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.
The Dermatopathology Institute
How Can a Dermatopathologist Help Me?
| 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
| Acrochordon or Skin Tag?