Skin Tag Removal in Children: Care Instructions

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Skin tags are small, soft pieces of skin that stick out on a stem. They are often the same color as your skin. They often grow on the eyelids, neck, armpit, and groin. Skin tags are not moles and usually do not turn into cancer.

Children are more likely to get skin tags if they are overweight. Skin tags also tend to run in families.

Skin tags may be removed if they bother your child. The doctor can remove an unwanted skin tag by cutting it off. However, new skin tags often form.

Follow-up care is a key part of your child's treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor if your child is having problems. It's also a good idea to know your child's test results and keep a list of the medicines your child takes.

How can you care for your child at home?

  • If clothing irritates a skin tag, cover the skin tag with a bandage to prevent rubbing and bleeding.
  • If your child has a skin tag removed, follow your doctor's instructions. If you did not get instructions, follow this general advice:
    • Wash around the wound with clean water 2 times a day. Don't use hydrogen peroxide or alcohol, which can slow healing.
    • You may cover the wound with a thin layer of petroleum jelly, such as Vaseline, and a nonstick bandage.
    • Apply more petroleum jelly and replace the bandage as needed.
  • If you see a change in a skin growth, contact the doctor. Look for:
    • A mole that bleeds.
    • A fast-growing mole.
    • A scaly or crusted growth on the skin.
    • A sore that will not heal.

When should you call for help?

Call your doctor now or seek immediate medical care if:

  • Your child has signs of infection such as:
    • Pain, warmth, or swelling in the skin.
    • Red streaks near a wound in the skin.
    • Pus coming from a wound in the skin.
    • A fever.

Watch closely for changes in your child's health, and be sure to contact your doctor if:

  • Your child has an area of normal skin that suddenly changes in shape, size, or how it looks.
  • Your child does not get better as expected.

Where can you learn more?

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The Health Encyclopedia contains general health information. Not all treatments or services described are covered benefits for Kaiser Permanente members or offered as services by Kaiser Permanente. For a list of covered benefits, please refer to your Evidence of Coverage or Summary Plan Description. For recommended treatments, please consult with your health care provider.