Acrochordons

(Skin Tags; Fibroepithelial Polyps)

Definition

Definition

Acrochordons are harmless skin growths that appear to hang off the skin. They are more commonly known as skin tags.

Acrochordons

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Causes

Causes

Acrochordons consist of collagen fibers and blood vessels that are surrounded by a thin layer of skin. It is not clear what causes them.

Risk Factors

Risk Factors

Factors that increase your risk of getting acrochordons include:

Symptoms

Symptoms

Acrochordons usually appear as flesh-colored skin growths. They are generally small, but can range in size from 1 millimeter to 5 centimeters in diameter. They are often found in folds of the skin. They don’t cause symptoms, even after they appear.

Diagnosis

Diagnosis

You will be asked about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done. Most acrochordons can be diagnosed without invasive tests. In some cases, a skin biopsy may be necessary to rule out other skin conditions.

Treatment

Treatment

Most of the time, no treatment is needed and the acrochordons can be monitored. The acrochordons should be removed if they are bothering you, or if your doctor is concerned about a different skin condition.

Removal options include the following:

  • Cryosurgery
  • Surgical removal
  • Electrosurgery
  • Ligation

Prevention

Prevention

There are no current guidelines to prevent acrochordons.

RESOURCES:

American Academy of Dermatology http://www.aad.org

American Society for Dermatologic Surgery http://www.asds.net

CANADIAN RESOURCES:

Canadian Dermatology Association http://www.dermatology.ca

Dermatologists.ca http://www.dermatologists.ca

References:

Skin tags. Merck Manual Professional Version website. Available at:
http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/dermatologic_disorders/benign_skin_tumors_growths_and_vascular_lesions/skin_tags.html?qt=&sc=&alt=
Accessed June 3, 2015.

Skin tags. New Zealand Dermatological Society website. Available at:
http://www.dermnetnz.org/lesions/skin-tags.html
Updated December 15, 2014. Accessed June 3, 2015.

Last reviewed June 2015 by Michael Woods, MD
Last Updated: 5/22/2014

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