Skin Tag Removal

A skin tag is a small piece of soft, hanging skin that may have a peduncle, or stalk. They can appear anywhere on the body, but especially where skin rubs against other skin or clothing.

Other names are an acrochordon, cutaneous papilloma, cutaneous tag, fibroepithelial polyp, fibroma molluscum, fibroma pendulum, soft fibroma, and Templeton skin tags.

Skin tags are very common and generally occur after midlife. They affect men and women equally.

Here are some key points about skin tags.

  • Skin tags are benign tumors of the skin.
  • They commonly occur in creases or folds of the skin.
  • They are not dangerous, but they can be removed for aesthetic and cosmetic reasons.
  • Methods of skin tag removal include over the counter (OTC) therapies, excision, and cryotherapy.

They may appear on the:

  • eyelids
  • armpits
  • under the breasts
  • groin
  • upper chest
  • neck, in the case of papilloma colli

They often go unnoticed, unless they are in a prominent place or are repeatedly rubbed or scratched, for example, by clothing, jewelry, or when shaving.

As skin tags are usually harmless, removal is normally for aesthetic or cosmetic reasons.

Large skin tags, especially in areas where they may rub against something, such as clothing, jewelry or skin, may be removed due to irritation.

The following procedures may be used:

  • Cauterization: The skin tag is burned off using electrolysis
  • Cryosurgery: The skin tag is frozen off using a probe containing liquid nitrogen
  • Ligation: The blood supply to the skin tag is interrupted
  • Excision: The tag is cut out with a scalpel

If a skin tag appears that it is changing or becomes painful, it should be examined by a dermatologist to exclude other, potentially harmful diagnoses. Removing a skin tag at home is not normally recommended, due to a risk of bleeding and possible infection.

Adapted from original source: AOCD

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