Skin tags (or achrocordon, in medical terms) are harmless pieces of skin that typically appear in areas where skin rubs against skin, such as on the eyelids, neck, and armpits, as well as under breasts and buttocks.

According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), skin tags are common, occurring in approximately 46 percent of people in the United States. Achrocordon generally pop up during midlife and are more likely to appear in people who are overweight or have type 2 diabetes.

Since skin tags are benign growths, you can leave them alone, unless you find them unsightly or bothersome. Your primary care doctor or a dermatologist can freeze them off with liquid nitrogen, tie string around them at the base (which will cause them to fall off) or burn them off with a medical cauterizing device. If you have a large number of tags, your doctor might inject a local anesthetic to numb the area or use a topical anesthetic cream.

Occasionally, an ophthalmologist (eye specialist) is needed to remove tags that are very close to the eye.

Adapted from our sister publication REMEDY's Healthy Living Fall 2014

Publication Review By: the Editorial Staff at

Published: 11 Aug 2014

Last Modified: 11 Aug 2014