Why Do People Get Skin Tags on the Face & Body?

Why do people get skin tags? If you are perplexed by that question, you’re certainly not alone. Before we attempt to find the answer, let’s take a closer look at some facts about them.

The medical name for them is an ‘acrochordon,’ and they are common. Skin tags are harmless benign growths or small flaps that are attached to the skin by a thin stalk, called a ‘peduncle.’ They may be a symptom of an underlying health problem in adults (more on that later), and they can be very irritating.

They are medically considered to be a cosmetic, not health, problem. Consequently, don’t expect to get any financial help from your health insurance policy if you want to get rid of them.

They commonly appear where you have folds of skin, such as the eyelids, testiclesunderarms, face, neck, and groin. People tend to seek out the best way to get rid of skin tags if they’re in an awkward or highly-visible place.

There are many treatments available that work.

Why Do People Get Skin Tags?

While nobody is 100% certain, some studies have observed a correlation between skin tags and extremely low-risk variations of the human papillomavirus (HPV). Experts have also noticed a genetic factor as they have a tendency to run in families. You’re far more likely to get tags if one or both of your parents have them. Nobody really knows why this is the case, but there may be a connection.

Who Is Most at Risk?

Anything up to half of the population is affected by skin tags, so you’re certainly not alone. While this doesn’t help you, it’s reassuring to know that you don’t have some rare and exotic skin condition.

A higher incidence has been identified in certain categories, most notably older people, the obese, pregnant women and diabetics. You’ll notice features that each category shares, but only a few of them are scientifically proven.

Overweight People

Obesity means that you’re likely to have far more skin folds than the average person. This means that there’s going to be more sweating, rubbing and irritation. People who are carrying excess weight also experience more hormonal changes, which is also a contributing factor amongst pregnant women.

Nobody quite knows why hormones influence the development of skin tags, but there’s definitely a higher incidence of them.

Older People

It is estimated that between 50% and 60% of all people who are aged over 50 have skin tags. It has been found that they are most common amongst older women, especially.

The likelihood of getting them increases exponentially with age. Older people don’t have the same skin elasticity as younger people, consequently there’s far more skin-on-skin friction.


There is a strong correlation between skin tags and pre-diabetes. While skin tags are harmless skin growths, they are a warning sign that we may be on the road to a more serious medical problem.

It’s worth getting your cholesterol, blood sugar levels and other basic health checks performed. It’s possible that tags are the body’s way of letting us know that we need to make some lifestyle changes. What complicates matters is that there are a variety of other reasons why they may occur.

Why Do People Get Skin Tags

Pregnant Women

If you’re expecting a baby, you’re bound to be going through a lot of hormonal changes. Unfortunately, you’re also more likely to get skin tags during pregnancy. If you do plan to treat them, it’s advisable to use only natural methods, such as tea tree oil. You can learn more about tea tree oil and skin tags in this post.

Others see their doctor, and they remove them. The attitude of your doctor to treatment will vary as it’s advisable to wait until after you’ve had your baby because they often go away on their own once the body’s hormone levels regulate.

Why do people get skin tags? Are there other possible reasons? Well, aside from the different categories of person that fall into higher-risk groups, there are certain things that we all do each day that increase the incidence.

Wearing tight clothes and jewelry is a contributing factor because it leads to additional friction. Anything that you do that causes the regular rubbing of the skin increases the risk of skin tags greatly.