Skin Tags During Pregnancy

Most moms-to-be will see changes in their skin while they're expecting, including these small growths.
Albina Glisic / Shutterstock

That beautiful baby may not be the only thing that came with your pregnancy—if you're like many women, you're experiencing a few unwanted skin tags. Here's what you need to know about this harmless but less-than-aesthetic skin condition.

What Are Skin Tags?

Tiny pieces of hanging skin that develop in folds or in areas where skin rubs against skin or clothing. They typically appear along the eyelids, neck, underarms, under the breasts, and in the groin. Our health experts say skin tags are completely harmless, but they can become irritated by friction, which happens most often in the armpit or groin.

What Causes Skin Tags?

Skin tags can appear at any time and are largely hereditary. Increased hormones during pregnancy, as well as hormonal fluctuations while nursing, also can cause them, says Diane Berson, M.D., a dermatologist in New York City. In some cases, women may develop skin tags in their groin or on their abdomen while pregnant but not notice them until after their baby is born.

How to Remove Skin Tags

Skin tags don't disappear after your baby arrives, but they can be easily removed in a routine office visit to your physician or dermatologist. Depending on their size and number, they can either be snipped off with scissors, frozen with liquid nitrogen, or burned off with an electric needle. Just be aware that after skin tags are removed, new ones can appear. As Berson says: "If you're prone to getting them, you have the potential to develop more."

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