A skin tag, also known as an acrochordon, is a tiny, benign pouch of skin that is typically connected to the underlying skin by a thin stalk, called a peduncle. Skin tags are common and look like small, raised bumps of hanging skin, typically occurring on skin folds, where clothing rubs against the skin, or where there is skin-to-skin friction – such as the underarms, neck, upper chest, eyelids, and groin. Those who form skin tags may experience anywhere from 1 to 100 growths, and most people will develop a skin tag at some point in their life. Although skin tags are benign and don’t require treatment, they can be annoying, embarrassing, and difficult to hide. In addition, they may cause discomfort or irritation if they frequently come in contact with clothes or skin.
Skin Tags 101
Skin tags are typically flesh-colored but may appear brown on light-skinned individuals. They may be smooth or wrinkled, and they range in size from very tiny (one millimeter) to approximately the size of a grape. While larger skin tags have a defined stalk that attaches the skin tag to the underlying skin, very small skin tags may appear as raised bumps on the skin. If a skin tag is twisted – causing blood flow restriction – it may turn red or black. Skin tags may bleed if caught on clothing or torn, but they are not typically painful. They are not associated with any particular skin conditions or symptoms.
Although the cause of skin tags is unknown, skin tag frequency increases with age. Skin tags have been observed to occur in approximately 45 percent of adults. Some studies have shown a connection between skin tags and the human papillomavirus (HPV). People who are middle-aged and obese are also more prone to developing skin tags. Although skin tags do not occur at birth, studies have shown a genetic predisposition to the development of skin tags, and those with a family history of skin tags may be more prone to the condition. Skin tags are not a form of cancer, and reports of skin cancers forming from skin tags are extremely rare.
We treat skin tags at DermaHealth by removing them with scissors or Ellman electrocautery. Healing after a treatment session is usually very quick, though people prone to skin tags tend to see a reoccurrence of skin tags throughout their life.
For more information and to see if you are a candidate for our skin tag removal services, schedule a free consultation with us today.