Skin Tags During Pregnancy

Most moms-to-be will see changes in their skin while they're expecting, including these small growths.

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That beautiful baby may not be the only thing that came with your pregnancy—if you're like many women, you're experiencing a few unwanted skin tags. Here's what you need to know about this harmless but less-than-aesthetic skin condition:

WHAT THEY ARE: Tiny pieces of hanging skin that develop in folds or in areas where skin rubs against skin or clothing. They typically appear along the eyelids, neck, underarms, under the breasts and in the groin. Our health experts say skin tags are completely harmless.

WHAT CAUSES THEM: Skin tags can appear at any time and are largely hereditary. Increased hormones during pregnancy, as well as hormonal fluctuations while nursing, also can cause them, says Diane Berson, M.D., a dermatologist in New York City. In some cases, women may develop skin tags in their groin or on their abdomen while pregnant but not notice them until after their baby is born.

WHAT YOU CAN DO: Skin tags can be removed in a routine office visit to your physician or dermatologist. Depending on their size and number, they can either be snipped off with scissors, frozen with liquid nitrogen or burned off with an electric needle. Just be aware that after skin tags are removed, new ones can appear. As Berson says: "If you're prone to getting them, you have the potential to develop more."

Occasionally your pregnancy glow can dim when certain skin woes pop up. Check out our That Glow page for tips on how to restore the radiance that's rightfully yours, plus pregnancy-safe skin savers.