Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Do skin tags indicate other health problems?"
I've been developing a lot of skin tags over the last few years. The prevailing wisdom seems to be that they don't matter, but I want to know more. Are skin tags associated with other kinds of health problems? Does having them put you at a higher risk for other conditions?
Skin tags are generally benign skin findings that may require medical treatment if they become large or uncomfortable. Physicians who would be qualified to discuss this issue with you will include your primary care doctor or your dermatologist. Skin tags (also known as acrochordon) are small fleshy growths of skin that are generally found in the crease areas of the body, such as the groin, armpits and neck. The exact cause of skin tags in unknown. The most likely explanation is that they are caused by friction of two opposing areas of skin, such as is found in creases. They are also associated with being overweight, and there may be an association with pre-diabetes, diabetes or the metabolic syndrome. It is unclear whether this may be due to increased friction in skin folds in persons who are overweight or whether it is due to another cause. Generally, skin tags are benign and due not require treatment. In cases in which they become enlarged or painful or bleed due to irritation they can be electively removed by your physician. As always, the diagnosis and management of your specific condition will require a physical examination by your personal physician. Scheduling an office visit with your primary care doctor or your dermatologist might be advisable.
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