Asian woman looking at neck

Do you suddenly notice tiny bumps of skin on your neck or the underside of your arms? Seeing them makes you concerned – except they’re not red, painful, or tender. These little growths are called skin tags. They’re soft and fleshy and match your skin tone. But apart from adding a little blemish to your skin, they don’t do much. In this article, we discuss what causes skin tags, what can prevent them, and – if you want to – how to remove them.

What Are Skin Tags?

Skin tags or acrochordons are small outgrowths that appear on the body. They’re essentially extra skin that develops into dot-sized, balloon-shaped lumps of flesh. However, some skin tags can grow to a few millimeters wide. Friction can also make them worse.

According to the UK’s National Health Service (NHS), skin tags comprise loose collagen fibers and blood vessels surrounded by skin.

Skin Tags Vs Warts

Skin tags resemble warts, but there are important distinctions between the two. Skin tags are smooth while warts are generally firm and rough. The former stays on the surface while the latter can grow down to the dermis. Moreover, warts are viral, making them contagious (although spreading it is unlikely). Skin tags are usually the result of external lifestyle factors.

What Causes Skin Tags?

Like and and , friction is the primary culprit behind skin tags. According to the NHS, skin tags usually happen under skin folds. Friction occurs when the skin rubs against itself, which explains why you often find these growths on your neck, underarms, and even groin.

Who Are Prone to Skin Tags?

Skin tags are more common in overweight or obese people who tend to have and are more disposed to chafing. According to the University of Pennsylvania, those with metabolic disorders, such as diabetes, can also expect these soft lumps of skin. A study in Acta Dermato-Venereologica states that skin tags are prevalent in those with impaired carbohydrate metabolism. They can be seen as an indicator of such diseases.

Older people are also likely to develop skin tags, especially if their since it has the same effect as loose skin.

How to Remove Skin Tags

Skin tags are not typically painful. However, the extra growth can snag on fabric, zippers, or jewelry, which can be an uncomfortable experience. They can also cause irritation – in more ways than one.

Skin tags can be removed surgically or via cryotherapy or cauterization. It’s best to visit a specialist to see what must be done about your skin tags.

How to Prevent Skin Tags

According to the University of Pennsylvania, the best way to avoid skin tags is to maintain a healthy weight. You can also use moisturizer or lotion to reduce friction and slow down gravity’s effect on your skin a.k.a sagging.

Use Vaseline Intensive Care Aloe Soothe Body Lotion regularly. Don’t neglect the friction-prone areas of your body, especially under your arms.

If you use moisturizer diligently, go beyond your face. After you wear POND'S Watermelon Jelly Moisturizer on your face, add some on your neck, too. Apply it in upward strokes to discourage sagging.

Now that you know what causes skin tags, you’re more informed on ways to prevent them. If you do get these innocent growths, don’t worry. They’re only skin deep.