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Causes of Skin Tags & Treatment

Skin tags are little pieces of thick skin which are attached to the skin but not in a way that if taken off would leave a scar or a hole from where it was removed. The Skin tags are caused by bunches of collagen and blood vessels which are trapped inside a thicker piece of skin. Skin tags are not cancerous in almost all cases, so they are basically benign growths.

Skin tags can stick off the skin from a peduncle and almost look like they are hanging. Skin tags are varied in color depending on the color of the flesh they grow on and vary in size and number as well.

The Different Causes of Skin Tags

No one is absolutely certain exactly what causes a skin tag to occur as they can appear all over the body and usually come about toward middle age. A skin tag causes issues for some people who believe them to be unsightly. For those people, it is nice to know that there are a host of treatment options including natural treatment with essential oils.

Location and Characteristics

Since the groin and under the arms are the more common places of many that body skin tags are seen, it is thought that the rubbing together of the arms and genital area can cause chaffing which can dry and irritate the skin. Chaffing occurs when two parts of the body close together cause enough friction between them, that the skin becomes red and irritated. This can cause the skin to dry out and can peel.

The underarms are very prone to chaffing and this could be a factor but not necessarily the cause for skin tags to grow.

Diagnosis and Common Mistakes

Although the virus which causes warts - the human papillomavirus - does not cause skin tags, they can look similar in appearance.

Medicinal and Health Causes Of Skin Tags

Those bodybuilders who use illegal steroids can actually cause skin tags due to the effects of the pills or drugs they are ingesting. Steroid use can cause the collagen fibers to bond in such a way that skin tags are formed.

Changes in hormones in a woman's body can cause skin tags to grow.

Insulin rejection, which may be caused by diabetes or some other factor in the body, can affect the growth of skin tags.  Skin tags are very common in women which may be due to hormonal changes.


There really is no known medical reason for what causes skin tags and skin growths. They are a very random occurrence and can affect anyone at anytime; even those who do not take steroids are healthy and have never been pregnant.