Skin Tags (acrochordon) are bits of flesh-coloured or darkly pigmented tissue that project from the surrounding skin. They are a type of skin growth or tumour and are completely benign.
Moles appear as growths on the skin that are often brown or black in colour. They can appear in groups or individually in most cases.
What are Skin Tags?
Skin tags mainly occur on areas such as the neck, armpit, groin and eyelids, and are thought to occur from skin friction, wherein the skin rubs against skin or clothing. Hormone elevations, such as those seen during pregnancy may also cause an increase in their formation. They are generally not cancerous (malignant) and do not become cancerous if left untreated. These are essentially harmless and do not have to be treated unless they are bothersome.
They may be easily removed with a scalpel or a laser cutting device. There are extremely rare cases where the condition may become precancerous or cancerous. Skin tag-like bumps that bleed, grow, or display multiple colours like pink, brown, red, or black can require a biopsy to exclude other causes like skin cancer.
What problems do these cause?
Except for the cosmetic appearance, these tiny growths generally cause no physical pain or discomfort. However, they can cause symptoms when repeatedly irritated, for example, by the collar or in the groin. Cosmetic skin tag removal for unsightly appearance is perhaps the most common reason they are removed. Occasionally, a tag may require removal because it has become irritated and red from bleeding (hemorrhage) or black from twisting and death of the skin tissue (necrosis).
At times, these may become snagged by clothing, jewellery, pets, or seat belts, causing pain or discomfort. Occasionally, a tag may also spontaneously fall off without any pain or discomfort. This usually occurs after a tag has twisted on itself at the stalk base, interrupting the blood flow to the area.
If you are unsure with any lesions on your skin, please speak to our laser specialists and medical doctor at Cosmetic Medical Clinic.