you notice a growth developing on your skin, you’re probably wondering two things: First, how do you get rid of it? Secondly, what’s causing it?

At Heights Aesthetic Laser Center in Brooklyn, we can answer both questions. Our team of expert providers offers skin tag removal to quickly and painlessly get rid of those unwanted growths. What’s more, we can usually remove your skin tag without leaving a scar.

Still, though, you might be curious what caused the skin tag in the first place. Let’s look at these growths and their common causes. 

Skin tags 101

Skin tags — also called acrochordons — aren’t so bad as far as unusual growths on your body go. For starters, and most importantly, they’re noncancerous. They’re also usually painless (unless they grow large enough to get caught when you move, pulling on surrounding skin) and are fairly common.

People usually develop skin tags after turning 20 and before age 70. They occur most commonly in areas where your skin folds, like your:

Skin tags can look brown or skin-colored and usually stay fairly small. Skin tags most commonly look like an oval-shaped growth. Over time, that growth can extend enough that the skin tag develops a stalk. 

Possible causes of skin tags

Although doctors don’t know precisely what causes skin tags, studies have shown that certain factors may contribute to their development:

Genetics

If one of your family members has skin tags, don’t be surprised if you get one, too. Medical experts have observed skin tags affecting multiple related people. 

Similarly, some genetic conditions like Birt-Hogg-Dubé syndrome come with skin tags as a symptom. 

Human papillomavirus (HPV)

Though HPV doesn’t cause skin tags, studies have correlated HPV and the development of skin tags. In other words, if you have HPV, you’re more likely to get these growths. 

Friction

Some medical experts think that skin tags develop when the collagen in your skin (a key protein in it) and your blood vessels get tangled inside a thicker layer of skin. Friction could play a role here, which would explain why skin tags are more common in places where your skin folds. 

Diabetes and obesity

Skin tags can serve as a warning sign for diabetes because they’re more common in people with this condition.

They also occur more frequently in people with obesity, possibly because of the resulting extra folds in the skin. 

The good news? No matter what’s causing your skin tag, our Heights Aesthetic Laser Center team can help you get rid of it. We offer painless, scar-free skin tag removal. To schedule your skin tag removal, call our office, or make your appointment online today.

We offer Coolsculpting, Emsculpt, and RF Microneedling. Call us to book your appointment today.

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