Fibroepithelioma of Pinkus
Skin Tags

News about Skin Diseases From a Microscopic Eye!
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Feature Article
How Can a Dermatopathologist Help Me?
Medical Terms You Should Know
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Featured Article
Dermatologists Debunk Myths
The skin is the largest organ in the body. It also appears to generate the largest number of myths about skin problems and treatment. In a candid interview, the American Academy of Dermatology answers and debunks some myths about skin diseases.

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March 2009

The Dermatopathology Institute analyzes the current stories making headlines in dermatology with a viewpoint from the microscope, helping you to truly understand all of the nuances of the disease.

We enjoyed meeting so many of you at our recent hospital and community presentations. If you would like a presentation at your facility, please contact us.

Thank you!
The Dermatopathology Institute
How Can a Dermatopathologist Help Me?
Achrocordon What is a skin tag?
Nearly everyone has one!

These critters increase with age and may be related to sun exposure. Usually they are cosmetic annoyances but occasionally, they may bleed or become infected. One friend of mine insisted she would twist and pull the smaller ones off her husband's neck! (They are still married....I think.)

The good news is these are benign and while small ones can be yanked off, it is not recommended. Dermatologists and other physicians dealing with skin conditions can easily remove these with electrocautery, freezing, laser, or even excising them with local anesthesia, especially if they are large.

It is always a good idea to submit any large skin tags to a pathologist. While all skin tags are benign, there are clinical conditions that may be mistaken for an acrochordon but may actually represent another disease process. The most common include some variants of a seborrheic keratosis or verucca vulgaris (common wart). Even some moles may masquerade as a skin tag. Thus, the only definitive way to establish the diagnosis is to biopsy the tag and submit it to the dermatopathologist for a microscopic examination.
Medical Terms You Should Know
Melanoma in a Skin Tag Acrochordon or Skin Tag?

Even physicians liberally exchange the use of these terms. Both are synonymous and there are many other terms that have been used:

Fibroepithelial polyp
Skin polyp

As mentioned in the article above, it is important that large skin tags be submitted for microscopic examination. The photo above illustrates several skin tags that were removed. On microscopic examination, all of the "skin tags" were actually moles. One of them (designated with the arrow) actually contained a melanoma. It was a serendipitous find for both the patient and referring physician!

Additional Links

The Doctor's Doctor-Acrochordon

The Doctor's Doctor-Seborrheic Keratosis

The Doctor's Doctor-Verruca Vulgaris

The Doctor's Doctor-Basic Principles of Disease
Thank you for taking the time to visit with us.

We hope you have gained some insight about blisters and how the causes may range from a simple contact dermatitis to something potentially serious.

Please call or email us to schedule a consultation for you or your loved ones.
Thank you!

Paul K. Shitabata, M.D.
President and Medical Director
Dermatopathology Institute