Can laser hair removal cause skin tags?
Getting smooth, touchable skin that helps us feel confident—not to mention eliminating some of the hassles in our daily routine—is a big part of why laser hair removal has become so popular. But can it cause skin tags? Are you just trading unwanted hair for unsightly skin growths? And if you have skin tags already, can you get laser hair removal?
We’ve researched to answer that question for you!
What is a skin tag?
Skin tags, also known as skin tabs or acrochordon, are small, soft skin growths. They are usually about one-third to one-half the size of a pencil eraser but can be as large as a grape. While these growths can be annoying, they often catch on clothing or jewelry, and unsightly, they are benign making them essentially harmless.
Skin tags are very common. They are probably the most common bump on adult skin with almost everyone developing at least one—though hundreds can develop—during their lifetime.
They may fall off on their own, or you may wish to have skin tag removal—doing so does not cause more to grow.
…it’s believed that skin rubbing against skin plays a major factor in developing skin tags.
What causes skin tags?
Unfortunately, the exact cause isn’t known. However, because skin tags tend to develop in skin creases or folds, skin rubbing against skin plays a major factor in developing skin tags.
While anyone can develop skin tags, middle-aged adults who are overweight or obese tend to be more prone to developing them. The most common places for skin tags to develop are on the neck, underarms, eyelids, groin, buttocks, and under breasts.
Coincidentally, many of these same body areas are where people choose to receive laser hair removal treatments with underarms, chest, back, face, and the groin area being the most popular.
Can you get laser hair removal with skin tags?
Great news! There appears to be no correlation between laser treatment and the probability of developing skin tags.
This simply means that laser hair removal treatments do not cause skin tags to develop. You can safely zap away your unwanted hair without worrying about trading embarrassing stubble for unsightly skin tags.
If you have skin tags, you can still get laser hair removal treatments. It’s best for the provider to pulse in the treated area around skin tags so they aren’t affected. There needs to be cautious when there’s pigment in the skin tag or they’re darker in color. The laser will target anything with melanin, and the skin tag could absorb more heat from the laser pulse. It could cause the skin tags to become irritated or become darker.
For skin tags that have been removed, it’s still safe to get laser hair removal treatments. Let your laser provider know that you’ve had skin tags removed, and they’ll work around that area. It’s best to wait a few weeks after having large skin tags surgically removed before starting regular laser treatments again.
Skin tags and other skin imperfections are very common, so don’t worry! Your laser treatment expert will treat your skin with care, and get your unwanted hair gone.