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Skin tags, also know as Acrochordons or Cutaneous Papilloma, are harmless skin growths appearing usually in the adult years of life among many healthy and normal people. In common descriptions, skin tags are flesh-colored projections that appear as small pieces of hanging skin growths. Due to the awkward appearance of the larger growths, skin tag removal is common and although their appearance may vary a little for individual tags, most skin tags are either smooth or just a little wrinkled, or irregular. The color of most skin tags is either the same as that of the body flesh (skin) or a little more brown than the surrounding skin.



Skin tags are usually small, only large-enough to be noticed from a very short distance. In the beginning, a skin tag is quite small, say the size of a pinpoint. It grows a little with time and, if it is to acquire a large size, may assume the size of a big grape. Removing skin tags of any size prevents the tag from from regrowing in that position again. Skin tags may appear at any point on the body.


The more favorable sites for developing these growths include: neck, armpits, upper chest, under the breasts (in women), eyelids, and folds of the groins, in the case of groin skin tags. It is believed that points in the body where skin rubs against skin or against some dressing item (clothes and accessories) are more likely to develop skin tags. Often skin tag removal is desired by people who want to avoid the itchy or painful rubbing feeling from skin friction where the tags are located.



While a skin tag is, by definition, a kind of tumor; it is more correctly regarded as a ‘skin growth’ because of its completely harmless nature. No skin tags are malignant (cancerous) and they do not pose any risk of cancer or other disease, even when left untreated. In addition, skin tags do not cause any symptoms. Only when irritated manually (e.g. rubbed or twisted), on with clothing or other objects, would a skin tag show redness and, in some cases, pain or discomfort, resulting in skin tag removal.



While skin tags are harmless and do not cause any annoying symptoms, many people who have them prefer to remove skin tags for cosmetic reasons, i.e. to show more perfect skin and appear spotless.


A number of medical procedures are also used for skin tag removal. Freezing, burning, and cutting off with scissors are the commonly used medical methods for removing skin tags. Freezing skin tags is often called Cryotherapy. Local anesthesia is given before removing a large skin tag; smaller tags may be removed painlessly without applying anesthesia. The most difficult type of skin tags to remove are those formed near the margin of the eyelid. In such a case for skin tag removal, an experienced ophthalmologist (eye specialist) is needed for skin tag removal.


For more information, consult our dermatologist