Skin tags

Skin tags are soft, skin-coloured growths on the skin. They are very common and are usually small and harmless.

Check if it's a skin tag

Skin tags are usually the same colour as the rest of your skin, or a little darker. They can look like they're hanging off the skin. They do not usually hurt and are normally harmless.

Skin tags often grow where your skin rubs together or where there are folds in your skin.

This means they usually appear:

Skin tags range in size from around 2mm to 5cm. You may get one or you may get a large group of them.

A single skin tag on dark brown skin.
Multiple skin tags on the neck of a person with light brown skin.

Differences between skin tags, warts and moles

Skin tags can sometimes be confused with warts or moles, but they are different.

Non-urgent advice: See a GP if:

You have a skin tag that:

  • gets bigger
  • becomes painful
  • starts bleeding
  • develops into lots of skin tags

Treatment for skin tags

Skin tags do not need to be removed, but if they're causing problems they can be removed:

Once a skin tag is removed it does not usually return.

Removing skin tags can cause scarring or darken skin (hyperpigmentation) where the skin tag was, particularly on black or brown skin. These effects are usually temporary, although it can sometimes be permanent.


You cannot get your skin tag removed on the NHS because it is considered cosmetic surgery. You will usually need to pay to have your skin tags removed.

Find out more about choosing a professional to remove your skin tag.

Important: Do not remove your own skin tag

Do not try to remove a skin tag yourself unless a GP recommends it. Risks include infection, bleeding and scarring.

Causes of skin tags

The cause of skin tags is not always known, but they are sometimes caused by skin rubbing against skin.

Anyone can get skin tags and they cannot be prevented, but you may be more likely to get them if:

Page last reviewed: 13 April 2023
Next review due: 13 April 2026