Acrochordons, also known as skin tags are very common benign skin growths. Almost 50% of adults have at least one of these harmless growths. They occur more commonly in obese or diabetic individuals and in people with a family history of skin tags. Skin tags are seen in men and women with equal frequency.
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Acrochordons can appear as early as when a person is in his/her twenties. Typically after the age of seventy, people do not develop new acrochordons. These skin tags tend to grow in areas where there are skin folds, such as the underarms, neck, eyelids, and groin. They are flesh colored or brown ovoid growths attached to a fleshy stalk.
Usually they are small, between 2-5 mm, but can grow to be several centimeters. Acrochordons are not painful but can be bothersome like getting caught on clothing or jewellery.
The cause of acrochordons is not known, however there are several theories. Irritation or friction to the skin, as occurs with skin rubbing on skin in body folds, may play a role in the formation of skin tags. Human Papilloma virus (HPV) was present in a high percentage of growths, suggesting the virus plays a role in development. It may also be possible that acrochordons are genetic or simply due to normal aging and loss of elastic tissue. Birt-Hogg-Dube Syndrome, a genetic disorder is characterized by numerous skin tags along with other skin and systemic findings.
Skin Tags are harmless and do not require removal. However, for comfort or cosmetic purposes typical skin tags can be removed for comfort or cosmetic purposes.
Skin tags are treated by following methods:
If a skin tag becomes painful or appears that it is changing, it should be examined by a dermatologist to exclude other, potentially harmful diagnoses. If required skin biopsy may be done.
Dr.Sudha Vani, Chief Consultant at Sri Skin and Cosmetology Centre has 19 years of experience in dealing with such problems . Sri Skin and Cosmetology Centre has all the facilities to help in the management of skin tags.
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