Acrochordons are harmless skin growths that appear to hang off the skin. They are more commonly known as skin tags.
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Skin tags consist of collagen fibers and blood vessels that are surrounded by a thin layer of skin. It is not clear what causes them.
Factors that increase your risk of getting skin tags include:
Skin tags 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, typically in arm pit, neck, or groin. They don't cause symptoms, even after they appear.
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.
Most of the time, no treatment is needed and the skin tags can be monitored. The skin tags should be removed if they are bothering you, or if your doctor is concerned about a different skin condition.
Removal options include the following:
American Academy of Dermatology
American Society for Dermatologic Surgery
Canadian Dermatology Association
Common benign skin lesions. EBSCO DynaMed website.Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated April 11, 2016. Accessed May 4, 2016.
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 May 4, 2016.
Skin tags. New Zealand Dermatological Society website. Available at: http://www.dermnetnz.org/lesions/skin-tags.html. Updated December 15, 2014. Accessed May 4, 2016.
Last reviewed June 2016 by Michael Woods, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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