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Are Skin Tags a Sign of Cancer? The Definitive Answer

January 3, 2023
Est. Reading: 3 minutes

Are Skin Tags a Sign of Cancer?

Skin tags are small growths that often appear on the skin. They can vary in size, color, and texture and typically feel soft to the touch. Skin tags commonly appear on the neck, armpits, eyelids, groin area, or around the breasts. Although skin tags may not be dangerous or painful, they can be unsightly for many people.

To remove skin tags, individuals can choose from over-the-counter products or have them removed through medical treatments such as freezing (cryotherapy) or cutting (excision). Both of these methods should only be performed by a qualified healthcare practitioner experienced in removing skin tags. But are skin tags a sign of cancer?


Are Skin Tags a Sign of Cancer? The Definitive Answer


Causes of Skin Tags

Various factors, including genetics, aging, and skin irritations, cause skin tags. Research has shown that people with a family history of skin tags or other related growths are more likely to develop them in their lifetime. Aging can also play a role in forming these growths as they become more familiar with age. Skin irritations such as friction from clothing or jewelry can also provide an environment where skin tags can develop.

Other factors associated with skin tag formations include obesity, diabetes, and pregnancy. Studies suggest that individuals who are obese may be at higher risk for developing skin tags due to increased amounts of insulin in the body which promotes the growth of these harmless but unsightly formations on the skin. Similarly, those with diabetes may be more prone to developing skin tags due to their elevated blood sugar levels. Pregnant women may also experience an increase in the formation of skin tags due to hormonal changes during pregnancy.

Despite the various causes of skin tags, they are considered harmless conditions and do not typically require medical treatment. However, if individuals feel self-conscious about their appearance or want them removed for cosmetic reasons, various treatments can safely and effectively eliminate them.


Are Skin Tags a Sign of Cancer? The Definitive Answer


Skin Tag Removal 

Various skin tag removal options are available for individuals who want to eliminate unsightly growths. Skin tags can be removed through several methods, including freezing (cryotherapy), cutting (excision), and ligation. Each method has its advantages and disadvantages, so it is essential to discuss the various options with your healthcare practitioner to determine which will work best for you.

  • Cryotherapy: Cryotherapy is a popular skin tag removal method that involves freezing the growth with liquid nitrogen. The damaged tissue will then eventually fall off, leaving behind healthy skin. This procedure can be performed in a doctor’s office and doesn’t typically require any anesthesia.
  • Excision: Skin tags can also be removed through excision, which involves cutting them out with a sharp instrument such as scissors or a scalpel. Excision may be more painful than cryotherapy, but it has the benefit of being able to remove deeper and larger growths.
  • Ligation: Skin tag ligation is another procedure that involves tying off the base of the skin tag to cut off its blood supply so it will die and eventually fall off on its own. Skin tag ligation can also be done in a doctor’s office without anesthesia.

Regardless of the chosen skin tag removal method, patients should consult a qualified healthcare practitioner experienced in removing skin tags before undergoing any procedure. This information is intended to provide general awareness and education on skin tag removal and should not be interpreted as professional medical advice or instruction. If you decide to pursue skin tag removal, you should always consult your healthcare provider to ensure that it is safe and appropriate.


Are Skin Tags a Sign of Cancer?

No, skin tags are generally considered harmless and do not typically require medical treatment. Skin tags are not related to cancer and do not indicate an increased risk of developing cancer. However, if you notice any changes in your skin tag, it is essential to contact your healthcare professional for further evaluation.

Cancerous skin tags, which are considered rare, may require additional treatment. Cancerous skin tags can appear as darker or raised spots on the skin and may also be accompanied by other symptoms such as bleeding or itching. If you suspect that a skin tag may be cancerous, it is essential to consult your healthcare professional for further evaluation and treatment.

Overall, although skin tags are not generally associated with cancer, it is vital to remain aware of any changes in your skin and contact your doctor if you notice anything unusual. Your doctor can help determine if the growth needs further assessment and treatment.




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