Skin tags are small growths that hang off your skin. They're harmless, but can be removed if they're bothering you.
They are usually found on the neck, armpits, around the groin, or under the breasts. They can also grow on the eyelids or under the folds of the buttocks.
Skin tags are very common and many people have one or two. If you have lots of them it might be a sign of insulin resistance or Type II Diabetes, so they might be a sign to review your lifestyle choices and get a checkup from your GP.
They are treated in many different ways, but we like to use a laser. This non-invasive approach uses a thermal pulse of infrared energy to destroy the skin tag’s blood supply. It will then shrivel up and drop off 1 to 7 days later.
There is a little bit of discomfort during treatment, and the area may feel a bit sensitive for a week or so or so, but generally this treatment is well tolerated.
Please note that we are unable to provide treatment to lesions on your eyelid for eye safety reasons.
Skin tags normally respond in 1 to 2 treatments. Please see Prices for a guide to costs.
We use our pulsed Nd:YAG laser to deliver a thermal pulse of infrared energy that destroys the skin tag’s blood supply. The skin tag will then shrivel up and drop off 1 to 7 days later.
Other common approaches includes using liquid nitrogen to freeze the area to the same effect. We’ve tried these cryo treatments and weren’t particularly impressed by the results. We found it takes repeated treatments to achieve full removal because the thermal effect tends not to penetrate very deeply. We also found that the risk of causing collateral damage to surounding skin was higher due to the messiness of the process.
Skin tags can be simply snipped off with sterile scissors or shaved off with a small blade by a skilled practitioner. This is essentially a minor surgery. Bleeding is likely and some degree of an open wound will be left. Electrosurgical approaches uses an arc of electricity to the same effect.
Home remedies usually involve ligation of the base of the tag using a strong thread or dental floss and might be a solution if you’re very price sensitive.
We are skilled in laser procedures, so of course we think our way is the best. We believe our approach gives the best result while minimising discomfort and risk factors.
Probably not. If you have issues with being overweight or have insulin resistance you may well see new skin tags develop in similar areas, but in the majority of cases removal will be the end of the matter.
There is a little discomfort during the procedure. A focal hot pinging sensation may be felt, a little like being snapped with an elastic band. There might be a slight sunburn type of sensation for the rest of the day and some minor discomfort in the area for about a week after treatment.
Recovery generally takes 1 to 3 weeks. The treated area will be red and might be a little swollen.
The skin tag will go dark, eventually black, dry and shrivel up, and then drop off. The time scale for this varies and can be anything from the next day to a week later.
There might be some residual pinkness, lightening, darkening or slight textural changes where the skin tag used to attach. This will improve with time and will be much less noticeable than the original skin tag.
Do not apply fake tan / self tanning products to the area. We can not treat you if these products are on or next to your skin tags
• Wash area well
• Avoid swimming in chlorinated water immediately before treatment
• Don’t be hungry, or thirsty, don't be hung-over or have just worked a nightshift
• You may choose to take paracetamol an hour before treatment to help mitigate treatment associated pain if that’s a safe drug for you to use, but please do not consume aspirin, ibuprofen or other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAID’s)
• Please do not have any kind of product on the area to be treated on the day of treatment, including fake tan
• We will apply aloe vera gel liberally to the treated area immediately after treatment
• Treated areas will be red and swollen and the skin tags themselves may be grey or black
• Some scabbing to the area is possible
• Avoid strenuous activity such as gym sessions and sports following laser treatment
• Do not pick scratch or otherwise irritate the treated area
• Wash the area gently at least daily and apply Savlon
• Avoid all heat treatments including hot baths, saunas, steam rooms and hot showers directly on the treated area
• No swimming in chlorinated water
• Some tenderness may be felt for the first 2 weeks
• Skin tags will dry, shrivel up, and grow darker in colour before dropping off
• Repeat treatment should be made 4 weeks after previous treatment if required