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What is a skin tag?

A skin tag is a small, soft, benign growth of skin that is typically found on the neck, underarms, torso, or groin area. They are made up of loose collagen fibers and blood vessels surrounded by skin and are attached to the skin by a small stalk. Skin tags are not harmful, but some people may choose to have them removed for cosmetic reasons or if they become irritated or caught on clothing or jewelry. They are more common as people age and are also more likely to occur in individuals who are overweight.

Should I remove a skin tag?

Because they’re harmless, a skin tag only needs to be removed if it:

  • Becomes irritated or bleeds
  • Develops on your eyelid and affects your eyesight
  • Feels painful, especially when the pain comes on suddenly

A skin tag can become irritated if it frequently rubs against jewelry, clothing, or a seat belt. Shaving can also irritate it, especially if you nick the skin tag. A dermatologist can remove these skin tags.

How does a dermatologist remove skin tags?

A dermatologist can remove skin tags using several methods including:

  • Cutting it off using surgical scissors or a scalpel.
  • Freezing it with liquid nitrogen (Cryotherapy).
  • Burning it off using an electric current (electrocautery).

The method used will depend on the size and location of the skin tag, as well as the preference of the dermatologist. A dermatologist can also advise on the best method based on the individual’s skin type and medical history.

To schedule an appointment with Dr. Greenberg, please contact our office at (941) 282-3376. Our staff will be happy to assist you in scheduling a visit at your convenience.