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What Causes Skin Tags in Children?

Skin tags are little flaps or knobs of skin that can appear on various parts of the body 2. The tags are flesh-colored and are benign, though the size of a skin tag can sometimes interfere with normal activities 2. A child can develop skin tags, also called papillomas, just as adults 2. The New Zealand Dermatological Society's Dermnet NZ service explains that the exact cause of skin tags is not always clear but that several factors can play into whether a child--or adult--is going to develop skin growths 2.

In-Utero Development

Children may be born with skin tags near their ears, according to KidsHealth from Nemours 2. The small protuberances are often located in front of the ears because the cartilage that forms your baby's ears has not yet thickened to form the normal ear shape. Children's Hospital in Boston discusses situations in which a child may have a skin tag near the point at which the upper ear attaches to the head 3. These tags are not harmful, but you might consider removal for cosmetic reasons.


Baby Skin Moles

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Your child may develop wart-like bumps or more floppy skin tags as a result of viruses that can lie dormant in the body for some time 2. Carrying the HPV virus can result in skin tags in both children and adults, as can the molloscum contagiosum virus 12. Molloscum is spread through close bodily contact and can live on towels and surfaces in your home. The Centers for Disease Control explain that molloscum is most prevalent in children under the age of 10, although kids and adults of all ages can become infected.


Dermnet NZ theorizes that chafing of the skin can create skin tags 2. Children who are overweight are more at risk of developing the growths, especially in areas of the body that are marked by skin folds--the underarms and neck being two common spots. Young children who rub their eyes may be more likely to suffer from skin tags on the upper eyelids 2.