Dermatology Center of Northwest Houston Dermatology Center of Northwest Houston - Lisa D Hitchins MD : (281) 256-2000
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Skin Tags

A skin tag is a small, soft, non-cancerous, skin outgrowth that appears like a tiny piece of skin hanging from a thin stalk. Skin tags are common in areas where there is excessive friction between the skin such as underarms, eyelids, under the breasts, neck, upper chest and groin. Skin tags generally have the same skin color or may seem brownish in fairer individuals. Skin tags are painless, harmless, and asymptomatic; they are not associated with any other skin condition.

Skin tags are also found to have an underlying genetic etiology; passing from one generation to the subsequent generation. The scientific term for skin tag is “acrochordon”. Skin tags are also known as soft warts, soft fibromas, fibroepithelial polyps (FEP), and fibroma pendulans.

The common causes of skin tags are as follow:

  • Friction between neighboring areas of the skin or between clothes and skin
  • Conditions such as obesity and diabetes
  • Disease such as crohn’s disease
  • Hormonal changes in pregnancy
  • Medication such as inappropriate steroid use

The diagnosis of skin tags comprises of a simple physical examination of the skin. However, a skin biopsy may be required in a few cases.

Treatment

Generally no treatment is required for skin tags as they are harmless. In case the skin tags become problematic, the following treatment options can be used:

  • Surgical removal of skin tags, with or without anesthesia
  • Freezing skin tag by employing liquid nitrogen
  • Burning the skin tag with the help of an electrical cautery or hyfrecator
  • Removal of skin tag by tying a piece of dental string around the narrow stalk
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