Acrochordon

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An acrochordon (plural acrochorda, and also known as a cutaneous skin tag, fibroepithelial polyp or, in the U.K., a hanging mole) is a small benign tumour that forms primarily in areas where the skin forms creases, such as the neck, armpit, and groin. They may also occur on the face, usually on the eyelids. Acrochorda are harmless and typically painless, and do not grow or change over time.[1] Though tags up to a half-inch long have been seen,[1] they are typically the size of a grain of rice. The surface of an acrochordon may be smooth or irregular in appearance and is often raised from the surface of the skin on a fleshy stalk called a peduncle. Microscopically, an acrochordon consists of a fibro-vascular core, sometimes also with fat cells, covered by an unremarkable epidermis. However, tags may become irritated by shaving, clothing or jewelry. Very large skin tags may burst under pressure.[citation needed]

It is believed that skin tags occur from skin rubbing up against skin, since they are so often found in skin creases and folds.[1] Studies have shown existence of low-risk HPV 6 and 11 in skin tags hinting at a possible role in its pathogenesis. They are more common in people who are overweight, have diabetes[1] and in pregnant women.[2] Acrochorda have been reported to have an incidence of 46% in the general population.[3] A causal genetic component is thought to exist.[4] Rarely, they can be associated with the Birt-Hogg-Dubé syndrome and polycystic ovary syndrome.[5]

Treatment

Because tags are benign, treatment is unnecessary unless the tags become frequently irritated or present a cosmetic concern. If removal is desired or warranted, a dermatologist or similarly trained professional may use cauterization, cryosurgery, surgical ligation or excision to remove the acrochorda.[1]

There is now an over-the-counter solution that causes skin tag removal. This method freezes the skin tag which results in the skin tag "falling off" in approximately 7–10 days, which is similar to over-the-counter wart removal. [6] Some skin tags can also be simply scratched away with minimal pain or bleeding.

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