Skin Tag (Acrochordon)
Nili N. Alai, MD, FAAD
Dr. Alai is an actively practicing medical and surgical dermatologist in south Orange County, California. She has been a professor of dermatology and family medicine at the University of California, Irvine since 2000. She is U.S. board-certified in dermatology, a 10-year-certified fellow of the American Academy of Dermatology, and Fellow of the American Society of Mohs Surgery.
William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.
- What is a skin tag?
- Where do skin tags occur?
- Who tends to get skin tags?
- Will removing a skin tag cause more to grow?
- Is a skin tag a tumor?
- Are skin tags contagious?
- What does a skin tag look like under a microscope?
- What problems do skin tags cause?
- How are skin tags treated?
- Does medical insurance cover skin tag removal?
- Do any creams remove skin tags?
- Should I worry about cutting my skin tag by shaving?
- Do skin tags need to be sent for biopsy?
- Are there vaginal skin tags?
- Can you get skin tags on the penis and scrotum?
- What happens when a skin tag suddenly turns purple or black?
- What else could it be?
- Is there another medical name for a skin tag?
- Skin Tag At A Glance
- Pictures of Adult Skin Problems - Slideshow
- Gallery of Skin Problems Pictures and Images Collection
- Pictures of Child Skin Problems - Slideshow
- Patient Comments: Skin Tag - Symptoms
- Patient Comments: Skin Tag - Removal
- Patient Comments: Skin Tag - Describe Your Experience
- Find a local Dermatologist in your town
What is a skin tag?
Skin tags are common, acquired, benign skin growths that look like a small piece of soft, hanging skin. Skin tags are harmless growths. Some individuals may be more prone to tags (greater than 50-100 tags) either through increased weight, in part combined with heredity, or other unknown causes. Males and females are equally prone to developing skin tags. Obesity and being moderately overweight (even temporary increases in weight) dramatically increase the chances of having skin tags. Women of normal weight with larger breasts are also more prone to developing skin tags under their breasts. Some small tags spontaneously rub or fall off painlessly and the person may not even know they had a skin tag. Most tags do not fall off on their own and persist once formed. The medical name for skin tag is acrochordon.
Skin tags are bits of skin- or flesh-colored tissue that project from the surrounding skin from a small, narrow stalk. Some people call these growths "skin tabs" or barnacles. Skin tags typically occur in characteristic locations, including the base of the neck, underarms, eyelids, groin folds, and under the breasts (especially where underwire bras rub directly beneath the breasts). Although skin tags may vary somewhat in appearance, they are usually smooth or slightly wrinkled and irregular, flesh-colored or slightly more brown, and hang from the skin by a small stalk. Early or beginning skin tags may be as small as a flattened pinhead-sized bump. While most tags typically are small (2-5 mm in diameter) at approximately one-third to one-half the size of a pinky fingernail, some skin tags may become as large as a big grape (1 cm in diameter) or a fig (5 cm in diameter).
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