Currently, there is no proven medical explanation as to what causes skin tags to form. However, most doctors and scientists agree that friction plays a part in their formation. Skin tags are most often found on areas of the body where there is more friction.
Often, skin tags in the groin area can raise an alarm if you’re initially unsure of what they are. Confusing them for other skin growths is easy. However, no matter where you have a skin tag on your body when correctly diagnosed, they’re harmless.
Still, it’s important to understand what might be causing these growths to form close to the underwear line, or when you don’t wear underwear at all. Assuming that friction is the reason why skin tags appear, thongs and tight underwear is ‘likely’ to be contributing factor.
We’ll now take a closer look at skin tags near the genitals and what might be causing them. We’ll also outline some effective ways to treat them safely. Keep in mind that unless a skin tag becomes infected or looks abnormal, no treatment is necessary. But, many people choose to have them removed for cosmetic reasons, comfort, or to prevent further irritation.
What are Skin Tags in the Groin Area?
Skin tags around the groin are no different to anywhere else. They appear as soft, fleshy growths that are raised up from the skin on a narrow stalk. You can find them anywhere on the exterior of the genitals. They regularly form on the outside of the anus.
Skin tags should be smooth in appearance. If you have a skin tag anywhere around the groin or genitals that is rough or jagged in any way, see a doctor, as you need to make sure that you don’t have a melanoma.
You’ve Gained Too Much Weight
The groin area is a common spot for skin tags to form because of loose, folding skin. They tend to be more common in people who are overweight, because of excessive folds of skin. If you’re in a sitting position for much of the day, the friction of skin against skin, or skin against clothing can make it easier for skin tags to grow.
Pregnancy Weight & Hormonal Fluctuations
Women who are pregnant are also more prone to getting skin tags as a growing tummy (and hormonal changes) create a more conducive environment for them to form. It’s common for pregnant women to get skin tags under the breasts.
Is Tight Underwear a Known Cause of Skin Tags?
Clothing and tight underwear can contribute to skin tags. Just like skin-on-skin contact, the constant rubbing of fabric against your body can create friction, too.
Unfortunately, the garments we wear underneath our clothes are designed to be tighter. This might make things more comfortable when it comes to layering clothing. However, can create a lot of friction and unnecessary rubbing against the skin.
Underwear is breathable. But most of them have elastic bands at the waist, and sometimes around the legs. Sometimes these bands are covered in fabric, but they can be extremely tight fitting. Everything from walking throughout the day to sitting at a desk can cause friction between the fabric and your skin.
Wearing a thong may increase your chances of getting anal skin tags. Again, the fabric is tight and can cause friction throughout the groin and anus. You don’t have to be overweight or have excessive folds of skin to experience this kind of heavy friction.
Skin tags around the anus can also be a result of other medical conditions, such as hemorrhoids. If you find that you’re prone to skin tag growth in the anal region, you may want to determine what’s causing it so that you can work on preventative measures. If you do struggle with hemorrhoids, a change in diet and lifestyle can be a great way to turn things around.
The Removal of Skin Tags Near the Underwear Line
Though skin tags are harmless, they also won’t go away on their own. It can be tricky to get rid of skin tags in a sensitive area.
If you’re concerned about the appearance of skin tags, or any discomfort, talk with your dermatologist. Keep in mind that unless something is wrong, skin tags are considered a cosmetic issue. Most insurance companies won’t meet the cost of any medical treatment to remove them.
One of the best home removal systems for skin tags is the TagBand device. This simple device can work on skin tags anywhere. It allows you to place a designated band directly around the stalk easily.
Within 7 to 10 days of the band being on, you should notice it will shrink in size and become discolored. Eventually, it will shrivel up and fall off. Skin tags need to lose their oxygen and blood supply to fall off. You can find out about other skin tag removal methods in this post.
When to Avoid At-Home Treatments
For the most part, treating skin tags around the groin is the same as treating them anywhere else on the body. However, some areas around the genitals and anus need extra care. First, keep in mind some things you should not do:
- Do not use an over-the-counter skin tag treatment around the anus, unless approved by a doctor.
- Avoid using strong essential oils directly around the genitals or anus unless you know your skin won’t react negatively.
- Never use vinegar, chemical peels, or acids of any kind around the genital region.
Can Multiple Skin Tags Be Prevented?
Skin tags are never 100% avoidable, but there are some preventative measures for avoiding them around the groin. These include keeping your weight under control and wearing loose-fitting underwear. If you find you’re prone to skin tags, you may want to avoid wearing thongs altogether.