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Lahey Health is now part of Beth Israel Lahey Health

by EBSCO Medical Review Board
(Skin Tags; Fibroepithelial Polyps)

Definition

Acrochordons are harmless growths of skin that hang from the surface of the skin. They are also known as skin tags.

Acrochordons
hanging skin tag
Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

Causes

The exact cause is not known.

Risk Factors

Things that may raise the risk of this problem are:

Symptoms

Skin tags appear as small, flesh-colored skin growths. They are often found in folds of the skin, such as the arm pit, neck, or groin. They do not cause any symptoms.

Diagnosis

The doctor will ask about your symptoms and health history. A physical exam will be done. This is often enough to make the diagnosis.

Some people may need a skin biopsy to rule out other problems.

Treatment

Most people do not need treatment. Skin tags can be watched. They should be removed if they are causing irritation.

Removal choices are:

  • Cryosurgery
  • Surgical removal
  • Electrosurgery
  • Cutting off blood supply to the skin tag with a band

Prevention

There are no known guidelines to prevent this problem.

RESOURCES

American Academy of Dermatology  http://www.aad.org 

American Society for Dermatologic Surgery  http://www.asds.net 

CANADIAN RESOURCES

Canadian Dermatology Association  http://www.dermatology.ca 

Dermatologists.ca  http://www.dermatologists.ca 

References

Common benign skin lesions. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/common-benign-skin-lesions. Accessed October 27, 2020.

Skin tags. Merck Manual Professional Version website. Available at: http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/dermatologic%5Fdisorders/benign%5Fskin%5Ftumors%5Fgrowths%5Fand%5Fvascular%5Flesions/skin%5Ftags.html?qt=&sc=&alt=. October 27, 2020.

Skin tags. New Zealand Dermatological Society website. Available at: http://www.dermnetnz.org/lesions/skin-tags.html. Accessed October 27, 2020.

Revision Information

  • Reviewer: EBSCO Medical Review Board James P. Cornell, MD
  • Review Date: 09/2020
  • Update Date: 04/28/2021