When to Have a Skin Tag Removed

About 46% of people in the United States have skin tags, which are common and generally harmless skin growths. While skin tags aren’t dangerous to your health, there are some situations where you might want to have them removed.

Board-certified dermatologist David A. Bushore, MD, performs comprehensive skin evaluations at Balcones Dermatology & Aesthetics in Austin, Texas. Dr. Bushore also offers skin tag removal services at his facility if you have discomfort or complications from any skin tags.

What causes skin tags?

Skin tags are noncancerous growths that appear as a piece of hanging skin. Inside the tag is collagen, a natural protein needed for healthy skin, nerves, and blood vessels.

Skin tags are usually soft, and they most often develop on the natural folds and creases of the body and other areas where friction is common, such as the neck, groin, eyelids, and underarms.

What causes skin tags isn’t completely understood, but experts think friction from movements or clothing might contribute to the excess skin growths. While anyone can develop skin tags, people who are obese are at increased risk for developing skin tags.

Other risk factors for developing skin tags include:

If you have family members with skin tags, you will also have a higher chance of developing them.

When should skin tags be removed?

Generally, skin tags that aren’t causing issues don’t need to be removed. However, if a skin tag changes in appearance or becomes bothersome, board-certified dermatologist David A. Bushore, MD, can remove it during an in-office procedure.

You should schedule a skin tag removal consultation if you notice:

You might also have skin tags that grow in areas where they easily get caught on your clothing or jewelry, which could lead to persistent irritation and pain. Dr. Bushore can remove these tags and any visible skin tags on your face or other areas of your body that make you feel self-conscious.

What are the options for removing skin tags?

The removal method that board-certified dermatologist David A. Bushore, MD, uses will depend on the location and size of your skin tag. All skin tag removal options are available at the office. Depending on the tag, Dr. Bushore may employ any of the following methods:


For some skin tags, Dr. Bushore can use sharp scissors or a scalpel to quickly remove the growth.


Large skin tags might require an application of liquid nitrogen, which freezes the skin tag tissue and destroys it.


Using electrocautery, Dr. Bushore burns the stalk of the tag to remove it without damaging your surrounding skin.

Even though there are products available online and in stores to treat skin tags, it’s always best to seek professional help to remove skin tags and prevent complications. Cutting skin tags by yourself can cause bleeding. Furthermore, if you use liquid applications incorrectly, they may burn your skin and leave behind scars.

Board-certified dermatologist David A. Bushore, MD, can treat one or multiple skin tags during the same office visit. To schedule your skin tag evaluation, book an appointment online or over the phone with Balcones Dermatology & Aesthetics today.

You Might Also Enjoy...

Will My Child Grow Out of Psoriasis?

According to the National Psoriasis Foundation®, 20,000 children under age 10 develop psoriasis every year. Learn more about this chronic skin condition and the treatment options that are available to protect your child’s skin health.

Skincare Product Mistakes You're Making

Putting effort into caring for your skin is always worthwhile. But if you’re making skincare mistakes, you could be losing both time and money. Learn five mistakes that are all too common in skin care.

What Can Chemical Peels Do for You?

If you’re ready to do something about your dull or uneven complexion, it might be time to schedule a chemical peel. Learn more about the different types of chemical peels, the conditions they treat, and what results you can expect.

Pregnant? Here's What You Should Know About Melasma

Pregnancy causes a lot of changes in your body, but did you know it can also affect your skin? Learn more about melasma, a common skin condition that can develop during pregnancy and affect how you feel about your appearance.


If you want to fix saggy jowls and lost volume in your cheeks but aren’t interested in surgery, THE AUSTIN NATURAL LIFT™ may be the solution you’re looking for. Learn more about this nonsurgical treatment and its many benefits.

3 Reasons Why PRP May Not Be Right for You

Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy harnesses your body's ability to heal itself from the inside out. However, it’s not an option for everyone. Learn what conditions may prevent you from using PRP in your aesthetic procedure.