Skin Tags – What They Are, Misconceptions, Types, Causes and Treatment

Ijeoma Okeke from shared the following information with Healthy Lombard.

What Are Skin Tags?

Skin tags, also called acrochordon, are tiny but painless benign growths on the skin, which usually hang by thin stalks called peduncles.

They appear in clusters, which can be unsightly though they are skin-colored most of the time, and they also appear singly.

But they are mostly harmless protrusions on the skin. They usually appear on older men and women, though the reason why this is so is not clear.

Medically, skin tags have different names they go by. These names, sometimes, make them sound more serious and fatalistic than they actually are.

So if you see names like polyp or fibroepithelial polyp, fibroma, acrochordon or cutaneous tag/papilloma, then the topic is skin tags.

Identifying Skin Tags

Different skin growths may look like a tag and it is easy to confuse a mole for one. So how do you tell one from the other?

A skin tag would normally hang from a peduncle and remain skin-colored. On a few occasions, it could be brown but hardly does it turn black or red. And it is usually tiny, sometimes as small as one millimeter. Other times, it could grow as large as 1 centimeter (source).

On the other hand, moles and warts are larger and dark-colored. They do not hang by this thin stalk and are usually symptoms for something worse.

If you have new growth on your skin, flesh-colored or not, check if it is hanging by a stalk. And if it is, give it a few days or weeks to see if it will increase in size or change color. But if none of these happens, it is most likely a skin tag (source).



Do Skin Tags Become Cancerous?

With the increase in types of cancers and the cases of people who have them, there is a general fear of the disease.

Any strange or previously unseen skin lesion is quickly thought to be an early onset of cancer. There is nothing wrong with this; in fact, it is the sensible thought to have.

But skin tags really aren’t cancerous and don’t become cancerous. As was mentioned in the introduction, they are benign and hardly ever turn malignant.

Yes, they are tumors, albeit tiny ones, and shouldn’t be there. But when they form, they are not harbingers of cancer. They are not symptomatic, either, meaning that they show no symptoms like pus, smell or bleeding (source).

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