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Alternative Names Return to topSkin tags; Acrochordons; Fibroepithelial polyps
Definition Return to top
Cutaneous skin tags are skin problems involving small, generally benign skin growths.
Causes Return to top
Cutaneous tags are very common benign skin growths that occur most often after midlife. The tags stick out of the skin, and may have a small narrow stalk connecting the skin bump to the surface of the skin. Cutaneous tags are usually painless and do not grow or change. However, they may be irritated from rubbing by clothing or other materials. Cutaneous skin tags are more common in people who are overweight or who have diabetes. They are thought to occur from skin rubbing against skin, so skin folds are a common location.
Symptoms Return to top
The only symptom is a growth on the skin. The growth (tag) is usually small, although some may be up to a half-inch long.
Other characteristics are as follows:
Exams and Tests Return to top
Diagnosis is based primarily on the appearance of the skin growth.
Treatment Return to top
Treatment is usually not necessary unless the cutaneous tags are irritating or are cosmetically displeasing. The growths may be removed by surgery, by freezing (cryotherapy), or by electrical burn (cautery).
Outlook (Prognosis) Return to top
Cutaneous tags are generally benign and usually not bothersome. They may become irritated or be cosmetically displeasing. There is usually no regrowth or scar formation after cutaneous tags are removed, although new growths may appear elsewhere on the body.
Possible Complications Return to top
There are usually no complications. Occasionally, irritation and discomfort may occur. If cut, they can bleed excessively. The skin tags may be cosmetically unsightly.
When to Contact a Medical Professional Return to top
Call your health care provider if cutaneous tags are present and you want them removed, or if the appearance of a cutaneous tag changes.Update Date: 2/5/2008 Updated by: Kevin Berman, MD, PhD, Associate, Atlanta Center for Dermatologic Disease, Atlanta, GA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.