Warts or skin tags


Skin Tags vs. Warts – What’s the Difference?

How to Tell Skin Tags and Warts Apart

Skin tags and warts are skin ailments that grow on your skin. While skin tags are just excessive growth of skin and are not painful, warts are skin infection that can grow on various parts of your body.

Skin tags may be up to half-inch in size and are usually the size of a grain of rice. They are small and flattened like a pinhead bump. Skin tags mostly appear on eyelids, armpits, groin, upper chest, under the breast, and on your neck. Often they go unnoticed unless they appear in a prominent area. They are harmless and non-cancerous. However, people often take treatments to remove a skin tag for aesthetic and cosmetic reasons.

Common warts are small, grainy skin growths caused by human papillomavirus or HPV that is grown on hands, fingers, and toes. They are small, fleshy, grainy bumps that are pink in color. They are initially flesh colored but change to white or pink over a period of time. Common warts are rough to touch and have small, black dots around them.

Skin Tag Pictures

Genital Warts Pictures

What Causes Skin Tags?

Skin tags are usually formed among people above the age of 50. It is formed in creases and folds when skin rubs against skin, which is why they can be found in the armpits, neck, groin and also the eyelids. Skin tags can also be formed when a blood vessel gets enlarged and becomes trapped under thicker pieces of skin. People with diabetes, as well as overweight or obese people, have a higher chance of growing skin tags in their body.

What Are the Reasons for Warts?

Common warts are caused by the human papillomavirus or HPV. The virus causes warts by entering through any skin tissues that is slightly cut or scraped. Warts are contagious, so there are chances you may get warts from someone who already has them. Warts can grow on your body If you have a weak immune system, which is why they are more common among children who have a developing immune system.

Where Do Warts Appear?

There are six major types of warts that can appear on various parts of your body.

Common warts: These warts usually grow on your fingers or toes, but can also occur in other places in your body.

Flat Warts: Flat warts grow on your arms, face, or thighs. They cannot be noticed as they are small. They are pink, brown or light yellow.

Filiform Warts: Filiform warts are of the color of your skin and commonly grow on the face, especially near the eyelids or the lips.

Periungual Warts: Periungual warts grow under the toenails and fingernails and can be quite painful.

Genital Warts: These are warts that occur around the genital area.

Plantar Warts: Plantar warts are painful lumps that can be found on the soles of your feet. They make walking uncomfortable as they are tiny in size but are surrounded by hardened skin.

Where Do People Get Skin Tags?

Skin tags are a harmless growth of excess skin that you can find on the eyelids, armpits, under the breasts, groin, upper chest and neck. You may not notice a skin tag on your body unless they are in a prominent place that you touch or see often.

Will Warts Go Away on Their Own?

Warts often subside on their own after a few days. There are home remedies and over the counter medications that remove warts from your body by gradually reducing its size. However, it is advisable to visit a doctor when:

  • The warts are painful and change their color
  • Common warts keep recurring in your body despite treatment
  • You are unsure if they are common warts
  • You have several warts sprouting, which indicates that you have a weakening immune system

Will Skin Tags Fall off without Treatment?

Skin tags are a non-cancerous growth of excessive skin. They are harmless and often go unnoticed if it grows somewhere on your body that you don’t often see or touch. Skin tags do not require treatment as it can fall off on its own, however, for there are home remedies available that can be helpful in removing the skin tag.

How to Get Rid of Skin Tags

There are various home remedies and over-the-counter options you can try to get rid of your skin tag.

Skin Tag Removal Kit

Be it a large skin tag or a smaller one, you can use a skin tag removal kit to remove a skin tag of all sizes anywhere on your body. Before you apply the tag band, clean the area surrounding the skin tag and apply the tag band using the tag band cone provided. Once the band is applied to the skin tag, it will cut down the blood supply to the tag making it fall off after a few days.

Freezing a Skin Tag

Skin tags can be treated by freezing them completely, this will cut off the nutrition it is receiving from your body, making them fall off from your body. You can find skin tag freezing sprays available at any drugstore. Before using the spray, make sure the skin surrounding the skin tag doesn’t come in contact with the spray.

Applying Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil is extracted from tea tree leaves that have natural antibacterial properties. It can be used as an antiseptic to treat warts, acne, cold sores, moles and even skin tags. Skin tags grow by getting constant blood supply. When you apply tea tree oil on your skin tag, it will cut out the oxygen supply thereby reducing its size. This is a slow process and will take up to eight weeks when applied regularly, but it is cheaper and safer than surgical or non-surgical options.

Applying Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is used for removing warts and for treating other skin ailments. Soak a cotton ball with apple cider vinegar and apply it on your skin tag securing the spot with a bandage. Leave it on your skin tag for ten minutes a day. Repeat the process two-three times each day until the skin tag weakens and falls off.

How to Treat Warts at Home

Warts can be treated at home by trying out natural and safe home remedies that have proven to be effective in removing warts.

Green Tea

Green tea is rich in antioxidants and is an excellent solution for skin care remedy. 2-3 glasses of green tea every day will increase the antioxidant supply to your skin and reduce warts.

You can also apply a used green tea bag on a wart-infected skin. Place the tea bag on the wart for 10-15 minutes and repeat the process thrice a day along with drinking green tea.

Duct Tape

Duct tape is a tried and tested method to clear common warts. In this method, you cover the wart with a duct tape, thus depriving it of air and sun exposure. Remove the duct tape once a week and wash the affected area. Keep the area exposed overnight and reapply the duct tape again in the morning.

To speed up the process, you can apply salicylic acid on the wart and cover it with duct tape.


Garlic is known for its medicinal properties that help fight fungal infections and have been used as a remedy for a long time. Allicin, an anti-viral component present in garlic makes it of great medicinal value.

Crush a clove of garlic and place the crushed garlic on the affected area. Cover the area with a bandage or a duct tape. Make sure that the crushed garlic is not in contact with any unaffected area or any part of the skin that has cuts or wounds.

Apply fresh cut garlic to the wart-affected area every day. The healing process will take 3-4 weeks.

Apple Cider Vinegar

The vinegar in apple cider vinegar acts like salicylic acid. It burns the infected area and treats the infected skin causing the wart to fall off. The irritation you get from applying vinegar stimulates your immune system’s ability to fight the wart.

Mix some apple cider vinegar with a little water and soak a cotton ball in the solution. Apply the cotton ball on the wart and cover it with a bandage or a tape. Leave the cotton ball overnight on the wart-infected area. Remove the cotton ball and the bandage and repeat the process until the wart falls off.

See a Doctor about Genital Wart Removal

Genital warts is a sexually transmitted disease caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV) and can affect both men and women. Genital warts often disappear without treatment, however, it takes time for them to completely disappear. Applying proper medication or trying out home remedies will take a few months to show its effects. You can remove warts through surgery. Seek medical help from your doctor if:

  • You suspect you have genital warts and need to get it diagnosed
  • You are bleeding from your genital area or find other symptoms such as itching and constant discharge
  • Warts have blocked your urethra making it difficult for you to urinate
  • You have a current or former sexual partner who has genital warts
  • A young child shows signs of genital warts (which can be contracted through sexual abuse)

How Are Skin Tags Mistaken for Genital Warts?

There are chances of skin tags being mistaken for genital warts as they both are skin ailments and are small in size. While skin tags are a harmless growth of excessive skin, genital wart is a disease that can be contracted from someone who already has them. Skin tags appear on the end of a stalk whereas genital warts are a bump on the skin.

Skin tags can be left alone but if they are present in a visible area then it may need to be surgically removed or be treated by applying medications or home remedies. Genital warts need treatment and should be diagnosed by a doctor as they appear in a sensitive area and can be painful.

Will Skin Tag or Cutaneous Wart Removal Leave a Scar?

Skin tags or warts may be an eyesore to look at and you may want to get rid of them as soon as possible. But you have to follow the right method in removing warts or skin tags. Try out home remedies or over-the-counter ointments to treat skin ailments. Avoid cutting off a wart or a skin tag as it will result in scars and excessive bleeding.

Freezing a Wart: Cryotherapy is an effective method in removing warts or skin tag from your body. Freezing a wart or a skin tag will render it inactive as the cold will weaken it and make it fall off your body.

Applying Cream and Ointment: Creams and ointment slowly wear off skin tags and warts on your body without leaving any scars.

Once you have used the proper treatment to treat your body off warts or skin tags, make sure you take care of your skin by washing it regularly. Scabs that are left behind after warts disappear protect your skin till it heals completely and should not be forcibly pulled apart.

When Should Treatment Be Avoided?

If you have any doubts when treating a skin tag or a wart, always consult with your doctor. There are times when even doctors cannot diagnose your warts after a biopsy, in such cases it is preferred to avoid treating a wart or a skin tag.

Avoid treating warts in an area that is highly sensitive or difficult to access. Sometimes, genital warts grow in places that cannot be operated on, in such cases try out other methods such as freezing off the wart. It is recommended not to perform surgery on skin tags that grow on your buttocks or groin as a treatment in such sensitive areas can be painful.

Genital warts are a very common sexually transmitted infection (STI) in the UK, caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV). Genital warts usually don’t cause any pain or threat to your health, but genital warts symptoms can look unpleasant, which can cause emotional distress for some sufferers.

Although it can seem distressing and embarrassing if you think you may have contracted genital warts, the best thing you can do is visit your doctor or a sexual health clinic and get an official diagnosis and treatment. Learning the symptoms and signs of genital warts will help you to recognise when your body isn’t feeling or looking right and you need a sexual health check-up.

This in-depth guide to genital warts, their causes signs and symptoms should answer all your questions.

  • What are genital warts?
  • What do genital warts look like?
  • What are the early signs of genital warts?
  • Genital warts symptoms
    • Genital warts symptoms for men: common areas
    • Genital warts symptoms for women: common areas
  • How to get rid of genital warts
    • Physical ablation
    • Topical treatments
  • How long do genital warts last?
  • Can you cure genital warts forever?
  • How do you get genital warts?
  • Can you get genital warts without having sex?
  • Do genital warts hurt?
  • Can you get internal genital warts?
  • Do genital warts go away on their own?
  • Can genital warts cause cancer?
  • Skin tag vs genital warts: how to tell the difference
  • Genital warts or ingrown hair: how to tell the difference

What are genital warts?

Genital warts are a very common sexually transmitted infection (STI) that can affect both men and women.

They are caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV), with most caused by strains H6 and H11 of the virus. It takes up to three months for the HPV to develop into genital warts and there are a number of common symptoms that make genital warts easy to spot at home yourself.

The HPV virus is passed on through sexual skin-to-skin contact and is very easy to contract. In fact, most people get HPV during their lives. Only certain strains or cases will develop into genital warts. Some strains of HPV are completely harmless and go away by themselves.

What do genital warts look like?

Genital warts usually resemble small, fleshy bumps or growths on the skin in the genital or anal area. They can be skin-coloured or slightly darker, whitish or even grey.

Warts can be flat and smooth, raised and bumpy, or sometimes look like a small cauliflower.

You can just have one wart that appears on its own, but they may also appear in clusters. Genital warts can also range in size; in many cases, they might be so small that you won’t even notice them.

What are the early signs of genital warts?

People often find out they have genital warts by spotting small fleshy lumps around their pubic area. Both men and women develop these small bumps, which tend to be 1-3 mm in size.

You may need a mirror to see them properly — the smaller ones can be tricky to spot, especially amongst pubic hair.

You might also feel itching or discomfort in your genital area.

If you spot any of these signs it could be an indication that you have genital warts, so it’s a good idea to get checked out.

Genital warts symptoms

If genital warts do develop it can be several weeks, months or even years after initially coming into contact with the human papillomavirus.

This means that, like the majority of people with HPV, you might not see any visible warts or symptoms. The virus could even go away on its own without you even realising you had it.

If you are sexually active or you are concerned that you might have genital warts, it’s a good idea to regularly check yourself and keep an eye out for the symptoms of genital warts like:

  • Small fleshy bumps on the skin
  • Changes to your skin’s texture or colour
  • Itchiness, irritation, or discomfort in the genital or anal area
  • In rarer cases, bleeding
  • A distorted flow of urine (which could indicate a wart in the urethra)

Genital warts symptoms are similar in men and women but the location of warts can vary.

Genital warts symptoms for men: common areas

In men, genital warts are usually found:

  • On the penis
  • On the scrotum
  • Around and inside the anus
  • On the upper thighs
  • Inside the urethra

Genital warts symptoms for women: common areas

For women, genital warts will usually appear:

  • Around the opening of the vagina (the vulva)
  • In the neck of the womb (the cervix)
  • Around and inside the anus
  • On the upper thighs

If you notice the symptoms of genital warts in these areas, you should visit a doctor or nurse for a check-up to confirm you have the infection. They will be able to suggest a course of action.

How to get rid of genital warts

If you want to get rid of genital warts, there are both medical and surgical treatments for the condition, and various different options within each.

There is a chance that genital warts will go away in time without treatment — and some people choose not to have any. However, your warts are much more likely to go (and faster) if you use one of the following treatments.

Physical ablation

There are four procedures for physically and surgically treating your genital warts:

  • Cryotherapy – This treats your genital warts by freezing them with liquid nitrogen and then removing them from your body. Cryotherapy is performed during weekly sessions by a doctor or nurse over a period of about a month.
  • Excision – A local anaesthetic is applied to your genital warts before they are surgically cut away.
  • Electrosurgery – This is used in combination with excision for the treatment of larger genital warts. Excision is used to cut the bulk of your wart away before a metal loop is pressed to the remainder of the wart. An electrical current is then passed through the wart to burn it off.
  • Laser surgery – Used for large genital warts that are difficult to access, a laser is used to burn away warts.

Topical treatments

There are a number of creams and solutions available for you treat your genital warts:

  • Condyline 0.5% Solution – A clear solution which contains the active ingredient podophyllotoxin, you apply this cream directly onto your genital warts. It then works by targeting your genital warts’ ability to multiply, stopping them from growing.
  • Warticon Solution – Using the active ingredient podophyllotoxin, this solution treats your genital warts by attacking and erasing the HPV responsible for causing them.
  • Warticon Cream – This cream also has podophyllotoxin as its active ingredient. It fights the HPV responsible for causing your genital warts and eventually causes them to die, with healthy skin tissue replacing the dead cells.
  • Aldara (Imiquimod) 5% Cream – This cream is licensed explicitly for the treatment of external anal warts and genital warts. It works as an immune response modifier (IRM), helping the body to build up and implement its own defence systems.

Here’s more in-depth information about the different genital warts treatments available. And you can buy Warticon and Aldara from The Independent Pharmacy after completing a short online questionnaire.

How long do genital warts last?

With a topical cream or solution treatment, most genital warts will go away in four to 12 weeks (depending on the type of medication that you use).

Surgical treatments will remove genital warts immediately, and freezing usually requires multiple sessions over a number of weeks.

Without treatment, most people find that warts go away within six months. However, they can last for longer.

Can you cure genital warts forever?

The HPV virus, the underlying cause of genital warts, is not currently curable. But genital warts themselves can be treated and should go away by using a topical treatment.

There are some cases where they will remain and may require physically or surgically treating to remove them completely.

Unfortunately, as there is no actual cure for HPV it will remain dormant in your system after your warts have disappeared, meaning you could suffer recurring outbreaks of genital warts. It is possible though that, over time, your body could clear the virus from your system and you will not have any further outbreaks of warts.

How do you get genital warts?

Most people who contract genital warts get it from vaginal or anal sex with somebody who has a type of HPV that causes genital warts (usually HPV types 6 and 11).

It’s also possible to get it from oral sex, but this is less common.

Genital warts are spread by skin-to-skin contact. This means you can get genital warts even if you always use a condom during sex because the virus can be present in the skin that is not covered by the condom.

Can you get genital warts without having sex?

You can get genital warts without having penetrative sex. As well as oral sex, genital warts can be passed on by sharing sex toys and by fingers during foreplay.

It’s also possible for a mother to pass genital warts to her baby during childbirth, but this is very rare. For more information on risks during pregnancy and childbirth, you can visit our guide on genital warts and pregnancy.

You can’t get genital warts from kissing, or from sharing cups, cutlery, or towels.

You can’t get genital warts from toilet seats, either.

Do genital warts hurt?

No — most genital warts are painless.

Some people can experience itching, irritation or discomfort in the affected area, particularly if warts have developed around the anus.

In some cases, there may be bleeding from the affected area, but this is quite rare.

How common are genital warts?

Genital warts are one of the most common types of sexually transmitted infections. In fact, genital warts are the second most common STI in the UK after chlamydia — and the most common viral STI.

Nearly all sexually active people will become infected with at least one type of HPV at some point during their lives.

Can you get internal genital warts?

Yes; men and women can both develop warts inside the urethra and the anus. Women can also develop genital warts inside the vagina and cervix.

It’s also possible to develop warts inside your mouth, on your tongue and throat, but this is rarer.

If you think you have internal genital warts, see a health professional who will be able to diagnose them and advise you on how these can be treated (or whether they need to be treated at all).

Can genital warts come back?

Some people may only ever get one episode of genital warts. However, for many others, genital warts will come back.

Treatments for genital warts can remove the warts themselves, but not the virus that causes them. This means that while HPV is in your system, it’s possible you’ll develop genital warts again.

There’s no cure for HPV, although your body may remove the virus by itself in time — if this were to happen, you would no longer be at risk of getting genital warts.

Do genital warts go away on their own?

Some people don’t need treatment or choose not to have any.

If untreated, genital warts could go away on their own; however, they could also stay the same, get bigger, get smaller, or multiply.

Genital warts usually go away without treatment within six months for around a third of affected people. However, for many other people, genital warts may hang around for longer.

Treatment can get rid of warts faster, make it less likely you’ll pass them on, and help prevent further health complications.

Can genital warts cause cancer?

Genital warts are not cancer and do not cause cancer.

Both genital warts and cervical cancer stem from the same virus: the human papillomavirus (HPV). However, there are over 100 different strains of HPV, with varying levels of severity and results.

Genital warts are usually caused by HPV types 6 and 11. In fact, these two strains are responsible for 90% of genital warts. These types do not cause cancer of the cervix, vagina, anus, or penis.

The types of HPV that are linked to these cancers do not cause genital warts (HPV types 16 and 18 are the ones linked to more than 70% of cases of cervical cancer in the UK).

Skin tag vs genital warts: how to tell the difference

Skin tags are small, harmless growths that usually occur in places where your skin folds — such as the groin and buttocks. This means they’re often mistaken for genital warts.

The main differences between skin tags and genital warts are:

  • Genital warts are usually rough to the touch but skin tags are usually smooth
  • Genital warts are usually flat or only slightly raised but skin tags hang from the skin
  • Genital warts can appear in clusters but a skin tag usually appears in isolation

If you are unsure about whether you have a skin tag or genital warts, it’s worth getting checked out by a medical professional.

Genital warts or ingrown hair: how to tell the difference

If you shave your pubic area, you increase the risk of getting ingrown hairs — hairs that have curled round and grown back into the skin.

Ingrown hairs are usually red, raised, and painful — similar to a spot or a pimple. Sometimes they can be itchy too, which is why people might mistake them for genital warts.

However, genital warts look very different to an ingrown hair. Genital warts are flesh-coloured and normally have a ‘cauliflower-like’ appearance.


Genital warts may be the most common STI in the UK, but it is also one of the STIs with the broadest range and most accessible treatments.

We recommend speaking to your GP or a registered pharmacist before you decide which of the common treatment options covered in this article.


Skin Tags And Warts Specialist

Removing skin tags can involve any of the following surgeries:

  • Excision, in which the tag is cut out with a scalpel
  • Ligation, in which the blood supply to the skin tag is interrupted
  • Cauterization, in which the skin tag is burned off with electrolysis
  • Cryosurgery, in which the skin tag is frozen off using liquid nitrogen

What are warts?

Common warts are small skin growths that typically occur on your hands and fingers. The skin texture of warts feels rough and may feature a pattern of tiny clotted blood vessels that resemble black dots on the skin.

Some people choose to remove their warts, often due to cosmetic reasons. Most common warts are caused by the human papillomavirus. The virus has over 150 types, but only a few of these cause warts to appear on the hands. Some strains of HPV are sexually transmitted and can lead to genital warts.

Most forms of HPV are spread by casual skin contact or through shared objects like washcloths and towels. The virus can spread through breaks and cuts in your skin.

What are the treatments for warts?

The goal of treatment is to destroy the wart and stimulate your body’s immune system response to fight the virus.

Salicylic acid

Prescription-strength topical salicylic acid works by removing layers of a wart a little bit at a time.


Cryotherapy is performed in-office and involves your Elite medical provider applying liquid nitrogen to your wart. Freezing causes a blister to form around and under your wart, and the dead tissue sloughs off within a week or two following your appointment.

Minor surgery

During a minor surgery, your Elite medical provider cuts away any bothersome tissue.

Laser treatment

Special laser treatments can cauterize tiny blood vessels, causing the infected tissue to die and the wart to fall off.

For quality skin care, call or click to visit Elite Dermatology.

‘I Thought My Skin Tags Were an STD — But They’re Actually Harmless’

But that doesn’t mean you should completely ignore skin tags. David Lorschter, MD, founder of Curology and a board-certified dermatologist in San Diego, notes there are exceptions. He says people with a genetic disorder called basal cell nevus system (BCNS) usually exhibit spots of basal cell skin cancer that look like — you guessed it — skin tags. Therefore, people with BCNS should have their skin tags biopsied and screened for cancer on a regular basis.

Not to mention, your skin tags may not be skin tags at all. They could be genital warts, as their appearance is similar to skin tags, as shown from pictures on the American Academy of Dermatology website. Your best bet? Visit a certified dermatologist, like I did, to determine a diagnosis and find out the best treatment for your condition.

RELATED: What Are the Symptoms of HPV and How Is It Diagnosed?

Making Peace With My Skin Tags

My skin tags, of course — like the skin tags of millions of people — were fine. They didn’t irritate or bother me, though some doctors mentioned them getting twisted in necklace or irritated by rubbing on clothing. When that happens, or for cosmetic reasons, skin tags are easily removed. “There are several methods of removal — clip them with sharp scissors; freeze them with liquid nitrogen; or burn them off with heat,” meaning cauterize them, Dr. Besser says. (All of this should be performed by a medical professional, not at home.)

But not on my genitals, thank you. They’re not bothering me any.

Some doctors said skin tags wouldn’t grow. Some told me they would keep growing. Most of them said they would increase in frequency as a person ages, and sure enough, what did I find over my eyelid the other day — a tiny little skin tag, just where the lid rubs against my brow. For cosmetic reasons, I’d consider getting that one removed, though the thought of liquid nitrogen on that thin skin makes me shudder, as do the aesthetics of a giant Band-Aid on my face for days.

But skin tags are generally benign, so I’ll probably just live with it. The same way I live with the ones on my genitals — a story I can now look back on and laugh at. Skin tags. I thought I’d contracted some disease as yet unknown to science, but really, I had skin tags. No wonder that poor ob-gyn almost laughed me out of the stirrups. Because if there’s one things that’s true, it’s that about half of us have skin tags — whether you can see them or not.

Have you ever noticed a random piece of skin hanging from your armpit or on your stomach? They’re not acne, they’re not warts, they’re called skin tags.

Just like pimples, blackheads or bug bites, they’re annoying, but they are generally not a cause for panic.

What are skin tags?

Skin tags, medically known as acrochordons, are skin growths that stick out due to a short, narrow stalk.

“Skin tags are fairly common, they usually occur in the neck, armpit, under the breast and groin area, sometimes on the eyelids.” Dr. Melissa Piliang, a dermatologist at the Cleveland Clinic, told TODAY. “They’re little soft tags that sticks off on the skin.”

They are more common in middle-aged adults, but often occur in people who are age 30 and older. A kid or teen could have them, but that’s much more unlikely.

Doctors say trying to remove a skin tag by yourself or at home with consumer products could result in serious infection or worse. BSIP / UIG/Getty Images

Are skin tags dangerous?

The good news is that skin tags are not dangerous, explained Dr. Nada Elbuluk, a dermatologist and clinical assistant professor at the University of Southern California’s Keck School of Medicine.

“They’re completely harmless,” Elbuluk said, “but occasionally there will be something that looks like a tag that’s a bit more concerning, like superficial skin cancer.”

That’s why it’s important to see a dermatologist, even if you think you have a harmless skin tag. If it’s itchy, bleeding, uncomfortable or concerns you, make an appointment sooner rather than later, she said. If it’s not bothering you, she suggested bringing it up at an annual checkup.

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How to remove skin tags:

Removing a skin tag is a minor procedure that can be done at a regular visit with your dermatologist, explained Dr. Marc Glashofer, a dermatologist in New Jersey who’s an American Academy of Dermatology fellow.

“Usually you can do a little scissor snip, (with) minimal bleeding, sometimes you can freeze them, the cryotherapy causes the cells to die and fall off, or you could cauterize them, which is basically burning them off,” he said.

But if you’ve seen your dermatologist and determined that it’s just a skin tag, the other option is to simply do nothing.

“Assuming that, clinically, it’s a benign skin tag and it’s not symptomatic, meaning it’s not bleeding or painful, you can simply do nothing,” he added.

However, it’s totally understandable if you do want to get it removed.

“It’s very common for people to want to have them removed,” Piliang said. “They can be unsightly if for example they’re on the eye, or uncomfortable.”

One thing to note is insurance coverage: In general, insurance providers will cover the cost to remove symptomatic skin tags, or ones that are itchy, bleeding or causing discomfort, doctors said. Most insurance providers, however, will not provide coverage for removal that’s for cosmetic purposes.

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Can you remove skin tags at home?

The answer here is pretty simple: Doctors strongly urge against it.

Purchasing at-home products or trying home remedies such as cutting it off using floss or a piece of hair could lead to infection or skin complications in the area, said Elbuluk.

Glashofer likens the procedure to getting your car’s oil changed.

“It’s easy to do … if you know what you’re doing,” he said. “But most people still go to have their oil changed.”

“It’s not one of those things you want to do at home,” he added. “It’s not like the bleeding is profuse, but if you don’t have any training in it, you might cut deeper than you should.”

What causes skin tags?

Doctors don’t know for sure, but there are a few theories. The first is that it’s genetic. The second is that it could be caused by skin rubbing on skin.

Piliang said a person’s hormones might also play a role.

“People who are overweight tend to have more of them and people who are diabetic. Insulin can induce growth factors, which is why that can happen,” she said. “Pregnant women, who have more growth factors, are also more likely to have them.”

Maintaining a healthy weight and controlling your blood sugar could help prevent growing skin tags.

Above all, remember that they are normal!

Vaginal Skin Tags

Skin tags in the delicate area around the vagina can also be the cause of significant discomfort and are easily irritated by clothing.

When having skin tags removed from this area, privacy is an additional factor that needs to be considered.

The good news is that for most patients we can offer removal under local anaesthetic with a walk in walk out procedure on the same day.

Costs of genital skin tag removal are from £500

Prices do vary depending on complexity and will be confirmed at your private consultation.

Call us today on 0207 386 0464 to see how we can help you.

Vagina Skin Tags – Home Remedies

Most people might prefer to find a way to deal with skin tags in private areas in their homes. We understand the desire for privacy and discretion. However, be warned, that diagnosing oneself is not always the best idea. For those who are not familiar with skin tags, it may be possible to confuse them with the symptoms of another disease such as genital warts.

As this is a sensitive area and not easy to see what you are doing the best option is to book a consultation with a doctor.

Private Consultation

A consultation with our doctors is £50, but this is redeemable against the cost of treatment on the day.

All our doctors are trained in skin surgery and sexual health so will be able to help and put your mind at rest. In most cases all treatments can also be done on the same day. Where appropriate, we can make recommendations or referrals for other treatment.

We have a number of female doctors on our team so depending on which clinic you attend, you may be able to choose the doctor you feel most comfortable with.

Anal Skin Tags

See separate information for skin tags in the anus area.

Early Signs of Genital Warts

Warts on other parts of the body – warts on your genitals and warts on the rest of your body (such as on your hands or feet) are similar but not exactly the same. Any types of wart will develop when the HPV (the human papillomavirus) infects the outer layer of your skin, causing rapid excess skin growth.

They aren’t usually transferable – the HPV virus spreads to other parts of your body, but they are most likely to develop where there is broken skin. Warts are spread between people via direct skin-to-skin contact. There are many different types of HPV – the types that cause common bodily warts are usually different to those that cause genital warts (types 6 and 11). However, if (for example) the wart on your hand has been caused by a type of HPV that can also cause genital warts (types 6 or 11), then there’s a chance that skin contact will cause genital warts. Common bodily and genital warts have not been associated with an increased risk of cervical cancer. A small minority of types of HPV are associated with cervical cancer, but these don’t usually cause warts.

Not all blemishes are warts – there are all kinds of warts, lumps or pimples that you can get on your genitals. Finding one isn’t necessarily anything to worry about. However, it’s a good idea to get yourself checked out by a nurse or doctor if you’re ever unsure about what’s going on down there. Here’s a short overview of common types of mark or blemish you might find in your genital area, and how they compare:

Genital warts:

  • Small, fleshy skin-coloured bumps, sometimes with a cauliflower-like surface
  • Genital warts are caused by HPV types 6 and 11. They are very contagious, and spread via sexual contact. They are the most common STD in the world, but they aren’t dangerous
  • There’s no cure for the HPV virus, but the warts can be treated with creams or liquid, surgery, or freezing. Sometimes the virus will go away on its own

Genital herpes:

  • Red, painful and sometimes itchy blisters or sores
  • Herpes sores are caused by the herpes simplex virus. The infection can be passed on during sex
  • There’s no cure for herpes, but there are medicines you can take to prevent or reduce outbreaks of infection

Ingrown pubic hairs:

  • Red, sore pimples around the follicles of your pubic hairs
  • Ingrown hairs happen when hair regrowth goes wrong. It happens mainly to people who shave their pubic area
  • Avoid shaving again for a while, and make an appointment with your GP if they get irritated or infected

Spots or pimples:

  • Just like the white-heads you get on the rest of your body
  • Spots on your genital area are perfectly common. Sometimes, pimples are hormonal and related to your menstrual cycle
  • Avoid touching or picking them. Don’t shave or wax down there for a while, keep the area clean, and have plenty of warm baths

Skin tags:

  • Like genital warts, skin tags are small, fleshy bumps. Unlike genital warts (which are raised bumps, lying flat on the surface of the skin), a skin tag grows outwards and is attached to your skin by a narrow stalk
  • Skin tags are perfectly harmless pieces of extra skin, usually caused by friction
  • There are several types of over-the-counter treatments available for managing skin tags, including tea tree oil


  • Moles are like warts or skin tags, but they are usually symmetrical and very well-defined. They should have a consistent colouring throughout
  • Moles occur perfectly naturally across your body, including on and around your genitals. In rare cases, moles can become cancerous, so you should keep a close eye on how they look, and notify your GP about any changes
  • There’s no need to treat a mole, unless it bothers you or it becomes cancerous. In these cases, moles can be removed easily with surgery

Apr 30, 2018 12:00 AM

Author: Libby Mitchell

Skin tags. Even the name sounds creepy. A tag of skin? Why would something like that even exist? IN reality though, skin tags are extremely common, and usually harmless. “They are an outgrowth of normal skin,” said Allyson Sorensen, PA-C, a physician assistant at University of Utah Health’s Dermatology Services.

Skin tags can happen on any part of the body but are most commonly found on the neck, under arms, under the breasts and in the groin area. Why these areas? “It is thought that they are related to chronic friction, which is why they are more common in overweight or obese persons,” said Sorensen. “Higher levels of growth factors (like during pregnancy), insulin resistance (more common in people with diabetes) and possibly a genetic component also could all play a part as well.”

While the presence of skin tags can be unsightly and annoying there really aren’t that many reasons to remove them. If they are in locations where they get stuck in clothing or zippers you may want to have them taken off to avoid pain and bleeding. You may also want to have skin tags near the eyes removed. “Some skin tags can become very large and cause problems with vision,” said Sorensen.

If you decide you want to get rid of your skin tags you can either have a medical provider do it or, in the case of small tags, do it yourself with a minimum of pain or bleeding. “If skin tags are small, you can remove them with sharp clean scissors, like cuticle scissors,” said Sorensen. “Or you can tie floss or thin thread at the base of the skin tag and leave it in place until the skin tag falls off.”

In the case of larger tags it is best to have them removed at a medical office. There the providers can administer local anesthesia and control bleeding. In some cases the provider may be able to avoid bleeding altogether by freezing the tags off.

Skin tags are not likely to grow back after they are removed, though others may grow in the same area. For the most part they are harmless and won’t cause any problems other than their appearance. However, as with all skin growths if you notice a change in size or color it’s a good idea to see a medical provider.

Skin tags are small benign growths attached to the skin by a small thin stalk. Skin tag removal is a simple process completed by a doctor. Removing skin tags at home can be painful and often bleed heavily or become infected.

A skin tag is s small growth of skin and fibrous tissue that can arise anywhere but are found more often in armpits, around the neck, under breasts and around the eyes. They are also known by the medical term fibroepithelial polyp.

Can skin tags be harmful?

Skin tags are an annoyance or cosmetic issue rather than a harmful problem, but there is an association with obesity and diabetes (NIDDM or Type 2 diabetes) due to the hormonal and physical changes associated with obesity and NIDDM. If you ever notice a new spot or growth on your skin then you should get a skin check.

Who gets skin tags

Anyone can get skin tags but they can run in families and be associated with obesity and NIDDM

Skin tags occur when extra cells grow in the top layers of the skin. When the skin rubs against itself skin tags are developed, so they are more common in people who have have folds of skin, for example people who are overweight or the elderly. You’re most likely to find one in an area where your skin rubs together, or in folds, like your neck, armpits, eyelids, under your breasts, or in your groin. People who are overweight or have diabetes can get skin tags more often. Pregnant women are also more likely to develop skin tags, although they usually disappear after the baby is born. Children don’t usually get them, but they occur just as often in both men and women.

Why get skin tags removed?

Skin tags are usually removed because they are irritated by rubbing or for cosmetic reasons

If you decide to have a skin tag removed – for example, because it is bothering you or you don’t like its appearance – talk to your doctor. Most skin tags are painless and don’t cause any symptoms. But if they rub on clothing or jewellery they may get sore and bleed. It is not necessary to get them removed, but you may feel more comfortable with the skin tags removed.

How are skin tags removed?

Removal of skin tags can be done at home by tying a piece of thread around the base and pulling it tight, but this can be painful and can take up to a week for any individual skin tag to come off.

Removing them as an office procedure is quick and simple and involves either cryotherapy (can take up to a week to come off and be swollen and uncomfortable) or diathermy and/or a shave procedure.

The quickest and more comfortable method of removal is done by either diathermy and/or a shave procedure. A small amount of local anaesthetic is put at the base of the skin tag and then the diathermy is used to destroy the skin tag, or the skin tag is shaved off and sent for histology if it is larger. The base is then cauterised with the diathermy instrument. Usually the result is a small scab that takes a week or so to fall off

Will the skin tag come back?

If the skin tag is destroyed with diathermy and the blood supply destroyed as well, then they are very unlikely to come back, however new ones may grow around the area where the skin tag was removed. Generally they are harmless and won’t cause any problems other than their appearance or general irritation. However, as with all skin growths, if you are at all concerned it’s a good idea to get a skin check at a skin cancer clinic. Early detection saves lives.

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