|Synonyms||Acrochordon, acrochorda, skin polyp, fibroepithelial polyp, fibrovascular papilloma, soft fibroma, fibroma molle|
|Several acrochorda in the skin of the lower neck, soft consistency, the bottom acrochordon taking a pedunculated shape|
A skin tag, or acrochordon (pl. acrochorda), is a small benign tumor that forms primarily in areas where the skin forms creases, such as the neck, armpit and groin. They may also occur on the face, usually on the eyelids. Perianal skin tags can be associated with Crohn's disease. Acrochorda are generally harmless and painless and usually do not grow or change over time. Though tags up to a half-inch long have been seen, they are typically the size of a grain of rice. The surface of an acrochordon may be smooth or irregular in appearance and is often raised from the surface of the skin on a fleshy stalk called a peduncle. Microscopically, an acrochordon consists of a fibrovascular core, sometimes also with fat cells, covered by an unremarkable epidermis. However, tags may become irritated by shaving, clothing, jewellery or eczema.
According to one study done in 2012 there is no association between skin tag and low risk and high risk human papillomaviruses.
Skin tags are thought to occur from skin rubbing up against skin, since they are so often found in skin creases and folds. Studies have shown existence of low-risk HPV 6 and 11 in skin tags, hinting at a possible role in its pathogenesis. Acrochorda have been reported to have a prevalence of 46% in the general population. A causal genetic component is thought to exist. They also are more common in women than in men. Rarely, they can be associated with the Birt–Hogg–Dubé syndrome, acromegaly and polycystic ovary syndrome.
Elevated blood sugar and insulin is linked to an increased incidence of skin tags through an unknown mechanism.
Because tags are benign, treatment is unnecessary unless the tags become frequently irritated or present a cosmetic concern. If removal is desired or warranted, it can be achieved using a home treatment kit, dermatologist, general practitioner or similarly trained professional who may use cauterisation, cryosurgery, excision or surgical ligation to remove the acrochorda.
- Molluscum contagiosum (a viral disease which is similar in appearance and grows in similar areas)
- List of cutaneous neoplasms associated with systemic syndromes
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