ZocdocAnswersDo skin tags change in color?

Question

Do skin tags change in color?

I had something in my armpit that I thought was a tick (I was trying to rip it off!), but a doctor friend took a look and said it was just a 'skin tag' and that it wasn't a problem. For that reason, I forgot about it until it started turning a dark reddish-brown color. Is it a skin tag or something else?

Answer

Skin tags and ticks are very easy to tell apart by most physicians. So if you saw a physician and they said it was a skin tag and not a tick, then you may want to take their word for it. Obviously the treatment strategies are quite different. Skin problems that are changing color (especially getting darker) make most physicians nervous when they hear about the problem without actually seeing it. This is because we are all afraid of the possibility that a changing skin lesion is actually a suspicious mole that could progress to a cancer. This is most likely not the case for you, but you don't want to take that chance. It is also possible that as you were trying to rip off the skin tag, you damaged it causing it to bruise. That could also turn it a reddish brown color. I suggest that you schedule an appointment with your primary care physician as soon as possible to get this skin tag looked at. He or she can examine it and determine if it looks like anything that needs further evaluation. Possibly you may need referral to a dermatologist for evaluation and removal of the tag. Good luck.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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