What’s This Thing on My Face?: Skin Tags


You can stop freaking out about that bump, blemish or rash that’s seriously ruined your week. Dr. Lisa Chipps, dermatologist and assistant clinical professor at UCLA’s David Geffen School of Medicine, is here to help you figure out why it’s there and how to make it disappear as fast as possible.

I like to get my bronze on while mowing the lawn over the summer, but I don’t want my neighbors to see the ugly skin tags hiding under my shirt. Is there any way to make them go away so I don’t look like I’m covered in deflated balloons?
They say you must know your enemy to defeat your enemy, so let’s start with the basics: a skin tag is a small growth that typically shows up in areas where skin rubs against skin—i.e., your eyelids, your armpits or your groin. We dermatologists aren’t 100 percent sure what causes them, but chances are it’s a result of the constant skin-against-skin friction. Also, skin tags tend to pop up when a person either gains or loses a ton of weight. For instance, a lot of women begin to notice skin tags develop as they gain weight during pregnancy.

In terms of prevention, there really isn’t much you can do—skin tags will sprout as they please. Fortunately, they’re totally harmless (aside from being unsightly) and easy to have removed by your dermatologist. Let me repeat: by your dermatologist. DO NOT try any of the home remedies you can find online. You’ll just end up with an infected, necrotic skin tag that ultimately needs a dermatologist’s assistance anyway. Come into our office, and we’ll treat it like we do with most warts—we’ll clip it off, freeze it off or use a small electrocautery device to burn it off depending on the size of the tag. It’s super simple and very painless.

If you have something on your skin that makes you ask “what the heck is this thing?”, email us at bm@dollarshaveclub.com or comment below and we’ll have a dermatologist explain it in an upcoming post.