Chilton Medical Center - ATLANTIC HEALTH SYSTEM
Decrease (-) Restore Default Increase (+)  font size
PrintEmail
Search Health Information   

Skin tag
Skin tag


Cutaneous skin tag

Definition:

A cutaneous skin tag is a common skin growth. Most of the time, it is harmless (benign ).



Alternative Names:

Skin tag; Acrochordon; Fibroepithelial polyp



Causes:

A cutaneous tag usually occurs in older adults. They are more common in people who are overweight or who have diabetes. They are thought to occur from skin rubbing against skin.



Symptoms:

The tag sticks out of the skin and may have a short, narrow stalk connecting it to the surface of the skin. Some skin tags are as long as a half an inch Most skin tags are the same color as skin, or a little darker.

In most cases, a skin tag is painless and does not grow or change. However, it may become irritated from rubbing by clothing or other materials.

Places where skin tags occur include:

  • Neck
  • Underarms
  • Middle of the body, or under folds of skin
  • Eyelids
  • Other body areas


Exams and Tests:

Your doctor can diagnose this condition by looking at your skin. Sometimes a skin biopsy is done.



Treatment:

Treatment is often not needed. Your doctor may recommend treatment if the skin tag is irritating, or you don't like how it looks. Treatment may include:

  • Surgery to remove it
  • Freezing it (cryotherapy)
  • Burning it off (cauterization)


Outlook (Prognosis):

A skin tag is most often harmless. It may become irritated if clothing rubs against it. The growth usually does not grow back after it is removed. However, new skin tags may form on other parts of the body.



When to Contact a Medical Professional:

Call your doctor or nurse if the skin tag changes, or if you want it removed. Do not cut it yourself, because it can bleed a lot. Also, the old idea of "tying a string around it" is NOT recommended.



References:

Benign skin tumors. In: Habif TP, ed. Clinical Dermatology. 5th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Mosby Elsevier; 2009:chap 20.

Kamino H, Reddy VB, Pui J. Fibrous and Fibrohistiocytic Proliferations of the Skin and Tendons. In: Bolognia JL, Jorizzo JL, Schaffer JV, et al, eds. Dermatology. 3rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Mosby Elsevier; 2012:chap 116.




Review Date: 10/18/2013
Reviewed By: Richard J. Moskowitz, MD, Dermatologist in Private Practice, Mineola, NY. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Bethanne Black, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
adam.com


Morristown Medical Center
100 Madison Avenue
Morristown, NJ 07960
973-971-5000

Overlook Medical Center
99 Beauvoir Avenue
Summit, NJ 07901
908-522-2000

Newton Medical Center
175 High Street
Newton, NJ 07860
973-383-2121

Chilton Medical Center
97 West Parkway
Pompton Plains, NJ 07444
973-831-5000

Goryeb Children's Hospital
100 Madison Avenue
Morristown, NJ 07960
973-971-5000

Atlantic Medical Group
1-800-247-9580

Morristown Medical Center

100 Madison Avenue
Morristown, NJ 07960
973-971-5000

Overlook Medical Center

99 Beauvoir Avenue
Summit, NJ 07901
908-522-2000

Newton Medical Center

175 High Street
Newton, NJ 07860
973-383-2121

Chilton Medical Center

97 West Parkway
Pompton Plains, NJ 07444
973-831-5000

Goryeb Children's Hospital

100 Madison Avenue
Morristown, NJ 07960
973-971-5000

Affiliated Providers

Atlantic Medical Group

More than 600 community-based health care providers.
1-800-247-9580

© 2015 Chilton Medical Center, 97 West Parkway, Pompton Plains, New Jersey 1-973-831-5000