Skin tags, known clinically as acrochordons, are benign growths that appear off the surface of the skin. Skin tags are most recognizable by their stalk-like appearance. Although harmless, skin tags are a very common skin condition in adults (both men and women) and can be an great annoyance. The good news is that removable methods are available.

Where do Skin Tags Occurs?

Although they can occur anywhere on the body, skin tags are commonly found in the following areas:

  • Eyelids
  • Armpits
  • Upper chest and underneath the breasts
  • Neck
  • Folds of the groin and buttock

Although the cause of skin tags is unknown, they are thought to occur in areas of high friction, such as where clothing rubs against the skin or skin rubs against itself.

Skin Tag Identification

As previously stated, skin tags have very specific characteristics that make them easily identifiable. They range in size from 1mm to 5cm and resemble a stalk of skin. Other skin conditions that can be mistaken for skin tags include warts, molluscum contagiosum, and seborrhoeic keratoses.

At times, a skin tag may turn purple or black. This is known as a clotted skin tag, or thrombosed skin tag. This occurs when the blood supply to the skin tag is inadequate. In most cases, these skin tags will fall off on their own within 3 to 10 days time. However, if your skin tag has changed colors, or starts to bleed, evaluation by a dermatologist is always recommended.

Skin Tag Removal

While there is no medical need to treat skin tags, at times they can become bothersome and removal is desired. If this is the case, it is important to visit a dermatologist who can remove the skin tag with a safe, effective method. Please do not try to remove your skin tag using at home remedies. In-office treatment options for skin tags may include the following:

  • Cryotherapy (freezing)
  • Surgical removal
  • Ligation
  • Electrosurgery

Following the removal of your skin tag, your dermatologist may decide to send a sample to the pathologist for a biopsy. While this is not standard practice, skin tags that are larger or atypical may warrant a biopsy. If this is the case, your dermatologist will go over all information with you.

Does Insurance Cover Skin Tag Removal?

In most cases, skin tag removal is not covered by insurance. This is due to insurance companies classifying skin tag removal as a cosmetic procedure. For more information on payment and insurance questions, please contact our office to speak to a billing representative who can go over the costs with you in detail.

Contact Blue Ridge Dermatology Today for Skin Tag Removal

If you have a skin tag that is bothersome or worrisome, please do not hesitate to contact our office for an appointment with one of our dermatologists. Our goal at Blue Ridge Dermatology is to provide our patients with safe removal options for skin tags when warranted. Call us today to learn more.