What is a genital skin tag?

skin tag also known as extremities. They are noncancerous skin growths that usually develop in skin folds in:

  • genitals
  • groin
  • neck
  • eyelid
  • armpit

Skin tags are made of collagen, a protein found in the skin. They may also sometimes contain blood vessels. Skin tags are very common, in fact, 25% to 50% or more of adults have them. They are especially common in people over the age of 60 and may run in families.

Skin tags are relatively harmless, but they can cause pain, itching, and irritation. Genital skin tags can usually be removed by a medical professional.

This article discusses genital skin tags, their symptoms, and causes. It also includes treatment options.

Genital Skin Tag Symptoms

Genital skin tags usually cause no symptoms. When they do, symptoms may include:

  • pain and irritation from rubbing clothes
  • the soreness of being scratched
  • caught bleeding
  • twisted pain

If a skin tag becomes twisted, it may form a potentially painful blood clot underneath it.

Skin tags can appear as early as your 20s. Most people stop buying new after age 70.

Understanding Anal Skin Tags


Genital skin tags are usually harmless. Some people experience pain or irritation when the skin tag is rubbed against clothing.

Genital skin tags with warts

Telling the difference between a skin tag and a wart can be fairly straightforward.

skin tag

  • A skin tag starts as a small, soft bump on the skin. They develop into an extended skin. Skin tags are rooted to the surface of the skin through a thin stem.
  • Skin tags are growing rapidly. Their average size is 2mm to 5mm. They sometimes grow larger, up to several centimeters.
  • When the skin tags reach their maximum size, they stop growing. They don’t change over time.
  • Skin tags start with skin tone. Later, they may turn dark brown.


  • Warts are usually skin tone, brown or pink.
  • They are flush with your skin.
  • Warts are flat or bumpy.

Warts are not cancerous.However, they can signal infection or viruses, such as in humans papillomavirus (HPV).

HPV warts can appear and disappear over time. They may reappear in another place. Sometimes several wart clusters form, which look like cauliflower.

Are the lesions on your body really warts?


Skin tags look different from warts. Warts are usually flush with the skin. A skin tag is on the stem. However, any genital lesions should be examined by a doctor to rule out HPV.

What causes genital skin tags?

Researchers aren’t sure what causes the skin tag. They are more likely to occur where the skin is folded. Since your skin folds in the genital area, they may appear there.

Skin tags are not contagious. They cannot be spread through sexual contact. However, certain conditions may increase your chances of getting a skin tag. These include:

  • skin tag family history
  • obesity
  • Insulin resistance
  • pregnant
  • Acromegalyexcess growth hormone disorder
  • type 2 diabetes
  • skin abrasions
  • skin aging and loss of elasticity
  • Birt-Hogg-Dubé syndrome


Skin tags usually appear in areas where the skin is folded. People who are obese, pregnant, or have certain medical conditions may be more likely to develop these conditions.

Diagnosis of Genital Skin Tags

If you notice anything unusual in the genital area, see your doctor as soon as possible. Before you can get the right treatment, you need the right diagnosis.

Skin tags usually grow on the dry folded areas around the vagina and penis. They often appear where underwear or other clothing rubs against the skin.

Your doctor will discuss your medical history with you. You may be asked:

  • If you have a family history of skin tags
  • about your sexual activity
  • If you want a blood test to check for sexually transmitted infections

Note that you will need to undress so your doctor can examine your skin.

Skin cancer or skin tags?

Some cancers look similar to skin tags. A healthcare provider can usually tell if your growth is a genital skin tag based on its appearance.

Talk to your doctor if you notice skin tags:

  • Sturdy and not easy to move
  • change color or multicolor
  • contain any raw or bleeding areas

If your doctor can’t tell if your skin growth is a skin tag, you may need a biopsy. During a biopsy, a small piece of skin is removed and examined in a laboratory.

How to Treat Genital Skin Tags

Skin tags on the genitals are benign, which means they are not cancerous. If you wish to remove them because of appearance or discomfort, it is best left to a professional.

There are risks involved in treating or removing skin tags in the genital area at home. This is because the skin is very sensitive. Removal at home can cause infection, pain, and scarring.

A medical professional can remove your skin tags using one of the following options:

  • Cryosurgery uses liquid nitrogen to freeze growths. A small blister may form where nitrogen is applied. Scars are rare.
  • Excision is performed using a scalpel or scissors. You will receive a local anesthetic for this procedure. It may burn or sting for a moment.
  • corrosion Use current through the wire. This will burn off the skin tag on the stem. The heat from the wires helps limit bleeding.

All three options are outpatient procedures. This means you can have them done at the medical office and leave. You can remove multiple skin tags at once. Ask your healthcare provider ahead of time.

Does insurance cover skin tag removal?

Insurance rarely covers skin tag removal. This is because they are considered cosmetic concerns rather than health risks.

Prognosis of Genital Skin Tags

Skin tags are not something you need to worry about medically. If you do remove them, keep in mind that you may get more in the future. Always be sure to have your doctor check for any changes in the skin of the genital area.


Genital skin tags are harmless growths that appear on the genital area. They usually don’t cause symptoms.

Researchers don’t know what causes skin tags. Some people are more susceptible to them, including those who are obese, pregnant, or have a family history of skin tags.

You usually don’t need to remove the skin tags. If they bother you, your doctor can remove them using cryosurgery, excision, or cautery.

VigorTip words

Any skin growth can be cause for concern, and genital skin growth can also be embarrassing. They can also cause anxiety if you are concerned about a potential infection.

Genital skin tags are relatively harmless, though. If they bother you, you can have them removed by a professional.

Skin tags are not contagious or sexually transmitted. Still, it’s always worth checking for any changes in the skin of the genital area.