Skin tags on the lips are not very common. The lips are not a typical place for skin tags to grow, but it is not unheard of, especially in the corners of the mouth. The top layer of skin on our lips is some of the thinnest on our bodies and our mouths are busy all day, so they do experience a fair amount of friction and rubbing. So, it is not unfathomable that skin tags might form on the lips.
Typically, skin tags form on the eyelids, neck, armpits, under breasts and the groin. They generally don’t form on the lower part of the body like legs and feet but finding them on the torso like around bra straps or on the back or stomach where your shirts may rub, isn’t unusual.
If you notice a skin tag on your lip, the first thing you need to do is ensure it is correctly diagnosed. Skin tags are less common on the lips so there are a number of different growths that may be confused for skin tags.
Mollusca are caused by the molluscum contagiosum virus through direct contact with the growths or surfaces and materials they may have touched. They look like moles or acne but are more characterized by their glossy surface and dimple in the middle. Mollusca contagiosum can cause eczema so the surrounding area can get itchy and irritated, which differs from skin tags which generally present without any outbreak. They also usually appear on children under 12 but can be diagnosed in adults, whereas skin tags are more common in adults and less so in children.
Filiform warts are the most likely growths to be confused for skin tags. They grow in a long stem shape with smaller little growths on them. They usually form on the eyes, lips, and neck, earning the nickname facial warts. Filiform warts are caused by HPV (Human papillomavirus), making them rather contagious.
Although at first glance, filiform warts and skin tags look similar, they do have some differences at closer inspection. Skin tags are pedunculated, which means they grow on a thinner stalk and then bulb out. Filiform warts grow straight out like a tiny finger. Filiform warts can also itch, especially when they are appearing. Skin tags couldn’t have any symptoms unless they are irritated.
Milium cysts are small bumps that typically grow on the face, lips, eye, and cheeks. Since skin tags are often small, people may think it is a skin tag forming on their lips. Milia are skin-colored or have a white or yellow tip. They are formed by trapped keratin causing bumps to form. Milia will usually form in clusters. Skin tags do often form in clusters, but not commonly on the lips. Milia appear as raised bumped whereas skin tags are usually hanging from the skin by a stalk.
Removing skin tags on the lips
Skin tags on the lips are the same as any other skin tag in that they are benign and harmless. So whilst there is no immediate medical reason to remove them, most people do because they become a glaring aesthetic flaw. They also can easily interfere with your daily life like getting caught while eating or pulling shirts over your head.
Removing skin tags on the lip is similar to removing skin tags on the neck or armpit. Care should be taken to avoid scarring. Our lips are also more sensitive than many people realize. Choosing a removal method that causes as little pain as possible is worth bearing in mind.
Speak to your doctor
With other skin tag locations on the body, you might consider removing them yourself, but we recommend visiting your doctor if you have a skin tag on your lips.
Your GP or dermatologist should be able to remove your lip skin tag quickly and seamlessly either surgically, using cauterization or cryosurgery. They will most likely use cauterization or a scalpel to remove the skin tag as freezing the skin tag may take a few days to fall off and skin tags on the lips can be very prominent.