Is That A Skin Tag On Your Tongue? Understanding Tongue Growths

Research Based
Medically reviewed by - Dr. MESSANGA Dimitri, MD Written by - Dr. Diksha Sangle


Skin Tags on the Tongue

The tiny, benign skin growths known as skin tags, which regularly appear on the surface of the body, are usually benign. They do not grow on tongue but can resemble them. It can raise questions and concerns when such growths occur on the tongue. In this comprehensive article, we will explore the topic of growths on tongue their causes, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment options, and more.

The tiny, benign skin growths known as skin tags, which regularly appear on the surface of the body, are usually benign. They do not grow on tongue but can resemble them.

We will start by better understanding the tongue’s anatomy and how they differ from other tongue conditions. Throughout this article, we aim to provide valuable insights and answers to frequently asked questions, ultimately promoting awareness and informed decision-making regarding skin tags on the tongue. 1 Introduction| Researched based study from National Institutes of Health

What are skin tags?

  • Skin tags, sometimes referred to as acrochordons in medicine, are common and benign skin growths.
  • They typically appear as small, soft, fleshy protrusions hanging from the skin surface.
  • They are often connected to the skin by a thin stock, giving them a characteristic appearance.
  • Even though they can appear anywhere on the body, the groin, eyelids, neck, and underarms are typical sites. 1 Introduction| Researched based study from National Institutes of Health


Signs & Symptoms of Skin Tags on the Tongue

  • Abnormal protrusions on tongue
  • Pain
  • Changes in speech or taste
  • Changes in texture

Skin tags on the tongue can manifest in various symptoms and science, which may include:

Physical Characteristics:

Size and shape

  • These growths are typically small in size. They often appear as small fleshy protrusions attached to the surface by a thin stock or peduncle.


  • They can vary in color. They may be slightly darker or pigmented, depending on individual factors.


  • They are usually soft and pliable to the touch. They may have a similar texture to the surrounding oral mucosa.

Potential discomfort or pain

  • While they are generally benign and painless, there can be exceptions. Some people may experience discomfort associated with it, especially if the growth becomes irritated or if they rub against teeth or other oral structures. This can cause anything from minor itchiness to considerable discomfort.

Changes in taste

  • It could prevent taste buds on the surface of the tongue from functioning normally. This may alter taste perception, including a metallic or unpleasant taste sensation.

Speech changes

  • Depending on the location and size of the skin tag, people may notice changes in their speech patterns. Larger or more prominent skin tags may interfere with tongue movement, affecting pronunciation and articulation. 2 Symptoms| Researched based study from National Institutes of Health


Causes for Skin Tags on the Tongue

Why do I have abnormal growths on my tongue?

Genetic predisposition

  • Genetics may play a significant role in forming skin tags on the tongue and elsewhere in the body.
  • Due to a genetic tendency, certain people are more likely to acquire skin tags. If they run in your family, you might be more prone to experience them.   


  • Friction and irritation are two of the main causes. This applies to skin tags on the tongue as well.
  • The tongue is a highly active muscle that is constantly moving and coming into contact with various surfaces within the mouth.
  • Skin tags may eventually develop as a result of this friction and irritation, especially in susceptible individuals.

Hormonal changes

  • It may also be influenced by changes in hormone levels in the body.
  • Changes in hormone levels, which can occur during pregnancy, menopause, or as a result of certain medical conditions, may increase the risk of developing them on various body parts, including the tongue.

Other possible causes

While genetic predisposition and friction hormonal changes are expected, there can be other contributing factors, although they are less common. These may include:


  • Some studies suggest a connection between obesity and the development of skin tags.
  • Excess body weight can increase skin folds and friction, promoting skin tag formation, including on the tongue. 6 Causes | Researched based study from National Institutes of Health


  • They might be more likely to develop in diabetics.
  • Alleviated blood sugar levels can affect skin health and contribute to the growth of skin tags in various locations.

Human papillomavirus (HPV) skin tag tongue

  • In rare cases, certain strains of HPV have been associated with the formation of skin tags in the oral and genital areas. 3 Causes| Researched based study from National Institutes of Health

Tongue Growths

Other Tongue Conditions or Growths

It can sometimes be mistaken for other tongue conditions or growth. Knowing how to distinguish between them is crucial for appropriate diagnosis and treatment.

Papillae and taste buds

  • It may resemble regular tongue popular taste buds due to their fleshy appearance.
  • However, they usually have a stock or peduncle, while papillae and taste buds are typically flush with the tongue surface.

Oral warts

  • They are caused by human papillomavirus (HPV) and can look similar to skin tags.
  • Oral warts have a rough or cauliflower-like appearance, while skin tags are usually smooth.

Canker sores

  • It is also known as aphthous ulcers; they are shallow painful sores that can form inside your mouth.
  • With a white or yellow center and a crimson border, the object is round or oval in shape. minor trauma like biting the inside of the cheek or aggressive tooth brushing can result in canker sores.
  • Certain acidic or spicy foods may trigger canker sores in some people, stress and anxiety can be contributing factors. They typically heal on their own within one or two weeks.

Tongue polyps

  • They are rare but may resemble skin tags. Polyps are usually larger and may require biopsy for accurate diagnosis.

Geographic tongue

  • Geographic tongue, also known as benign migratory glossitis, is not a harmful disorder that affects the tongue’s surface.
  • It is characterized by irregular map like patches on the tongue where areas of papillae (small projections on the surface) are missing. the exact causes unknown but it is not linking to infection or cancer.
  • It may be linked to genetics and could have some association with immune system function.

Oral lichen planus

  • An autoimmune illness known as oral lichen planus can cause white, lace-like patterns on the tongue and oral mucosa. It may cause discomfort or a burning sensation.

Tongue ulcers

  • They are painful sores that can appear on the tongue and are also referred to as canker sources or following ulcers.


  • A disorder called leukoplakia is characterized by white patches on the tongue. While most cases are benign, some can be precancerous, requiring medical attention. 4 Tongue Disorders| Researched based study from ResearchGate

Oral thrush

  • Oropharyngeal candidiasis, a fungus infection brought on by an overabundance of the candida yeast in the mouth, is another name for it. Immune systems that are compromised increase the risk of developing it.
  • Candida Albicans is the fungus that causes it, but other types of candida may also be involved.
  • White, creamy lesions on the tongue, inner cheeks, and occasionally the roof of the mouth and throat are among the symptoms. There is redness or soreness in the affected areas and it can also hamper swallowing.


Diagnosis of Skin Tags on the Tongue

Diagnosing growths on the tongue:

Diagnosing involves thoroughly evaluating the growth to confirm their nature and rule out other conditions.

Clinical examination

A clinical examination is often the first step in diagnosing. Here is what it typically involves:

Visual inspection

  • Healthcare professionals such as dentists or oral surgeons will visually examine the tongue and the suspected skin tag. They will assess the growth size, shape, color, and associated features such as a stock or peduncle.

Location and number

  • The examiner will not know the specific location on the tongue and determine if there are multiple growths.

Physical characteristics

  • He will also assess the texture and consistency tag, looking for features that distinguish it from other conditions.

Biopsy and histopathology

  • During a biopsy, a small sample of the tissue is taken for additional analysis. Various tools, such a scalpel, pair of scissors, or laser, can be used to do this.
  • Local anesthesia is typically administered to minimize pain during the procedure.


  • A portion of the removed tissue is sent for histological analysis to a lab. Using a microscope, a pathologist examines the tissue to confirm the diagnosis.
  • They can determine if the growth is a skin tag and rule out other conditions, such as tumors or precancerous lesions.


Treatment for Skin Tags on the Tongue

Medical procedures

Medical procedures may be necessary for more significant, bothersome, or persistent skin tags on the tongue.


  • This entails using liquid nitrogen to freeze the skin tag, which will eventually cause it to fall off.


  • In electrocautery, the skin tag is burned off using an electric current.

Laser therapy

  • The skin tag can be cut or vaporized with a laser.

Surgical removal

  • In some cases, a surgical procedure performed by an oral surgeon may be required to remove the skin tag, especially if it is large or has multiple growths.


Home Remedies for Skin Tags on the Tongue

Home remedies can be a starting point for managing skin tags on the tongue, especially for more negligible and less bothered growth.

Hygiene and oral care

  • Maintaining good oral hygiene and gently cleaning the tongue with a soft toothbrush can help prevent irritation and minimize the risk of skin tags.

Saltwater rinse

  • Warm salt water mouthwash may help to ease pain and inflammation.

Herbal remedies

  • Some people explore herbal remedies like tea tree oil or aloe vera gel to soothe irritation, although their effectiveness varies.

Dietary adjustments

  • Reducing spicy or acidic foods that can irritate the tongue may provide relief.

Avoiding trauma

  • Being mindful of not accidentally biting or engineering the skin tag while eating or speaking can prevent aggravation. 5 Home Remedies| Researched based study from ResearchGate


Frequently asked Questions About Skin Tags on the Tongue

Q. Do skin tags on the tongue hurt?

  • Skin tags don’t occur on the tongue; they are rather abnormal growths that can cause due to several factors as mentioned above. They are typically painless.
  • While they can be bothersome due to their presence or contact with other oral structures, they usually do not cause significant pain or discomfort. There may be exceptions, and in these cases, it might irritate or inflame.

Q. What doctor treats skin tags on the tongue?

  • Healthcare professionals specializing in oral health and dentistry typically evaluate and treat them.
  • In some cases, especially if there are concerns about other throat or oral conditions, an ENT specialist may be involved.

Q. Do oral skin tags go away?

  • Oral skin tags, or abnormal growths on the tongue, typically do not go away independently.
  • They usually persist unless removed or fall off naturally due to friction or other factors.
  • While some can be normal and benign, the presence of growth in the oral cavity should always be evaluated by a healthcare professional or dentist to determine their nature and rule out any other conditions.

Q. Are growths on the tongue typical?

  • While some growths can be expected and benign, the presence of growth in the oral cavity should always be evaluated by a healthcare professional or dentist to determine their nature and rule out any underlying issues.
Disclaimer: The user acknowledges that this article's information is being offered for informational purposes only. Every attempt has been made to guarantee that the article is informational and correct. If they have any doubts or questions about their health, we firmly advise our readers to visit a doctor or other healthcare professional.

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