Skin tags or acrochordons are small soft harmless papilomas found commonly on the neck, axillae, upper trunk and eyelids of middle-aged and elderly people. Obesity, pregnancy, menopause and endocrine disorder such as acromegaly predispose to these lesion. Some lesion may be confused with dermal nevi, warts, neurofibromas or seborrheic keratoses, So proper assessment of a dermatologist is equired.

Although controversial, it has been suggested that multiple skin tags may be a marker for diabetes mellitum or impaired carbohydrade metabolism and may indicate a significiently increase risk of colonic polyps if they occure rapidly over short period of time. If multiple skin lesion have occured over a short period of time, consultation to gastroenterologist for sigmoidoscopy or colonoscopy is required.

Treatment of obesity or an underlying endocrinologic abnormality will decrease the likehood of new formation.Although skin tags are cosmetically bothersome but they are harmless. If required for cosmetic reason can be treated with Surgical Excision, Electrosurgical Destruction, cryotherapy or Ligation.

Surgical Excision: It is removal of the lesion by cutting it out.The lesion is cut around and under with a scalpel and sharp scissors and its completely removed. There may be some bleeding in the area. Remember to consult dermatologist about the drugs you have taken before surgical procedure, because some anticoagulant like Aspirin or Warfarin or any herbal remedies may cause severe bleeding which cannot be stopped easily.

Cryotherapy: It is a therapy when surface of skin to be removed is frozen. Freezing is the most inexpensive, safe, reliable and easy way of treating different kinds of skin lesion. The most common agent used is Liquid nitrogen. Others are Carbon dioxide snow, Dimethyl ether and propane or DMEP .

Electrosurgical Destruction: This is a therapy where lesion is touched with a electrosurgical spark or removed the lesion with a cutting current.

Ligation: This is a traditional method where skin tags are tied in the base tightly with a string or piece of thread and obstructing the blood supply finally skin tags dies and drop off. But sometimes this method can lead to infection.

If you have any questions regarding skin tags ask us at Skin Care Forum