Are Painful Skin Tags A Sign Of Cancer? How To Deal With Them?

By | August 18, 2018

Skin tags are never a serious issue for anyone who has them. They are benign and they do not indicate that there is any underlying health or skin condition that needs immediate evaluation. These growths only interfere with the beauty of your skin but do not cause you any trouble.

However, there are instances where you may have painful skin tags. Painful skin tags are very rare. However, that does not mean that it is impossible to experience some pain.

While this may be a scary experience, it is not a sign that the growth has become a cancerous growth. Skin tags are non-malignant. Even so, it is an indication that there may be something wrong.


Causes of painful skin tags

There are two primary reasons why a skin tag may become painful all of a sudden. These reasons are irritation and infections.


The reason behind the formation of skin tags is when the skin rubs against itself or the clothes you wear. The friction that develops causes them to grow. When they are grown, and they experience some friction from clothes, jewelry, or skin, they are likely to be irritated.

Other than the irritation, the stem of the skin tag can get twisted because of the rubbing.

When it is irritated, and the stem is twisted, there will not be a proper flow of blood. These two may lead to inflammation which will cause the tag to be painful.


Skin can get infected whenever the skin around it is cut. Typically, you may tear the skin when you are pulling or scratching the area. When the skin is open, bacteria and other micro-organisms will penetrate it causing an infection. When you have a skin tag infection, you will have the following symptoms.

  • Swelling around the skin tag
  • A burning sensation or itchiness
  • Pain and discomforts
  • The skin tag will also change the color. Typically, it has the color of the flesh. If it is brown, it will turn to red

When a skin tag is infected, it is not time to remove it. Let it heal first then you can remove it.


What if it is suspicious?

When you are having any concerns about the painful skin tag, you can go and see a specialist. Typically, a specialist will take one look at it and know whether it is a tag or it could be something else. It is easy for a dermatologist to identify a skin tag even when it does not seem like one.

If the dermatologist also has some concerns, some tests will be conducted to detect the kind of growth it is. A biopsy can be conducted to determine what the underlying problem may be. Whatever comes up from the biopsy will be handled by the doctor.

This may be a little frightening. But one this is for sure, skin tags are never cancerous.

Should the doctor see no cause for alarm or need for a biopsy because it is an infection, you will be given some medication to help with the problem.

Once the infection clears, you should visit the doctor’s office to have the skin tag removed if it is located on an area where it can be irritated with clothes most of the time. For instance, the skin tag may be on the neck and the shirt’s collar keeps rubbing it.



When you have painful skin tags, never assume that you are in for the worst news of your life. Book an appointment with a dermatologist and let them help you with the situation. The problem will be handled, and you will be pain-free in no time.


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