Skin Tag

What does a skin tag look like?

Skin Tags: Should They Be Removed?

Most doctors recommend removal of skin tags only when they are irritated or a source of discomfort, or if they constitute a cosmetic problem. Skin tags can be easily removed in the doctor's office by tying or cutting them after injecting a small amount of a local anesthetic. Freezing, a technique sometimes used to remove warts or other benign lesions of the skin, is also sometimes performed for the removal of skin tags.

What is a skin tag?

Skin tags are common, acquired benign skin growths that look like a small, soft balloons of hanging skin. Skin tags are harmless growths that can vary in number from one to hundreds. Males and females are equally prone to developing skin tags. Obesity is associated with skin tag development. Although some skin tags may fall off spontaneously, most persist once formed. The medical name for skin tag is acrochordon.

Skin tags are bits of flesh-colored or darkly pigmented tissue that project from the surrounding skin from a small, narrow stalk (pedunculated). Some people call these growths "skin tabs."

Early on, skin tags may be as small as a flattened pinhead-sized bump. While most tags typically are small (2 mm-5 mm in diameter) at approximately one-third to one-half the size of a pinky fingernail, some skin tags may become as large as a big grape (1 cm in diameter) or a fig (5 cm in diameter).

Skin tags typically occur in characteristic locations, including the

  • base of the neck,
  • underarms,
  • eyelids,
  • groin folds,
  • buttock folds,
  • under the breasts.
Reviewed on 7/8/2014

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