Skin Tags

Skin Tags

Alternate Names

  • soft fibroma

Definition

A skin tag is a small, brown or flesh-colored flap of skin that is usually narrow at its base. Skin tags may appear around the neck, under the arms, under the breasts, in groin creases, and on the inside of the upper thigh area.

What is going on in the body?

There is no known reason for the appearance of skin tags. Skin tags occur most frequently at sites where the skin is rubbed by clothing or other body parts. They often show up in hot, moist body creases.

Risks

What are the causes and risks of the condition?

The cause of skin tags are unknown, but they occur more often on skin surfaces that are hot, moist, or frequently rubbed.

Prevention

What can be done to prevent the condition?

There is no way to prevent skin tags.

Diagnosed

How is the condition diagnosed?

A healthcare professional can diagnose skin tags by their characteristic appearance.

Long Term Effects

What are the long-term effects of the condition?

Skin tags are not cancerous and have no long-term effects.

Other Risks

What are the risks to others?

Skin tags are not contagious and pose no risk to others.

Treatments

What are the treatments for the condition?

It is usually not medically necessary to treat skin tags. If they are unsightly or annoying, they can be removed by a healthcare professional. Methods of removing skin tags include the following:
  • cutting them off with a sterile scalpel or scissors
  • burning with a special heated needle
  • cryotherapy, which involves freezing with liquid nitrogen
  • laser surgery

Side Effects

What are the side effects of the treatments?

Rarely, surgery to remove skin tags can be complicated by bleeding, infection, or a reaction to any anesthetic used.

After Treatment

What happens after treatment for the condition?

Treated sites should heal quickly with minimal or invisible scarring.

Monitor

How is the condition monitored?

A person will most likely continue to develop new skin tags. Any new or worsening symptoms should be reported to the healthcare professional.

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