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small skin growths: what they are, the causes, the treatments


They are small skin growths, soft to the touch, painless, and totally harmless, which can be removed through modern techniques that leave no marks on the skin


There are those who call them “leeks”, those who define them as “ciccetti” and those who simply complain about the discomfort felt when they come into contact with jewelry or with the fabrics of the clothes worn. “THE pendulous fibroids are small skin growths, soft to the touch, painless and totally harmless from a medical point of view because they cannot evolve and become malignant”, explains doctor Chiara Cancispecialist in Dermatology.

At a histological level, and therefore examined under a microscope, it is benign fibroepithelial neoplasm is, they represents an overproduction of the connective tissue that forms the dermis, the deep layer of the skin. “Usually, they have the same color as the surrounding skin or have a slightly darker shade, so they are easily recognizable”, reports the expert.

What are pendulous fibroids?

The dermis is a connective tissue (i.e. a support tissue, which serves to unite and protect other tissues) mainly made up of proteins, in particular collagen and elastin fibers: this “softness” is also maintained in pendulous fibroids (or acrochordon), small pieces of dermis that protrude outwards, forming growths. «They are usually pedunculated, that is, attached to the skin through a small implant base, and are supplied by a blood vessel which can be closed to lead to necrosis of the growth, in case it is decided to remove it», describes Dr. Canci.

They generally have a very small size, often a few millimeters in length and diameter, but sometimes they can reach a few centimeters: not surprisingly, the term “pendulous” refers to the fact that the larger formations tend to “hang” due to their weight, which is however minimal. «The acrochordons can be multiple, appearing in groups, or single and tend to locate in the areas of the skin folds, such as the axillary, inguinal, inframammary or eyelid ones», highlights the expert.

What are the causes of pendulous fibroids?

The exact cause of skin tag fibroids is not known. «At the base, there could be an inflammatory process affecting the skin, due for example to continuous skin rubbing by clothes, underwear, accessories or jewelry”, reports Dr. Canci. «The inflammation would cause the increased proliferation of fibroblasts, the cells of the dermis, which would give rise to skin growth».

It also counts genetic predisposition, just as the appearance of overweight or frankly obese subjects is quite frequent. «Recent studies have also shown a greater tendency to develop pendulous fibroids in the case of insulin resistance: this means that they are widespread among patients with diabetes”, admits the expert.
Age also makes a difference: they appear especially after the age of 40except for those who suffer from a very rare syndrome, Birt-Hogg-Dubé, which favors the appearance of these growths already in the first decades of life, together with other very serious symptoms affecting the lungs and kidneys.

How to remove skin tag fibroids

A home remedy is often promoted on the web, which consists of using a cotton or silk sewing thread to strangle the skin tag and block the blood flow: at that point, the growth should dry up and fall off on its own within a short time. time. «This method is strongly discouraged not only because it could leave visible marks on the skin, but also because it is always a good idea to ask the opinion of a dermatologist to have a certain diagnosis”, Dr. Canci is keen to point out.

At that point, you can choose between various removal techniques: in addition to the classic surgery and to diatermocoagulazione (a technique based on the use of high-frequency electric current which destroys the growth through the thermal effect produced), today there is a laser treatment which does not involve bleeding and leaves no visible marks. «It can last 10-15 minutes, it is not painful and guarantees the absence of hematomas or scars: after the laser burn, the area is treated with an antibiotic cream, waiting for the lesion to fall spontaneously within a few days”, concludes the expert.

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