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Skin Tags Around Genitals

by
author image Elle Paula
Elle Paula has a Bachelor of Science in nutrition from Framingham State College and a certificate in holistic nutrition from the American College of Healthcare Sciences. She is also a licensed aesthetician with advanced training in skincare and makeup. She plans to continue on with her education, complete a master's degree program in nutrition and, ultimately, become a registered dietitian.
Skin Tags Around Genitals
In order to diagnosis a skin tag around the genitals, see your dermatologist. Photo Credit daizuoxin/iStock/Getty Images

Skin tags around the genitals, also called acrochordons, are small and very common skin growths that develop on the skin in the genital area. The genital area in men is defined as anywhere around the penis, scrotum or rectum and the genital area in women is defined as the area around the vulva, vagina or anus. According to Medline Plus, skin tags around the genitals are usually benign and harmless.

Causes

Skin tags usually develop as a result of the friction that is created when skin rubs against skin frequently. The genitals are a common area for skin tags to develop because the area has a lot of skin folds that make it possible for the body to create a significant amount of friction. Skin tags are more common in overweight individuals than thinner individuals and usually occur after midlife, according to Medline Plus.

Symptoms

In most cases, the only symptom of a skin tag around the genitals is the actual, visible skin growth. Skin tags differ in appearance between individuals. Some skin tags are light tan or peach-colored, whereas others can range in color from light brown to dark brown. The skin tag may lie flat against the body or be attached to the genital through a mushroom-like stalk. According to Medline Plus, the skin tag can be miniscule or up to one-half of an inch.

If the skin tag becomes irritated, it may cause itching or discomfort. The skin tag may also bleed if it gets caught on clothing or other areas of the skin.

Diagnosis

In order to diagnosis a skin tag around the genitals, a dermatologist will look at the area and eliminate other possible conditions, such as herpes viral infections. If the skin tag looks abnormal, the doctor may perform a biopsy to test for abnormalities, such as cancer.

Treatment

Treatment is not required for skin tags around the area, but may be desired for cosmetic reasons. Treatment for skin tags usually consists of removal of the entire skin growth. The growth may be cut off with a scalpel, electrically burned off or cauterized or frozen off with liquid nitrogen in a procedure called cryotherapy, according to Cleveland Clinic.

Prognosis

When skin tags around the genitals are removed, they usually do not return in the same area. Medline Plus notes that skin tags may develop in other areas, however.

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