Skin Tag (cont.)
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.
In this Article
- 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
- Find a local Dermatologist in your town
Can you get skin tags on the penis and scrotum?
Skin tags may occur at unusual sites like the penis, scrotum, and opening of the penis tip. Tags are associated with friction at the location where they occur. Friction or repeat irritation from condom use, underwear, sexual activity, masturbation, and urinary catheters may cause skin tags on the penis and scrotum. Sexually transmitted viral conditions (HPV) like genital warts in the genital area can require a tissue biopsy for diagnosis.
What happens when a skin tag suddenly turns purple or black?
A thrombosed or clotted skin tag may suddenly change colors and become purple or black. Thrombosed skin tags are usually painless and are more concerning to the person because of the color. Thrombosed skin tags typically may fall off on their own in three to 10 days and don't require additional treatment.
Skin tags that have changed color or bleed may require your doctor's evaluation and reassurance. Rarely, thrombosed skin tags may be a sign of another condition and need to be biopsied.
Is there another medical name for a skin tag?
Medical terms your physician or dermatologist may use to describe a skin tag include fibroepithelial polyp, acrochordon, cutaneous papilloma, and soft fibroma. All of these terms describe skin tags and are benign (noncancerous), painless skin growths. Some people refer to these as "skin tabs" or warts. However, a skin tag is best known as a skin tag.
- Skin tags are very common but harmless, small, soft skin growths.
- Skin tags occur on the eyelids, neck, armpits, groin folds, and under breasts.
- One person may have anywhere from one to over 100 skin tags.
- Almost anyone may develop a skin tag at some point in their life.
- Middle-aged, obese adults are most prone to skin tags.
- Obesity is a major risk factor for developing skin tags.
- Removing a skin tag does not cause more to grow.
- Some people are just more prone to forming skin tags.
- Treatments include freezing, tying off with a thread or suture, or cutting off.
Fitzpatrick, Thomas B., et al. Dermatology in General Medicine. 4th ed. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1993.
Schwartz, Robert A. "Acrochordon." Medscape.com. Apr. 25, 2011. <http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/1060373-overview>.
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