Causes of Skin Tags

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Skin tags are often found in creases of the skin, and it is believed that they develop where the skin’s surface rubs together on a frequent basis.  This irritates the skin, and can lead to a build up of collagen and blood vessels that become compressed beneath a thick layer of skin.  Over time this leads to the growth of a skin tag.  However, skin tags can appear all over the body, not just where skin rubs together.  There is no definitive answer to why skin tags develop.  Genetics are also believed to play an important part in skin tag formation, and those whose parents have skin tags are much more likely to develop them at some point in their lives. 

Sometimes skin tags may start to appear as a reaction to disease or illness.  Some reasons for skin tag formation include:

  • Pregnancy.  As your hormones change skin tags can appear as a reaction to this.  Normally only a couple will develop and they are often easily removed.
  • Steroids.  Those taking steroids can find themselves going through changes to their skin due to the hormones involved.  Skin tags are one manifestation of this.
  • Insulin rejection.  This can occur due to diabetes or hormone alterations within your body, and can result in skin tags developing. 
  • Obesity or very quick weight gain.  It is believed that as you gain weight more of your skin will rub, thus creating new skin tags.  People who are overweight have an increased risk of developing skin tags.

Most people will have a skin tag at some point of their lives, and it is possible that some individuals might not even realise that they have one.  It is a very common condition, and can appear at any time. 

How are Skin Tags Formed?

Skin tags are much more prevalent amongst adults over the age of 40, and babies are very rarely born with a skin tag.  This, it is believed, is due to skin rubbing against itself over a long period of time.  It has also been noticed that if your parents have had skin tags it is very likely that you, also, will have one or more in your later life.

Skin Tag Growth

When skin tags start to develop it might be that you don’t even notice them.  They start off as a tiny, pin like bump which, over time, grows into the flaps that are recognisable as skin tags.  Skin tags will continue to grow until they reach a certain point, they do not continuously grow, and after a while you will notice that your skin tag has stabilized.  Normally a skin tag will settle and reach about the size of a rice grain.   

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