There is a range of possible causes of skin tags; both internal and external factors. Many of these factors contribute to skin tags forming. The most common areas for skin tags to occur are the neck, armpits, eyelids, and groin. Causes of skin tags include weight gain, hormone fluctuation, PCOS, Metabolic syndrome, diabetes, steroid abuse and genetics. These factors are what usually make you susceptible to skin tags, but adding friction on the skin is what may then cause the skin tag to actually appear. But why are skin tags on the neck so common?
Our necks do a lot of work throughout the day without you even realizing. You may also notice that the skin on your neck is softer than other parts of your body. All this action on the soft skin makes the neck sensitive to friction, and therefore easier for skin tags to form.
Common causes of skin tags on the neck
Movement – The neck turns our head all day long. Up, down, side to side. These movements cause the skin to constantly rub against itself, especially in overweight people who may have more folds on their neck. Also as we age, the skin on our necks soften and wrinkles cause more opportunity for friction and the possibility of skin tag development.
- Clothes and jewelry – Aside from all the movement our necks do throughout the day, they also see a lot of friction from all the things we put around our necks. The necklines of our shirts, ties, jewelry, and lanyards all rub against our neck skin throughout our day. People will often see skin tags forming in these areas where these items rub the most.
- Sweat – There are over 2 million sweat glands in the body. Many of those are on our head. Sweat on the head runs down and sits on the neck. This causes our necks to get a bit grimy. That sweaty stickiness causes more chafing on the neck which worsens the rubbing friction, making it easier for skin tags for form.
- Aging – The neck is one of the first places we show signs of aging. The already soft skin loses further elasticity meaning the skin is getting thinner and wrinkles are more readily forming.
How to prevent skin tags on the neck
Because there are so many possible reasons for skin tags to appear, there is no clear-cut way to prevent them. There are a few steps you can take to minimize friction and stay healthy to try to keep skin tags at bay.
Eat healthily – Increasing your intake of fruit and vegetables improves your skin health and makes it stronger. Eating a healthy diet also keep the extra lbs off, minimizing fat folds on your neck
Keep refreshed – As a sweaty buildup on your neck increases chafing, ensure you don’t miss freshening up your neck with a clean cloth on a hot day, after exercise and in the mornings after waking up
Avoid tight necklines and jewelry – As we discussed, there are many accessories we wear around our necks that cause skin tags. Try to minimize your use of ties, lanyards and heavy jewelry that rubs on your neck.
Use powder – Lightly sprinkling some baby powder or special anti-friction powder on your neck can further help reduce chafing. It creates a dry barrier so that your skin isn’t always rubbing against itself. Do be aware that some powders may have other unintended and potentially dangerous consequences however.