Definition

Acrochordons are harmless skin growths that appear to hang off the skin. Acrochordons can be mistaken for a more serious condition, so if you think you have one, see your healthcare provider.

Acrochordons

hanging skin tag
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Causes

Acrochordons consist of collagen fibers and blood vessels that are surrounded by a thin layer of skin. It is not clear what causes them.

Risk Factors

A risk factor is something that increases your chance of getting a disease or condition. The following factors increase your chance of developing acrochordons. If you have any of these risk factors, tell your doctor:

Symptoms

Acrochordons are usually flesh-colored, but may be darker in color. They are generally small, but can range in size from 1 millimeter to 5 centimeters in diameter. They are often found in folds of the skin.

Diagnosis

Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history, and perform a physical exam. Most acrochordons can be diagnosed without invasive tests. In some cases, a skin biopsy may be necessary.

Treatment

Talk with your doctor about the best treatment plan for you. Acrochordons need to be differentiated from neurofibromas, as well as other benign skin lesions. Treatment options include the following:

Cryotherapy

Cryotherapy involves freezing the acrochordon so it falls off.

Surgical Excision

Acrochordons can be removed surgically with scissors.

Electrosurgery

In electrosurgery, an electric current is applied to the acrochordon to cut it off.

Ligation

With ligation, a suture is tied around the neck of the acrochordon to remove it.

Prevention

Since their cause is unclear, there is no known way to prevent acrochordons.