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Video

Dr Pixie:

Loads of you are worried about skin tags and literally all a skin tag is is a tag of skin. So, a piece of skin that is protruding from the surface. We very typically find them in areas of friction so that’s why they crop up under the armpits, the back of the neck, sometimes under your breasts, under your belly or even on the inner thighs. We do often them see them in people carrying that little bit more weight. The good news is that skin tags are totally safe and benign and if you’ve got one or two or ten it’s perfectly safe to leave them alone.

Lots of you are curious as to how to tell the difference between a skin tag and a wart. Skin tags usually look skin coloured and they simply crop up and grow out of the skin whereas a wart looks kind of like a cauliflower and sits on top of the skin. If you’re in any doubt at all as to which one it is go and see your doctor and get it checked out.

There have been loads of questions about skin tags in the region of the penis and the vaginal area, is this normal? Well, it’s very normal to get skin tags in areas of friction and therefore that you have the on your penis or you may have them on the outside of your vagina is not sinister. I would however strongly advise you to get these checked out as what patients often think are skin tags could actually be the sign of something far more serious, which are genital warts. Genital warts need to be treated by a doctor where as skin tags can very safely be left alone.

Now, I’ve been looking rather worryingly on the website and it seems there’s a lot of DIY doctors out there when it comes to skin tags. Please, please, please do not try to pull your skin tags off or cut them off it is only going to end in disaster. If you really want to have a go then I’d suggest go into the bathroom, pick up some dental floss and tie it round the neck of the skin tag. Very often that means the blood supply is cut off and in a couple of days it will simply fall off. Otherwise, hands off. For those of you who don’t fancy tying dental floss around your skin tags there are other options if they are irritating you or if they are catching in clothes or if they’re bleeding.

If you see your doctor they may advise simply freezing the skin tag. This involves putting liquid nitrogen on the area which basically gives the skin tag frost bite and it falls off. Now, I know that lots of you have reported because I’ve read it on the website that you can simply go in and buy this treatment in the chemist. You can buy it but it’s only used for warts and verrucas. It’s not appropriate to use this method at home for treating skin tags.

Another method that can be used by doctors is they may simply cut the skin tag off. Again, this isn’t a useful method to do at home as very often the skin tag can bleed, so the doctor can then apply a substance to the area to stop the bleeding or it may even need a stitch. And finally, they can be burnt off. Again, this can be done at the GP’s surgery or by a dermatologist.

Read the video transcript

Doctor Responses: Skin Tags

In this short video, Dr Pixie answers the most commonly asked questions from the Embarrassing Bodies website about skin tags.

The majority of these questions were taken from the comments section of our skin tags condition guide.

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Comments and Questions

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Please note: Unfortunately Channel 4 cannot respond to individual inquiries. If you have any concerns, you can check out NHS Choices, but ultimately it is always best to check with a health professional.

Hi, I'm 33 (female) and had a skin tag around the anus for several years (16 years).it has never bothered me and never ever any doctor who examined me for gynaecological problems and seen that skin tag, advised me to get it removed. Last year, I started having some skin irritation near the anus and the skin tag was quite sore and painful at times. I explained to my first GP (male) and he prescribed me a cream but it never worked. Went back to see him but nothing...I was also being followed by another GP (female) with whom I was more comfortable and she referred me to the NHS for further test and to see what can be done by the consultant. Did some test but there was nothing internal thankfully, and consultant prescribed me another cream which made it even worst and I stopped. Went back to see him, he said “unfortunately, you have to live with that as NHS used to do these skin tag removal through a surgery but no more now” I felt more disappointed that I was told “I have to live with that" than NHS not doing it anymore!! I insisted to get me a different consultant and that it is not appropriate to tell a patient " live with that " when I did live with that for the last 16 years but now it is really bothering me and becoming painful. Seen another consultant, he said, I am happy to get rid of that skin tag as he could see how sore it was. So I got my surgery done,6 days ago, must say that it is painful when passing stools, otherwise, no pain, just some bleeding. But I can take that knowing that it's just for a few days. Worth it :-) So I would advise to ask your GP to refer you for further test for peace of mind and from there you just need to be convincing to the consultant if you want this surgery for cosmetic reasons only :-) All the best and keep positive!





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About a month ago I noticed 4 large skin tags on my vagina, not quite inside but almost, they hurt when I have sex I really want them removed but I'm too scared to incase it's something else, I don't know what but something. I'm hope they're just there because skin tags grow in the creases of your skin. Has any one else had a similar experience to this? What was your solution?





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I have suffered with fissures since being a teenager and have been left with 3 anal skin tags, I've been to the doctors & seen a surgeon who say its "cosmetic" and won't help me. But I'm at the point now where I hate them & am ready to diy myself. I'm currently trying a homeopathic solution but doesn't seam to be working. I can't afford private. Any help/advise is appreciated





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About 2 years ago I seen what appeared to be a small skin tag right above My penis a year later I noticed another one to the side of my penis it is flush with my skin on one side of the tag kinda hangs sideways I'm worried it might be genital warts I'm not sure .





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Hi I have previously been to the doctor who has told me I had skin tags on the edge and inside flap of my vagina, I was advised by her to remove them with a piece of cotton to stop the blood flow and they will fall off, I did this and the tags fell of successfully, however three years later (same partner) I have had two skin tags grow again!! is this normal? it seems to have happened after I have shaved my vagina could this have caused the tags to grow? or could this be something more serious like Genital warts? its really worrying me I don't want o have sex as don't want to pass anything onto my partner (female)please help. If this helps I had a cervical smear last year that was negative.





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Go to an ob/gyn and get it looked at/removed. Just had some removed and I was incredibly embarrassed obviously but it needed to be dealt with just like yall, it was a cluster right where everything meets and was uncomfortable and got painful. She just numbed me up and snip snip, the worst thing so far is the caution you have to take it's really not as painful as I thought it'd be afterwards, just keep it clean!





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I can feel a small flap of skin in my vagina, what is it?





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Hi, i have a skin tag around my anus, like 3 of them and one is slightly bigger. i've had these for months now. I'm really worried. I already had it checked with a doctor and she asked me if I had anal sex or something. Before I noticed about these tags, I had a constipation issue. I did some research and it shows that it could be one of the causes too. I've also hear about HPV. I was referred by a dermatologist to a surgeon to have it removed coz I told her that I don't like my future partner to see this. Before saying this she told me that I can also keep it this way and observe if it's gonna grow. I didn't go to this surgeon because I was so shy. I'm afraid too. Right now the company I'm working for offered us a discounted price for hov vaccine, i just had my 1st shot ans is now waiting for the 2nd shot. Is this something that I should really be worried about? Please help. Anyone?





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Dr, Scholls wart remover will also work on skin tags.





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Hi, I'm 21 and iv recently noticed what seems to be skin tags when I pull my foreskin back on my penis, after reading forums on the internet I'm worried it could be something else, I don't fancy A trip to the doctors





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It looks like no one else has asked this question, so please fill in the rest of your details below.





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