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Cutaneous skin tags

Alternative names

Skin tags; Acrochordons


Cutaneous skin tags is a skin condition involving small, generally benign skin growths.

Causes, incidence, and risk factors

Cutaneous tags are very common, generally benign skin growths that occur most often after midlife. They are tiny skin protrusions, and may have a small narrow stalk connecting the skin bump to the surface of the skin. They are usually painless and do not grow or change, except for occasional irritation from rubbing by clothing or other friction. Their origin is unknown.


  • Skin growth
    • Usually very small, but sometimes half an inch long
    • Located on the neck, armpits, trunk, body folds, or other areas
    • May have a narrow stalk
    • Usually skin-colored, occasionally darker

Signs and tests

Diagnosis is based primarily on the appearance of the skin growth.


Treatment is usually not necessary unless the cutaneous tags are irritating or are cosmetically displeasing. The growths may be surgically removed, removed by freezing ( cryotherapy ), or electrically burning off (cautery).

Expectations (prognosis)

Cutaneous tags are generally benign and usually not bothersome. They may become irritated or be cosmetically displeasing. There is usually no regrowth or scar formation after removal. New cutaneous tags may appear elsewhere on the body.


There are usually no complications. Occasionally, irritation and discomfort may occur. The skin tags may be cosmetically unsightly.

Calling your health care provider

Call your health care provider if cutaneous tags are present and you want them removed, or if the appearance of a cutaneous tag changes.

Update Date: 5/7/2002

Michael Lehrer, M.D., Department of Dermatology, University of Pennsylvania Medical Center, Philadelphia, PA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network (7/28/2001).

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Last updated: Tue, 06 Jan 2009 00:20:03 GMT