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Skin Tags (Acrochordon)

What Is It? & Symptoms

Monday, Aug. 27, 2007; 7:47 PM

Copyright Harvard Health Publications 2007

What Is It?

Table of Contents

A skin tag is a soft, skin-colored growth that hangs from the surface of the skin on a thin piece of tissue called a stalk. Its medical name is acrochordon. Skin tags are not skin cancer and cannot turn into skin cancer.

Skin tags typically appear as people age. They are quite common in people 60 and older. They are more common in women. A tendency to develop skin tags may run in families. Skin tags also develop commonly after pregnancy.

Skin tags appear most often in skin folds of the neck, armpits, torso, beneath the breasts or in the genital region. They can become irritated if they are in an area where clothing or jewelry rubs against them, and they may be unsightly.

Symptoms

A skin tag at first may appear as a tiny soft bump on the skin. Over time, it grows into a flesh-colored piece of skin attached to the skin surface by a stalk. It's easy to move or wiggle a skin tag back and forth. A skin tag is painless, although it can become irritated if it is rubbed a lot.

If a skin tag is twisted on its stalk, a blood clot can develop within it and the skin tag may become painful.

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