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Skin tags can be a source of annoyance and self-consciousness for many individuals. While harmless, they can often be a cause for concern. In this article, we’ll uncover the mystery behind skin tags and discover the best ways to address them.


Skin tags are a common dermatologic complaint. These benign skin growths generally pose no health risk, but may cause you some degree of concern. If you have one, your local MedExpress center may be able to help. Simply check with your local center before your visit.

Skin tags are removed by first using a small amount of lidocaine to the area. Then, an iris scissors is used to remove the lesion below the base of the stalk. In most cases, this will keep the lesion from recurring. Once the skin tag has been removed, the vessels will be cauterized with a chemical to stop any bleeding. This also eliminates the need for a suture.

In most instances, there is very little visible evidence that the lesions ever existed. However, the larger the skin tag, the more chance there will be a residual mark.

Removing skin tags is a good idea when they appear infected or are causing you pain. Additionally, you should never remove skin tags on your own. However, if you have tried to do this and the lesion is cut or burned, contains some devitalized tissue or is still attached to nerve and vascular sources, you are at risk for infection and should have that skin tag removed.

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If the skin tag is bleeding, infected, growing quickly or getting caught on your clothing or jewelry, these are considered symptomatic and are often covered by insurance. 

If the skin tag is asymptomatic, it can still be removed. This is considered a cosmetic procedure and your insurance will bill you. 

For your convenience, we accept most major insurance. To verify that your insurance is in-network, visit the Plan Your Visit page. We also offer a discount to those patients who choose to pay in full for their visit at the time of service. Self-pay services are $199. 

What are Skin Tags?

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Skin tags can appear anywhere on your skin. Often, they will show up on your neck, underarms or eyelids. These harmless growths will be the same color as your skin, slightly darker, pink or red when irritated.1

Some skin tags may seem to dangle from your skin while others are more firmly attached to your skin. They can come in many shapes and sizes.

While skin tags can be irritating and unsightly, they are generally harmless. You only need to remove a skin tag if it becomes irritated or bloody, suddenly gets painful, is on your eyelid or begins to impact your eyesight.1

What is the difference between a skin tag and a wart? Warts are hard to the touch while skin tags are soft. That’s why you should never use a wart remover on them, as your skin may become irritated or scarred.

Can you remove skin tags at home? No, you should leave this procedure to a provider for several reasons:2

  • Removing skin tags runs the risk of serious infection
  • You could potentially scar yourself
  • You could cause blood loss
  • If the skin tag that you remove is actually skin cancer, you may leave behind microscopic cancer cells which can quickly multiply and spread into the tissue beneath your skin

When do you know if a skin tag is cancerous? Skin tags come in many variations, so it may be difficult for you to tell if it is a skin tag, wart or a sign of skin cancer.1 Your best option is to either visit your primary care provider (PCP), dermatologist or your neighborhood MedExpress center to get an examination and set your mind at ease.

What Causes Skin Tags?

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Skin tags appear where the skin rubs against skin. Those who are overweight or have looser skin get them most often.

If you have the following conditions, you have a higher risk of developing skin tags:1

  • Diabetes
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • High blood pressure
  • High blood sugar levels
  • Extra fat around your waist
  • Unhealthy cholesterol levels
  • Family history of skin tags

Does pregnancy cause skin tags? Yes. Hormonal imbalances have been implicated such as elevated Estrogen and Progesterone levels seen in pregnancy.

Where do skin tags appear? Skin tags can suddenly appear anywhere on the skin, but they usually develop where skin has been rubbing against jewelry, clothing or skin. They usually appear in areas populated by apocrine sweat glands:1

  • Beneath the breasts
  • Groin
  • Sides
  • Abdomen
  • Back
  • Between the thighs
  • On the neck where clothing or jewelry meets the skin
  • Underarms
  • Eyelids

While skin tags aren’t pretty to look at, most of the time they’re harmless. However, if you’re still concerned after reading this, your neighborhood MedExpress center is ready to help give you some peace of mind and remove them if necessary.


1 American Academy of Dermatology Association. Skin Tags: Why They Develop, And How to Remove Them. Last updated May 1, 2023. Accessed September 29, 2023.

2 American Academy of Dermatology Association. 5 Reasons to See a Dermatologist for Mole, Skin Tag Removal. Last updated October 11, 2022. Accessed September 29, 2023.

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