skin tags underarms

Do Skin Tags Spread?

Patients with skin tags often wonder whether the problem is likely to spread.

It’s an easy and common assumption to think that skin tags may spread. Firstly, they look very similar to warts, which are known to be contagious; and secondly, skin tags can often appear in groups or patches in the same area.

The good news is that unlike warts, skin tags can’t spread to other parts of the body.  They’re also not contagious, which means that they can’t be passed onto other people.

However, that’s not to say that skin tags won’t increase in number or size.  This certainly can happen, but if it does, it won’t be due to any germ, bacteria or virus, but to other reasons.

What Causes Skin Tags?

It’s important to understand why skin tags occur.

Skin tags are most often caused by rubbing or friction. That’s why they’re quite common where skin rubs on skin (e.g. groin or armpit) or else where clothing rubs on the skin (e.g. shirt collars).

A patient may start with just one skin tag, but if the rubbing continues, then a crop could appear in the area. There is an important distinction here – it is not the skin tags spreading to other areas, but that a bigger area of skin is affected by the friction.

What’s more, newly formed skin tags can cause increased friction in the area, adding an extra dimension to an area already prone to rubbing.

Should I Get Rid of  Skin Tags

Skin tags are medically harmless, so there is no need to be concerned about them for health reasons.

The primary concern is generally an aesthetic one, as skin tags look unsightly. They can grow quite large and have a peculiar hanging look to the flap of skin.

Skin tag removal is rarely carried out on the NHS without a medical reason, so many patients look at private treatment instead.

There is not an effective ‘at home’ treatment (such as cream). The best treatment is to have a skin tag removed by a doctor or surgeon, trained in the latest removal methods.

Skin tag removal methods depend on the nature of the lesion. In order of usage, the options are:

  • Cryotherapy (freezing treatment). Use of intense cold to destroy the hanging skin tag so that it falls off and the skin can heal
  • Laser treatment (or microcautery). A special medical device which removes the skin tag and cauterises the area so that it can heal
  • Surgery. Minor surgical procedure using local anaesthetic to numb the area before the skin tag is ‘snipped off’. This would be used for especially large skin tags or sensitive areas where cryotherapy/laser are not suitable (e.g. genital areas)

Skin Tag Clinics

Cosmedics Skin Clinics have a team of doctors and surgeons based in London and Bristol who are expert in the removal and treatment of such skin issues.

Dr Ross Perry – Laser Skin Tag Removal

The most appropriate skin tag removal treatment is determined after examination of the skin tag. Cryotherapy is the fastest solution – surgery is only for the most severe and is a very quick procedure.

Cosmedics Skin Clinics have a selection of locations conveniently based in London and Bristol. All procedures are carried out by highly trained and experienced doctors and surgeons.

For more information or to book a consultation, please complete the form on this web page or call 020 7386 0464.

2 replies
  1. Harvey L says:

    Interesting article! Visit a local dermatologist if need be. This is particularly important since sometimes it can be difficult to determine that you have have skin tag. Skin tags can be removed through various procedures like cutting, freezing, burning or laser excision.

    • Skin Surgery Laser Clinic says:

      Yes indeed, it is important to diagnose the problem properly before treating it. We offer skin tag removal at all our clinics with qualified and experienced doctors. Depending on the nature of the problem, can use Cryotherapy (freezing treatment),
      Laser treatment (or microcautery) or Surgery for large, complex or genital skin tags.

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