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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

You can share your experiences and thoughts with other Embarrassing Bodies site-users below. Comments & Questions are reviewed by moderators, but if you see anything on the site that worries you, please report it and one of our moderators will look at it as soon as possible.
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.

I have what look like skin tags around the opening of my vagina which has come along with itchyness and a bad smell can anyone help me??





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Hi I am 28 weeks pregnant & have found what I thought was a skin tag beside the opening of my vagina but now I'm thinking could it be a wart? Can you get skin tags in that area?





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I have these skin tags and they just feel like dry soft bits of tissue, but they itch when I sweat and I have more discharge than usual I got them when I found out I had constant bacterial vaginosis. I pick some of them without even knowing (in my sleep, etc) and they have multiplied, I have one awkward one which is right next to my vaginal hole, it has not multiplied into 5 tags, should I be worried and can I get these removed? And how do I go about it? I went to the clinic and to find out if they were anything more and to have a full sexually transmitted test done and everything came back negative, I found out they were excess skin lumps.





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This all sounds exactly the same as me and I am very worried if it's an STI

Hiya, i noticed around 4 weeks ago a 1mm small lump on the forskin near the top of my penis until im errect then its alot lower down my shaft, this lump has made a home just above a blue vain going down my penis, i have had a skin tag on my penis close too the base before but caught it once with a condom and came off (didnt bleed) also no irritation, however this new little lump i have tryed looking closely but i dont quite bend that far haha, its a lighter skin tone than my penis and raised up alit, most skin tags i have on my body are sort of hanging by a thin piece at base but this is more like a bump goose bump, spot, type only way i can discribe up, just this one little thing, only got conserned when it popped up becouse unlike the last tag, it IS slightly irritated when i use a condom so was just wondering if it could maybe be a wart contract many years ago or if i have a new skin ta in the most annoying of areas im 27 and do most of the time have protecte sex but im not a saint i have dabbled in the past with "trusted" friends, i have never had an STI nor have the people i have slept with so im stumped but dont want too jump the gun and be poked and proded again at GU clinic, last time was not a nice experience





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I'm to embarrassed to go my doctor even tho I know i should but iv 3 what looks like skin tags/want on my genital area. They are on the outside and iv had them for a long time now can anyone tell me is there anyway of telling the difference myself ? Or treatments that I could use for either or ? Thanks





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My boyfriend has a skin tag on hes penis. While having sex it came off, i haven't been as wet as i use to be. Now im concern that it's a possibility that it's still in me because it wasnt in the bed nor in the toilet, so will my body push it out.





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My boyfriend has a skin tag on hes penis. While having sex it came off, i haven't been as wet as i use to be. Now im concern that it's a possibility that it's still in me because it wasnt in the bed nor in the toilet, so will my body push it out.





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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 also had a vaginal skin tag that would become inflamed due to friction or sometimes right before menstruation. I made an appointment to have it removed by a gynaecologist. But the date i got to have it removed was too far for my liking. So i decided to do my own thing and i tied it off with wool. I used that because it's thicker than dental floss which I've used before and was so painful. By the second day the bulb of the skin tag completely dried up. It was cold to the touch since there was no more blood flow. But the stalk was so painful i was freaking out and i didnt want to just cut it off incase it bled badly or got infected. So i left it. Let me tell u..it hurt like hell. But on the fourth day when i woke up to use the toilet i found the string on my underwear along with the tag. I still have a little stub from the stalk which I'm gonna ask my Dr about. Hope this helped

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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Private skin tag removal is not expensive have had about 12 removed from under my armpit today by a Cosmetologist took about 30 minutes and cost me £40. I live in Essex





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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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