Skin Tag

Skin Tags: Should They Be Removed?

For what conditions are cortisone injections used?

A friend of mine has a history of basal cell carcinoma (a benign type of skin cancer), and recently we were discussing skin protection from the sun. We then began discussing what types of skin surface abnormalities should be checked by a doctor, and which ones are very common and are in general, not a concern.

The discussion boiled down to: how does she (or for that matter you as a viewer), determine whether it is a mole, actinic keratosis, or skin tag?

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." Skin tags typically occur in characteristic locations, including the base of the neck, underarms, eyelids, groin folds, and under the breasts. 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).

Reviewed on 7/3/2013


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