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Acrochordons

(Skin Tags; Fibroepithelial Polyps)

Definition

Acrochordons are harmless skin growths that appear to hang off the skin. They are more commonly known as skin tags.

Acrochordons

hanging skin tag
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Causes    TOP

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

Risk Factors    TOP

Factors that increase your risk of getting skin tags include:

Symptoms    TOP

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

Diagnosis    TOP

You will be asked about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done. Most acrochordons can be diagnosed without invasive tests. In some cases, a skin biopsy may be necessary to rule out other skin conditions.

Treatment    TOP

Most of the time, no treatment is needed and the skin tags can be monitored. The skin tags should be removed if they are bothering you, or if your doctor is concerned about a different skin condition.

Removal options include the following:

  • Cryosurgery
  • Surgical removal
  • Electrosurgery
  • Ligation

Prevention    TOP

There are no current guidelines to prevent skin tags.

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

References:

Common benign skin lesions. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website.Available at: http://www.dynamed.... Updated April 11, 2016. Accessed September 27, 2016.
Skin tags. Merck Manual Professional Version website. Available at:
...(Click grey area to select URL)
Accessed May 4, 2016.
Skin tags. New Zealand Dermatological Society website. Available at:
...(Click grey area to select URL)
Updated December 15, 2014. Accessed May 4, 2016.
Last reviewed June 2016 by Michael Woods, MD
Last Updated: 5/22/2014

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