A skin tag, also known as an acrochordon, cutaneous papilloma, cutaneous tag, fibroepithelial polyp, fibroma molluscum, fibroma pendulum, papilloma colli, soft fibroma, and Templeton skin tag, is a small tag of skin which may have a peduncle (stalk) - they look like a small piece of soft, hanging skin.
Skin tags can appear on any part of the surface of the body (skin), but most typically exist in areas where skin may rub against skin, such as the:
» Axillae (armpits)
» Under the breasts
» Upper chest
Skin tags are invariably benign - non cancerous - tumors of the skin which cause no symptoms, unless it is repeatedly rubbed or scratched, as may happen with clothing, jewelry, or when shaving. Very large skin tags may burst under pressure.
Skin tags are composed of a core of fibers and ducts, nerve cells, fat cells, and a covering or epidermis.
Some people are more susceptible to tags, either because of their overweight, partly due to heredity, and often for unknown reasons. People with diabetes and pregnant women tend to be more prone to skin tags. Dermatologists say that skin tags affect males and females equally.
Some people may have had skin tags and never noticed them - they would have rubbed or fallen off painlessly. In most cases, however, they do not fall off.
The surface of skin tags may be smooth or irregular in appearance, they are often raised from the surface of the skin on fleshy peduncles (stalks). They are usually flesh-colored or slightly brownish.
Initially they are quite small, flattened like a pinhead bump. Skin tags can range in diameter from 2mm to 1cm; some may even reach 5cm.
As skin tags more commonly occur in skin creases or fold, it is believed they are mainly caused by skin rubbing against skin.