Randy Jacobs, M.D. Patient Education

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Skin Tags

A Skin Tag is also known as an achrocordon.  These lesions are small benign growths, they tend to form in areas where the skin forms creases, such as the neck, armpit, and groin.  They can also grow on the face, and the eyelids. Skin Tags do not grow or change over time, and are harmless and painless.  These areas look like tags that are typically the size of a piece of rice.  Skin tags usually occur where areas of the skin rub against each other.  Skin Tags are more common in women than men, and occur in about 45 percent of people.

Skin Tag Symptoms:

The symptoms of Skin Tags are usually areas of small pieces of soft, hanging skin.  Skin tags look like bits of skin or flesh colored tissue that project from the surrounding skin from a small, narrow stalk.  These tags usually grow in areas such as the base of the neck, underarms, eyelids, groin folds, and under the breasts.  Skin tags are usually smooth or slightly wrinkled and irregular, flesh-colored or slightly more brown, and hang from the skin by a small stalk.  Beginning skin tags are usually a small and flattened pinhead-sized bump.  Most tags are small (3-5 mm in diameter) at approximately one-third to one-half the size of a pinky fingernail, some skin tags may become as large as an olive (1 cm in diameter) or a large grape (5 cm in diameter).

What Causes Skin Tags:

More than half if not all of the general population has been reported to have skin tags at some time in their lives. Although tags are generally acquired (not present at birth) and may occur in anyone, more often they arise in adulthood. They are much more common in middle age, and they tend to increase up to age 60. Children and toddlers may also develop skin tags, particularly in the underarm and neck areas. Since skin tags are thought to arise more readily in areas of skin friction or rubbing, tags are also more common in overweight people.  Hormones, such as those seen during pregnancy may cause an increase in the formation of skin tags, as skin tags are more frequent in pregnant women.

Treatment of Skin Tags:

Skin tags usually do not have to be treated, but sometimes it’s nice to be able to get rid of them.