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Can a Skin Tag Be Cancerous?

Find out if a skin tag ever means skin cancer from board-certified dermatologist Ahmet Altiner in this Howcast video.


What is a skin tag, and does it ever mean it's cancerous? This is a difficult question to answer, as people perceive different growths as skin tags. Traditionally, skin tags happen in the armpits and around the neck. They're benign growths of the skin that are absolutely skin-colored. They don't have any color to them.

However I often get questions from patients, to examine certain growths on the face, around the eyelids as skin tags. These are not skin tags, but they're oftentimes warts or other types of growths like seborrhea keratosis or DPN's, dermatosis papulosa nigra.

These are benign growths that can have color to them, like black and brown, and oftentimes can cause some concern to the patient, as it may look suspicious like a melanoma. DPN's and seborrhea keratosis are benign growths that are not skin cancers. They can be treated cosmetically, but they do not require any treatment.

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