What Causes a Skin Tag to be Painful

Itchy or painful skin tags are not common but do happen. The reason behind the pain or itching is usually because they have become infected or irritated in some way.  They can get scratched or twisted due to excessive rubbing and friction of the skin. This can sometimes even cause the skin tag to be pulled off and this can be uncomfortable or painful.

A simple way to prevent this happening is to treat skin tags with care.
Avoid clothes and jewelry that rub against the skin tags. The irritation can lead to the skin tags changing color from brown to red or swelling up.  It is important to know that most medical conditions associated with painful skin tags are harmless.

Is a skin tag that hurts a sign of cancer?

Good news here! Skin tags don’t have any malignancy and are usually not even sent for testing if they’ve been removed by the doctor. Many people don’t even notice skin tags on their body.
On rare occasions, skin tags may create some discomfort and pain along with other associated symptoms such as a change in skin color, sudden growth or bleeding. Although these symptoms are quite rare for skin tags they can still occur, but usually with no major side-effects.
Skin tags are considered ordinary growths. Any out of the ordinary changes in your skin should be checked by your GP or dermatologist.  


Do you have a skin tag infection?

Like normal skin, skin tags do not usually get infected unless there is a small cut on the skin.  It can even start bleeding and cause irritating pain. Micro-organisms and bacteria that live on the skin cannot usually enter the body as the skin creates an acidic barrier preventing that. However, they may enter through any cut or scratch. To prevent any sort of infection it is necessary to refrain from scratching, pulling or cutting the skin tag.

There are certain symptoms that indicate that a skin tag may be infected. These include –


  • Change in color from brown to red.
  • Swelling of the surrounding area.
  • Burning or constant itching sensation.
  • Discomfort and pain.
Irritated Skin Tag

These symptoms should not be ignored.
You should not remove the skin tag until the infection is completely healed.

How to treat skin tags?

One way to prevent skin tags getting twisted and becoming painful is to remove them when they appear. There are numerous options available to remove skin tags but each one has its own pros and cons. There are several medical removal options such as cryotherapy, cauterization, or surgery. For small skin tags though, many people opt for home remedies or over the counter removal options.

Skin tags are attached to the skin by a thin stalk. So, when you want to remove a skin tag, you should aim to treat the bottom of the stalk so that there is no residual skin tag left behind when the tag is removed.

Skin tag removal options

If you would like to avoid the possibility of skin tags getting irritated or painful altogether, you can choose to remove them rather. Until somewhat recently, we had to schlep to the doctor to get a skin tag removed. Now, however, there are several options available to safely remove skin tags at home. This saves you both time and money.

TagBand Device

Products like the TagBand are really easy to use, inexpensive and convenient. A small rubber band is tied around the base of the skin tag, with the help of a special device. This prevents the flow of oxygenated blood to the tissues, causing it to fall off.

Tea Tree Oil

Tea Tree Oil is known to contain anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties that dry out the skin tag, causing it to fall off eventually.  Aside from its effective removal ability, Tea Tree oil also reduces itching or pain thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties. Those with clusters of skin tags in the same area can treat them by applying oil to the entire area.

The combination of antiseptic, antifungal, antibacterial and antiviral properties of this oil is what makes it a potent treatment for the removal of fleshy outgrowths like skin tags and warts.  

Skin tag removal cream

The basic objective of a skin tag removal cream is not to moisturize the skin or keep it soft but to cauterize the tiny growth. The cream functions in a way similar to the Tea Tree Oil by reducing blood supply to the skin tag, causing it to fall off. However, to get the best results,  opt for good quality products.  Most of the quality products on the market are quick, efficient and cost-effective, making them a great option to remove skin tags at home.

We suggest doing your homework and checking out some reviews before choosing the product that is right for your skin tags.

Whichever product you choose, take note of the following tips:–

  • Although manufacturers claim that these products can easily be applied in areas around the eyes we suggest it’s best not to use chemical cauterization around the eyes. There are other removal options to remove skin tags in sensitive areas.
  • Some creams cause a burning sensation and are most likely to subside pretty quickly. But if the burning persists for a long time, stop its application and consult a medical practitioner.
  • Removal of skin tags through natural cauterization may leave a scab, which, if peeled off too early, may leave a permanent scar or blemish in the area.

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