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Those hangy neck things

Published August 17th, 2016

Almost daily, I see someone complaining of "those hangy things" on their neck, in their armpits, in the groin, on eyelids.  They're annoying - they catch on necklaces, shirt collars, and become inflamed from rubbing.  What are those things, anyway? 

They're called achrochordons, or skin tags.  They can be brown, tan, or skin-colored.   And while they may be bothersome to the patient, they're actually totally benign.  Skin tags are more common in middle-aged and older people, as well as in female and obese people - but anyone can get one. 

Pregnant ladies may notice that they become larger or get more of them - which is normal.  Since these are benign growths, they don't have to be treated - and insurance usually won't cover their removal.  They can be snipped with scissors, burned with a little cautery, or frozen with liquid nitrogen.  What treatment modality is used usually depends on location, the number of lesions, and the appearance of surrounding skin.  Usually the tag doesn't return, but it doesn't guarantee that more won't appear.  Just a caveat -  it's always important to have a dermatologist check you from head to toe- they are the experts in deciding what is benign and what needs a biopsy.  And any skin spot that changes, bleeds, or itches should be check right away!

So if those "hangy neck things" are annoying, see Dr. Bilu Martin at pdmd- a quick treatment can leave you "hangy neck thing" free!

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