What causes skin tags?

What Causes Skin Tags?

The exact cause of skin tags is not always clear, but they tend to develop in areas where skin rubs against skin or clothing. Common areas for skin tags to appear include the neck, underarms, groin, eyelids, and beneath the breasts. Some contributing factors include:

  1. Friction: Skin tags often develop in skin creases where friction occurs.

  2. Hormones: Changes in hormone levels, such as during pregnancy or with conditions like polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), can make individuals more susceptible to developing skin tags.

  3. Genetics: There may be a genetic predisposition to developing skin tags.

  4. Obesity: There is a strong link with being overweight, and so keeping your weight down will help to prevent the formation of skin tags.

How do you remove skin tags?

If you have concerns about skin tags, our dermatology doctors  at Oxona Healthcare can provide a thorough evaluation and offer the best treatment options. Common treatment approaches include: 

  1. Cryotherapy: Using liquid nitrogen, we freeze the skin tag, causing it to fall off after a few days. You can buy home freezing kits but they don’t usually get down to the low temperature needed to kill the tissues.  
  1. Electrocautery: This involves burning off the skin tag with an electrical current.  It is our preferred method for small tags at Oxona as it is quick and leaves a very small scar. 
  1. Ligation: In this method,  the stalk is tied tightly with thread, and the tag withers and drops off. It is often recommended on social media sites, but we would almost never use this method as it is really painful, and sometimes fails, leaving you with a sore tag at risk of infection. 
  1. Excision: For larger skin tags, we will remove these surgically after a local anaesthetic (of course!).  If you are brave, you can snip of tiny ones yourself with very low risk except a bit of bleeding. 
  1. Apple cider vinegar: Much talked about on social media, you can try it. It relies on the vinegar being acidic and irritating the tissues enough to cause them to die. You could try this at home first for small tags. 

How much does it cost?

We always try to provide you with the most cost effective price for skin tag removal.  For new customers with multiple tags  it is best to book a ‘pre operative assessment’ appointment.  We will often suggest you then book a  ‘multiblemish’ appointment. As an example a 30 minute multiblemish appointment costs £310. In this time, we can remove up to 30 or so small tags. 

   If you have a single or just a few tags, and you are confident that this is the correct diagnosis, do send a photo to reception@oxonahealth.co.uk.  Our receptionists will forward the email to one of the doctors to give you a price estimate.  One of our cheapest options for removal of five or less tags is a ‘see and treat’ appointment which our reception team can book for you.  The price of this varies between £165 and £260 depending on the size and location of the tags. 

We have a flexible pricing system which allows us to always choose the most cost effective option  Our prices are all strictly calculated depending on diagnosis, complexity and location of the lesion, and whether we need to use disposable surgical instruments. (All our instruments are single use, which keeps you safe).


Booking an appointment

To book an appointment you can either call us 01865 965 027 or book directly online. You will need to book a ‘pre-operative appointment‘.  If you are unsure of what to book please call our helpful reception team. 



How can I prevent the development of skin tags.

While you cannot always prevent skin tags from forming, you can reduce the likelihood of their occurrence by:

  • Maintaining a healthy weight to reduce skin-to-skin friction.
  • Wearing loose-fitting clothing to minimize rubbing.
  • Keeping the skin dry and clean in skin-fold areas.

Do I need to have a pre-op consultation?

Yes, all patients require a pre-op consultation prior to any surgical treatment. During this appointment, you’ll have the opportunity to ask any questions, and the doctor will discuss the procedure and outcomes, while also providing an exact costing. The doctor may provide different options for surgical treatments, and these tend to have different outcomes. You are advised to take your time to consider the available options and best outcomes for you.

Can I claim for my appointment on insurance?

You need to speak to your insurer prior to your appointment. Some insurers will reimburse you for the appointment, but you will need to present any documentation at the time of your appointment for the doctor to sign. Please note that all our doctors are registered with the GMC on the GP register not the consultant register. Please ensure you make this clear to your insurers at the outset.

How it works

From the moment you book your appointment to post-treatment care, we’re here to support you.

  • Booking your appointment
    With Oxona, there’s no need for a referral and you can book your appointment online, over the phone or by email. All appointments require a pre-paid deposit due at the time of booking.
  • Consultation
    Our specialists will give you the time you need to discuss your problem, making sure you are truly heard. Your questions will be answered with understanding and impartial advice, so you feel ready to make an informed decision.
  • Treatment plan
    Our treatment plans are based on you as an individual, rather than off the shelf. Taking into account your symptoms, medical history and any anxieties, we’ll explore all available options and respect your decisions.
  • Aftercare
    Your care doesn’t end after your treatment. Our team are on hand to offer free post-operative support, and to answer any questions about your treatment plan.
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