Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center - Health Library


(Skin Tags; Fibroepithelial Polyps)


Acrochordons are harmless skin growths that hang off the skin. They are more also known as skin tags.

hanging skin tag

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Causes ^

Skin tags are collagen fibers and blood vessels that are surrounded by a thin layer of skin. It is not clear what causes them.

Risk Factors ^

Factors that raise your risk of getting skin tags are:

Symptoms ^

Skin tags appear as flesh-colored skin growths. They are small, but can range in size from 1 millimeter to 5 centimeters. They are often found in folds of the skin, such as the arm pit, neck, or groin. They don't cause symptoms, even after they appear.

Diagnosis ^

You will be asked about your symptoms and health history. A physical exam will be done. Most skin tags can be diagnosed without tests. In some cases, a skin biopsy may be needed to rule out other problems.

Treatment ^

Most of the time, no treatment is needed. Skin tags can be watched. The skin tags should be removed if they are bothering you.

Removal options include the following:

  • Cryosurgery
  • Surgical removal
  • Electrosurgery
  • Ligation

Prevention ^

Skin tags can't be prevented.


American Academy of Dermatology

American Society for Dermatologic Surgery


Canadian Dermatology Association


Common benign skin lesions. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website.Available at: Updated February 5, 2018. Accessed July 16, 2018.

Skin tags. Merck Manual Professional Version website. Available at: Updated January 2018. Accessed July 16, 2018.

Skin tags. New Zealand Dermatological Society website. Available at: Accessed July 16, 2018.

Last reviewed June 2018 by James Cornell, MD  Last Updated: 7/18/18