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Medical Dermatology

Skin Tags

What are skin tags?

Skin tags are small, benign skin growths.  They usually appear in skin creases or skin folds on the neck, the eyelids, under the breasts, in the groin and the armpits. They are rare in childhood. They are often found when something like jewelry or clothing rubs against them. Sometimes they can fall off or rub off on their own. Skin tags are harmless but can be annoying and cosmetically undesirable.

What are the symptoms?

They may be smooth or have an irregular surface, raised off the skin or on a stalk. They are commonly flesh-colored or brown. Skin tags frequently appear in groups. They usually cause no symptoms.

What causes skin tags?

The cause is unknown, but skin tags are believed to develop where skin rubs against skin or clothing. About 50% of people have a skin tag. Skin tags can affect people of any age but are common in people over age 40. They affect men and women alike.

What are the risk factors?

Risk factors include:

  • Age
  • Obesity
  • Diabetes and metabolic syndrome
  • High cholesterol
  • High blood pressure
  • Pregnancy – due to hormone changes
  • Imbalances in estrogen and progesterone
  • Genetics
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome

Diagnosis

During consultation your board-certified dermatologist will review your medical history to rule out any rare associated diseases, and any other potential diganoses. Your doctor will conduct an examination of your skin and the trouble areas and make a diagnosis. If a skin tag itches, bleeds, changes shape or causes pain you should be sure to share this during your visit.

What are the treatment options?

Skin tags do not need treatment but may be annoying. In fact, sometimes they fall off by themselves. Your doctor can safely remove skin tags in the office with minimal bleeding or risk of infection. At home removal is not recommended.

If you have a new or changing skin lesion, contact Phoenix Surgical Dermatology Group to schedule an appointment with a board-certified dermatologist.


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