What Causes Skin Tags?

What causes skin tags is still being researched. There are enough correlations between certain causes and skin tags to deduce that skin tags don’t just appear for no reason. The below list is what has been determined to be the causes of skin tags.  Skin tags themselves are a harmless nuisance, but their appearance can tell us a little more about what’s happening with our bodies. If you know what causes skin tags, you may have a better idea of why they are forming and if there is anything to watch out for.


Hormones play a quiet but important role in much of our body’s functioning. They affect our mood, our weight, and also our skin. Hormones affect our skin in multiple ways. As we age our hormone levels change and this makes our skin softer and sag more. Softer, finer skin becomes more prone to skin tags. This is also why skin tags are more prevalent in people over 40. A common time for skin tags to appear is during pregnancy and menopause. These are times that our hormone levels can either be imbalanced or much higher than usual. These hormonal and bodily changes can affect our skin, cause more folds and results in the formation of skin tags.


When your pancreas doesn’t create enough insulin to move sugar through the body, this is known as diabetes. The exact reason of why diabetes causes skin tags is still being researched, but what studies have shown is that there is, in fact, a correlation between the two.

Having a skin tag is not a sign of diabetes, but diabetes can cause skin tags. One or two skin tags are not usually diabetes related, but when a few form together in a cluster, this is a sign that you should have your insulin levels checked.


Skin Tag Under Arm

This is actually one of the leading causes of skin tags. By friction, we mean the rubbing of the skin against itself in places like the armpits, or against clothes and jewelry. This rubbing causes the collagen and blood cells to bunch, forming a little pouch in the skin, which then appears as a skin tag.

Weight Gain

When a person gains weight, it causes all sorts of changes in the body, including a change in metabolism, hormones and insulin resistance. As we’ve discussed, all of these factors contribute to skin tag development.

Weight gain can happen pretty quickly. The increased friction of possibly tighter clothes and more skin folds increases the probability of skin tags forming. Losing weight does not mean that the skin tags will disappear, but it does mean that the chance of new ones developing is greatly decreased.


This one is pretty self-explanatory and not much can be done to prevent skin tags that appear due to genetics. Having a predisposition to skin tags doesn’t mean your kids will be born with skin tags, but that rather that they will be more susceptible to them throughout their lives. Through genetic predisposition, skin tags may appear for no particular reason or just make them appear more easily when your skin experiences friction.


Many people use steroids, either for medical purposes or to gain body mass. The steroids used to gain body mass are often anabolic steroids. These steroids can cause skin tags to develop. Steroids cause skin fibers to rapidly build and bond, which is essentially one of the processes that occur when a skin tag is forming. They are easily removed and should be dealt with swiftly to prevent them from getting twisted or pulling during workouts.

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