Skin tags are harmless growths that are elevated from the surface of the skin, often connected by a little stalk or flap. These small, benign growths won’t cause you any harm, but they can be irritating, depending on the location and size of the tag. They can also impact the look of your skin, so if you don’t care for their appearance, you can opt to have them removed. Learning more about skin tags can help you decide what to do if you have one and take the right approach to removal.

Who Gets Skin Tags?

Anyone can get a skin tag; they are the most common skin growth experienced by adults of both genders, according to WebMD. You are more likely to develop skin tags if you are an adult, overweight or female, but the actual cause for these bumps is unknown. Skin tags can be anywhere on the body, but often occur on the chest, back, neck or armpits. Some hormonal changes during pregnancy can also cause skin tags to appear.

Remove It or Leave It Alone?

Skin tags are not dangerous and won’t turn into cancerous growths, according to MedicineNet. These harmless growths can be painful if they are in an area that is chafed by clothing or if you accidentally cut one while shaving. If the skin tag is in an area that causes you discomfort or you simply don’t like the look of it, it can easily be removed. Unlike a wart or other skin growth, removal is permanent – -the skin tag will not grow back or spread if you remove it.

Professional Removal is best

While you can technically remove a skin tag at home, it could leave a scar that looks and feels worse than the original tag. A visit to your dermatologist is best; your skin tag can be removed in seconds using the best treatment option for its size and location. Topical anesthesia can be used to ensure there is no discomfort during removal.

Since skin tags are not dangerous, asking your doctor or dermatologist about yours during your next exam allows you to have them removed by a professional without making an extra appointment. If the tag is bothersome or you want it removed right a way, a quick trip to the dermatologist is the way to go.