And if you have skin tags, you’re definitely not alone. About one in four people will grow skin tags at some point, and it’s especially common after the age of 50 to start seeing more of them (so that’s something to look forward to, isn’t it?). While harmless, skin tags can become irritated and inflamed and even bleed if you scratch at them or catch the skin on something like a zipper. Ouch.
While there are a plethora of DIY methods on the Internet that claim to remove skin tags at home—like tying the base of the tag with thread—Katz warns that this is something you absolutely shouldn’t do yourself. “You’re opening yourself up to risk of scarring and infection,” he says.
The good news is that skin tags are easily removed if you’d rather do without them. At the dermatologist’s office, a local anaesthetic and quick snip of special doctor’s scissors will do the job, says Katz. Super freezing as well as heating (known as cauterising) skin tags are other common options.
Discomfort is minimal with any method, and you can immediately return to your normal activities. There should be no mark left behind after skin tags are removed. The same one shouldn’t grow back, but there’s always a chance that new skin tags may form in other areas.
If your skin tags don’t bother you, it’s totally fine to forget about them. But as with any skin growths, if there’s a noticeable change in the appearance or growth, you should have it looked at by your dermatologist.
This article originally appeared on Womenshealthmag.com.