As we get older, we often develop small skin tags. About 50–60% of people over the age of 50 have them. Sometimes they run in families. Their medical name is fibro-epithelial polyps or achondrochordons.
Skin tags are soft lumps attached to the skin by a stalk. They are the same colour as your skin and are usually under 0.5 cm in size. They tend to occur in the armpits, neck and groins. You may have only one, but usually there are several.

They do not turn into cancer and they are not dangerous. However, they look unsightly and they can be a nuisance (catching on clothing or jewellery), so you may wish to get rid of them.

There is no way of preventing new skin tags developing, but your family doctor can deal with those that you already have. There are various ways of doing this, such as snipping them off (but do not try this yourself) or freezing with liquid nitrogen.


First published on:
Reviewed and edited by: Fiona Elliott
Last updated: December 2020

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