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Armpit skin tags (acrochordons): Causes, Symptoms, Treatment and Cost

Last Updated: Mar 17, 2023

What are Armpit skin tags (acrochordons)?

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Armpit skin tags, also known as acrochordons, are benign skin growths that appear as small, soft bumps in the armpit area. They often dangle off the skin and are flesh-colored or somewhat darker.

Although harmless, they can be unsightly and uncomfortable. Skin tags are harmless but can be removed by a doctor if desired.

Types of Armpit skin tags (acrochordons) :

  • Common skin tags: These are small, flesh-coloured soft growths that hang from the skin. From a few millimetres to a few centimetres, they may range in size.
  • Filiform skin tags: These tags tend to be longer and narrower than common skin tags. They usually have a thin stalk connecting them to the skin.
  • Giant skin tags: These are much larger than common or filiform skin tags. They often measure several centimetres in diameter and can be quite unsightly.
  • Nodular skin tags: These are smaller than giant skin tags but still larger than common or filiform ones. They appear as rounded bumps on the surface of the skin, and may bleed easily if bumped or scratched.

What causes Armpit skin tags (acrochordons)?

  • Genetics: Skin tags are caused by an overgrowth of certain skin cells and are believed to be genetic in nature. In some cases, they can be passed on from one family member to another, although this is not always the case.
  • Friction: Armpit skin tags are often caused by friction and irritation due to tight-fitting clothing or jewellery. When these items rub against the skin, it can cause an overgrowth of cells that leads to the formation of a skin tag.
  • Hormonal Changes: Armpit skin tags are also more likely to form when there are hormonal changes, such as those that occur during pregnancy or menopause.
  • Obesity: Being overweight or obese can increase the risk of developing armpit skin tags due to friction and irritation caused by excess fat in the armpit area.
  • Ageing: As we age, our skin becomes less elastic and more prone to developing skin tags in areas where friction is common, such as underarms or around necklines and waistbands of clothing.

What are the symptoms of Armpit skin tags (acrochordons)?

  • In most cases, they have a flesh-like coloration or a colour that is significantly deeper, and they have a wrinkled or dimpled look.
  • It is possible for their diameter to be as little as a few millimetres or as large as several centimetres.
  • They may show up alone or in clusters, and their sizes can vary from a grain of rice to a grape, depending on the species.
  • Skin tags are generally painless and harmless but can become irritated if they become snagged on clothing or jewellery.


How can you prevent Armpit skin tags (acrochordons)?

  • Keep the armpit area dry and clean: It is important to keep the armpit area dry and clean.Both moisture and perspiration have the potential to irritate the skin and create conditions that are favourable for the development of skin tags.
  • Wear loose clothing: Tight clothing can rub against the skin, causing irritation which can lead to the formation of skin tags. Wearing loose-fitting clothing can help reduce friction in the armpit area and prevent skin tags from forming.
  • Avoid shaving or waxing: Shaving or waxing can cause irritation in the armpit area which can increase the risk of developing skin tags. If hair removal is necessary, it is best to use a depilatory cream or a laser hair removal method which do not cause as much irritation as shaving or waxing.
  • Avoid using antiperspirants: Antiperspirants contain harsh chemicals that can irritate the sensitive area around the armpits, increasing the risk of developing skin tags. It is best to avoid using antiperspirants in order to reduce this risk.

Armpit skin tags (acrochordons) - Diagnosis and Tests

  • Visual Examination: The doctor will first conduct a visual examination of the armpit to identify the skin tags.
  • Skin Biopsy: For the purpose of diagnostic confirmation, a skin biopsy could be suggested. During this treatment, a tiny sample of the skin tag will be removed and submitted to a laboratory for further examination.
  • Imaging Tests: Imaging tests including X-rays, computed tomography (CT) scans, and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) may be performed to rule out other disorders that might produce symptoms that are similar to the patient's condition.
  • Blood Tests: It is possible that blood tests will be suggested in order to investigate the possibility that the armpit skin tags are the result of an underlying medical issue.

What are possible complications of Armpit skin tags (acrochordons)?

  • Irritation: Armpit skin tags can rub against clothing, jewellery, and other body parts and may cause irritation.
  • Infection: In some cases, skin tags may become infected if bacteria enters the area around the tag itself. This can cause swelling, redness, and pain in the area.
  • Bleeding: If skin tags are pulled off or cut off improperly, this can lead to bleeding. In order to lessen the likelihood of an infection developing, prompt treatment of any bleeding should be administered.
  • Pain: Pain may be experienced if a skin tag is pulled off or cut off; however, most patients do not experience any pain when they have their skin tags removed by a professional.

Home Remedies for Armpit skin tags (acrochordons)?

  • Apple Cider Vinegar: Apple cider vinegar can be used to remove skin tags due to its acidic properties. Apply apple cider vinegar to the skin tag using a cotton ball that has been soaked in the vinegar and then applied directly to the skin tag.Leave it on for several minutes and then rinse off with water.Continue using this procedure twice or thrice a day until the skin tag slips out on its own.
  • Tea Tree Oil: Tea tree oil is a popular remedy for armpit skin tags due to its antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties. Simply mix one teaspoon of tea tree oil with one teaspoon of coconut oil or olive oil and apply it directly to the skin tag. Leave it on for about 30 minutes, then rinse off with water. Repeat this process twice daily until the skin tag falls off.
  • Pineapple Juice: Pineapple juice contains an enzyme called bromelain, which is believed to have a natural ability to dissolve the tissue of skin tags. Using a cotton ball and pineapple juice, apply the juice to the afflicted region and let it sit for 10 minutes before washing it off with water.Do this twice or three times a day until the skin tag comes off on its own.
  • Castor Oil: Castor oil has been used as a natural remedy for many types of ailments including armpit skin tags due to its anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties. Simply mix equal parts of castor oil and baking soda into a paste and apply it directly onto the affected area. Leave it on for 10-15 minutes before rinsing off with water and repeat this process twice daily until the skin tag falls off completely

What to eat in Armpit skin tags (acrochordons)?

  • To aid in the maintenance of good skin, ensure that the majority of the fruits and vegetables you consume are of the organic and fresh kind.
  • Eat fish such as salmon and mackerel, which are high in omega-3 fatty acids that can help reduce inflammation and protect the skin.
  • Consuming nuts and seeds may help protect the skin from the damaging effects of free radicals due to the antioxidants included in these foods.
  • Consume whole grains such as oats, quinoa, and brown rice for their fibre content and minerals that can help nourish the skin’s natural protective barrier.
  • Drink plenty of water to keep your skin hydrated and flush away toxins that may contribute to skin tags.

What not to eat in Armpit skin tags (acrochordons)?

  • Avoid eating any foods that are high in sugar, as this can cause an increase in inflammation and worsen the appearance of skin tags.
  • Steer clear of processed and fried meals since they may cause inflammation and can make skin tags worse if you already have them.
  • Avoid dairy products, as they may also cause inflammation and worsen the appearance of skin tags.
  • Avoid spicy foods, as they can cause irritation and further worsen the appearance of skin tags.
  • Limit or avoid alcohol consumption, as it can lead to increased inflammation and make your skin tags look worse.

Armpit skin tags (acrochordons) Treatment

  • Excision: This is the most commonly used surgical treatment for armpit skin tags. It involves surgically removing the skin tag with a scalpel, taking care to minimise bleeding and scarring.
  • Cryosurgery: During this treatment, the skin tag will be frozen using liquid nitrogen. The skin tag then falls off after several days, leaving behind a small scab that will heal within a few weeks.
  • Electrocautery: During this process, the skin tag will be removed by using an electric current to burn it off. It is usually done in an outpatient setting and is relatively quick and painless.
  • Laser surgery: Laser surgery involves using a high-intensity beam of light to remove the skin tag from the surface of the skin. It is often carried done in an outpatient environment, and it may be completed quickly and without much discomfort.

Which doctor to consult for Armpit skin tags (acrochordons)?

A dermatologist is the best medical professional to consult for armpit skin tags, as they specialise in skin conditions and have the tools and skills necessary to safely remove them.

Which are the best medicines for Armpit skin tags (acrochordons)?

  • Topical corticosteroids: These drugs reduce inflammation and can be applied directly to the skin tags. Examples include hydrocortisone and triamcinolone.
  • Retinoids: These medications can help remove skin tags by helping to break down the excess skin growths. Examples include tretinoin and adapalene.
  • Antibiotics: These medications are used to treat any underlying bacterial infection that may be present in the skin tag area. Examples include clindamycin and erythromycin.
  • Antihistamines: These medications can help reduce any itching or discomfort associated with armpit skin tags. Examples include diphenhydramine and cetirizine.
  • Antifungals: If there is any fungal infection present, these medications can help treat it. Examples include clotrimazole and miconazole nitrate.

How long does it take to recover from Armpit skin tags (acrochordons)?

After treatment, it may take anything from a few days to a few weeks for the skin to fully heal, but in general, it might take anywhere from a few days.

However, some people may experience irritation or redness in the area for several weeks afterwards.

Are the results of the treatment permanent for Armpit skin ?

No, the results of treatment for armpit skin are not permanent. The skin condition may return or worsen over time, requiring further treatments or lifestyle changes to maintain results.

Therefore, it is important to continue following the prescribed treatment plan and practise good skin care habits in order to maintain the best possible outcome.

What are post-treatment guidelines for Armpit skin?

  • After treatment of armpit skin, it is important to keep the area clean and dry.
  • When the treatment is finished, you should wait at least one week before shaving or using any other form of hair removal.
  • Wear loose-fitting clothing to prevent irritation and friction.
  • Apply an over-the-counter antiseptic or antibiotic cream to reduce the risk of infection and help reduce any discomfort or itching caused by the treatment.
  • If there is any redness, swelling, blistering, pain, or discharge at the site of the treatment, contact a doctor immediately.
  • If the treated area will be exposed to sunlight for a lengthy amount of time, apply sunscreen to it.

What is the cost of Armpit skin tags (acrochordons) treatments in India?

The cost of Armpit skin tag (acrochordon) treatment in India can vary depending on the type of treatment and the size and number of skin tags, but typically range from ₹500 to ₹4500. Common treatments for skin tags include cryotherapy, excision, electrocautery, and ligation.

What are side-effects of Armpit skin tags (acrochordons) treatments?

  • Pain: Some treatments for armpit skin tags, such as freezing or burning them off, may cause pain or discomfort.
  • Scarring: Treatments that involve cutting off the skin tag can cause scarring in the area.
  • Bleeding: Cutting off or burning off skin tags can lead to bleeding. It is essential to adhere to the directions provided by your physician in order to lower the probability of experiencing severe bleeding.
  • Infection: If not done properly, cutting off a skin tag may lead to an infection in the area, which can be painful and uncomfortable.

Armpit skin tags (acrochordons) - conclusion

Armpit skin tags are benign skin growths that appear as small, soft bumps in the armpit area. To reduce the likelihood of suffering significant bleeding, it is important to follow the instructions given by your doctor.

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Written ByDrx Hina FirdousPhD (Pharmacology) Pursuing, M.Pharma (Pharmacology), B.Pharma - Certificate in Nutrition and Child CarePharmacology
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Reviewed ByDr. Bhupindera Jaswant SinghMD - Consultant PhysicianGeneral Physician
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