6 Common Causes for Skin Tags

May 7th 2016

Skin tags are a common development, especially within women and the elderly. Although treatment is not necessary for skin tags unless the skin bleeds or rubs against clothing and jewelry, you can always consult with a physician if you grow concerned with their condition. Some people opt to have skin tags burned off by a health care provider to enhance appearance of the skin.


Many people develop skin tags as a result of skin rubbing against skin, which is the primary reason many skin tags develop in the folds of the body, such as the armpits and under the breasts. The friction causes tissue to flap over, creating a small stalk that protrudes from the skin.


Skin tags are most common for people who are 50 years of age or older. As people age, the skin sags and folds in many areas of the body, which can cause increased friction and skin rubbing, which produces skin tags.


People who are overweight or obese are more at risk for development of skin tags. Excess skin folds create friction on the skin and moisture within the folds of the body. Skin friction is a common side effect of being overweight, ultimately causing skin tags to develop on the body, face, neck and chest.


Individuals diagnosed with diabetes often carry excess weight while trying to balance blood sugar and glucose levels. As a result, excess skin folds foster the ideal environment for skin tags to form. People with diabetes who are over 50 years of age are twice as likely to produce multiple skin tags because age is also a cause of skin tags.

Tight Clothing

Tight clothing can restrict the body and cause friction on the skin. As a result, skin tags often form on areas of the body where the clothing is especially tight, such as the waistband or along the edges of a tight bra strap. People who are overweight are especially at risk for skin tags when they wear tight clothing that produces more friction in areas other than the folds of the body.

Skin Diseases

People with skin diseases, such as acanthosis nigricans, are more prone to developing skin tags. Some skin diseases produce changes in the pigment of the skin as well as flaps of tissue in the form of a skin tag on the affected areas of the skin.


Skin tags often appear to show up without warning and are typically harmless and benign. A skin tag consists of a small flap of tissue with a connecting stalk that hangs off the skin. Skin tags are most common in women or elderly people and typically appear on the face, chest, back, neck and armpits. Skin tags are caused by several different lifestyle factors that vary from one person to the next.

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