Can Skin Tags Be a Sign of an Allergic Reaction or Sensitivity?

Skin Tag Newport Cove Dermatology in Newport Beach, CA

Skin tags, the tiny, harmless protrusions found in the creases of our skin, are often overlooked as simple cosmetic concerns. Yet, this raises an intriguing question: might these small skin formations signal deeper issues, such as allergic reactions or sensitivities? Although skin tags pose no significant health risk and are common among many people, investigating their possible connection to allergies sheds light on new ways to interpret our body’s reaction to external and internal factors. At Newport Cove Dermatology + Aesthetics, patients are guided through a journey of unique wellness discovery. Delving into this area expands our understanding of skin health and highlights the critical role of monitoring skin changes as clues to our broader health status.

Understanding Skin Tags

Skin tags, those small, benign growths that dangle from the skin, are more than just a cosmetic concern for many. Despite their harmless nature, it is crucial to understand what causes them and the factors that may increase your risk. 

  • What Are Skin Tags? Skin tags are soft, skin-colored growths that emerge primarily in areas where the skin folds, such as the neck, armpits, and groin. As small as a bump or as large as a grape, they can range in size. Despite their odd appearance, skin tags are non-cancerous and generally painless.
  • Common Causes of Skin Tags: The exact cause of skin tags remains a mystery, but they are thought to result from skin rubbing against the skin. This friction stimulates extra cells to grow, forming a tag. A skin tag is composed of blood vessels and collagen.
  • Genetic Predisposition: Research suggests genetics may play a role in developing skin tags. If your family members have them, you’re more likely to develop them, indicating a hereditary component.
  • Friction and Skin Folds: Areas of the body where skin rubs together or against clothing are more prone to developing skin tags. It is why they are commonly found in skin folds and creases, including under breasts, groin, and eyelids.
  • Age and Skin Tags: The likelihood of developing skin tags increases. They are most prevalent in middle-aged and elderly individuals, possibly due to increased skin sagging and folds.
  • Hormonal Changes: During pregnancy, hormone fluctuations can cause skin tags to form. Pregnant women may notice increased skin tags due to changes in their hormone levels and possibly increased friction from growing body parts.
  • Obesity and Diabetes: Being overweight or having diabetes can increase the risk of skin tags. These conditions are associated with higher levels of insulin in the blood, which may promote the growth of skin tags.
  • Skin Tag Factors: A Sign of Larger Health Issues? While skin tags are primarily benign, their presence in large numbers or sudden appearance can sometimes indicate underlying health conditions, such as insulin resistance or hormonal imbalances.

Exploring the Link Between Skin Tags, Allergies, and Sensitivities

The presence of skin tags can sometimes raise questions about their connection to allergies and sensitivities. While primarily considered benign and unrelated to allergic reactions, exploring this potential link offers intriguing insights into how our skin might respond to various environmental and internal factors. 

  • Skin Tags: A Brief Overview: Skin tags are small, flesh-colored growths that typically form in areas where the skin folds. They comprise loose collagen fibers and blood vessels, making them harmless yet sometimes annoying skin protrusions.
  • Investigating Allergic Reactions: Allergies occur when the immune system reacts to a foreign substance. Skin tags could manifest the skin’s allergic response to specific triggers, such as jewelry, fabrics, or skincare products.
  • Sensitivities and Skin Tags: Skin sensitivities do not involve the immune system but can cause irritation. Investigating the correlation between skin tags and heightened skin sensitivities could be helpful.
  • Friction as a Common Denominator: Both skin tags and certain skin irritations are often found in areas of high friction. This similarity suggests that while allergies or sensitivities may not cause skin tags, the same environmental factors could contribute to their development.
  • Hormonal Influences: Hormonal changes, known to affect skin sensitivity, could also play a role in forming skin tags. Investigating the hormonal link might provide insights into why some individuals are more prone to developing skin tags during periods of hormonal fluctuation.
  • Skin Tag Causes and Immune Response: While the direct cause of skin tags is generally attributed to friction and genetic factors, understanding if there’s an immune component—similar to that seen in allergic reactions—remains an interest for researchers.
  • Skin Tag Factors: Indicators of Systemic Health? Exploring whether a significant number of skin tags could indicate broader health issues, such as metabolic syndrome or other conditions associated with allergies and sensitivities, is crucial for a comprehensive understanding of skin health.
  • The Need for Further Research: The link between skin tags, allergies, and sensitivities must be well-established, highlighting the need for further scientific investigation to clarify any potential connections.

Diagnosing and Treating Skin Tags

Though often harmless, skin tags can be a source of discomfort or cosmetic concern for many. Understanding, diagnosing, and treating these benign growths is crucial for those looking to manage them effectively. 

  • Recognizing Skin Tags: The first step in addressing skin tags involves identifying their typical characteristics. Usually found in areas of friction, such as the neck, armpits, and groin, skin tags are small, soft, skin-colored growths.
  • Understanding the Causes: Although skin tags are not fully understood, factors like friction, genetics, obesity, allergy, and hormonal changes are known contributors. A dermatologist may discuss these factors during your consultation to clarify why skin tags have developed.
  • Non-Invasive Diagnosis: Diagnosing skin tags does not require invasive procedures. In most cases, a visual inspection by a healthcare provider is sufficient. However, if there’s any doubt about the nature of the growth, a biopsy may be performed to rule out other conditions.
  • Considering Cosmetic Concerns: For many, the decision to remove skin tags is driven by cosmetic concerns. Discussing these concerns with a dermatologist can help determine the most appropriate treatment method, considering the size, location, and number of skin tags.
  • Post-Treatment Care: After removal, care for the area to promote proper healing and prevent infection. Follow the dermatologist’s instructions, including cleaning the area and applying an antibiotic ointment.
  • Monitoring for Recurrence: While treatment effectively removes skin tags, new ones can develop over time. Regular self-examinations and dermatologist visits can help promptly monitor and address new growth.

Consult a Professional

Understanding the diagnosis and treatment of skin tags is vital to managing them effectively. Consulting with a dermatologist is the best course of action to ensure proper care and treatment of skin tags.


Generally harmless, skin tags may signal underlying health problems or cause cosmetic concerns. At Newport Cove Dermatology + Aesthetics, we understand the importance of addressing your skin health comprehensively. Don’t let skin tags or other skin conditions hold you back from feeling confident and comfortable in your skin. Contact us or book an appointment today to explore your options and take the first step towards radiant, healthy skin with Newport Cove Dermatology + Aesthetics.


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