May 2, 2010 9:42 PM   Subscribe

You are not my dermatologist, but what are these and how do I treat them? As SFW as any close-up shots of skin can be.

Both are protrusions from my skin that developed in the last year, and have stayed stable in size and shape since then. The one on the left is on my neck and is dark red in color. The one on the right is on my back and is pink - it looks like a nipple, basically. Both are round and about three millimeters across.

I'd rather not go through the rigmarole to get a referral to see a dermatologist, especially if this is one of those acne things that everyone knows the name of but me. What are these called and is there something I can treat them with over the counter?

(Sorry for the blurry pictures - turns out to be incredibly difficult to take pictures of yourself)
posted by l33tpolicywonk to Health & Fitness (14 answers total)
Certainly you should let your GP see them at least and make the call as to whether or not you need a consult. One possibility is skin tags.
posted by fairytale of los angeles at 9:50 PM on May 2, 2010

Looks like a skin tag to me.
posted by Demogorgon at 9:52 PM on May 2, 2010

Your pictures kind of make me think it's a skin tag.
posted by chiababe at 9:52 PM on May 2, 2010

They look like skin tags to me as well (at least the pic on the right does). Do they feel like little things you could just rip off or cut off? (I'm not recommending you do it, but has the thought occurred to you?)

IANanything, but I would just point them out to your doc the next time you're there to make sure. If there are these, they're probably not dermatologist worthy, and Dr Scholl makes a OTC skin-tag removing product now. I've never tried it, but I intend to the next time one of those buggers pops up.
posted by cgg at 9:56 PM on May 2, 2010

Seconding skin tags (at least that's how they look from the picture). I had a GP freeze a few off that were inconveniently located, and have ignored a bunch of others, so you probably don't need to see a specialist.

I've never removed a skin tag this way, but I have removed a wart with liquid nitrogen and a Q-tip. Given that it was hard for you to take pictures of them your probably ought not go that route.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 10:01 PM on May 2, 2010

The consensus is strong. I'll bring it up with the GP, and either get it done in house or go OTC.
posted by l33tpolicywonk at 10:05 PM on May 2, 2010

You can also tie a piece of thread around it real tight at the base. It will eventually fall off. I did that once. I didn't think it was a real good idea, but my girlfriend talked into it. It worked great.
posted by charlesminus at 10:35 PM on May 2, 2010

I tried the stunt mentioned by CharlesMinus, and the problem was that it didn't fall off.

So I cut it off with a pair of diagonal cutters. I thought it would hurt like hell and bleed like a stuck pig, but it didn't hurt much and it didn't bleed much. Slapped a piece of surgical tape over the place I cut, took that off a couple of days later, and now it's a thing of the past.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 11:13 PM on May 2, 2010 [1 favorite]

I've got a few of these. Had one for a long time, but over the past year have developed two more.

No pain for inflammation, just kind of weird.
posted by bardic at 2:16 AM on May 3, 2010

some people are predisposed to these and they tend to increase with age. The tying off method should ensure you interrupt the blood supply so if you do need to pull it off later (if it doesn't wither or drop off of its own accord) you shouldn't have too many problems. Obviously be scrupilously clean and put an antiseptic cream or some tea-tree oil in it.
posted by Wilder at 5:10 AM on May 3, 2010

My doctor told me they are related to hemangiomas, and are harmless and not to worry about them. Of course, you still might want to have your doctor take a gander at your next routine checkup, not only for the peace of mind, but to get a baseline on your normal skin condition, should something change later on.
posted by SuperSquirrel at 5:58 AM on May 3, 2010

I just saw a dermatologist for something like this, and she used the fabulous electrifying cauterizing zapper machine to fry it off. I currently have a scab that is on it's way to healing. The right hand picture looks basically exactly like what I had on my temple, but of course I am not a doctor.

She said this was different than "skin tags", which I also get, in that it was filled with capillaries...which is why it bleeds like mad when injured and was very red. I wish I could remember the real name of it, but it was harmless and a 20 minute trip to the derm fixed it up. As for other "skin tags", she said you can just remove them yourself with cuticle scissors or whatever, as they don't bleed like mad.

I could be totally wrong of course.
posted by utsutsu at 7:47 AM on May 3, 2010

They are skin tags. I get them and after awhile, they fall off. I am still trying to figure out what triggers them and what it is that I am doing that makes them fall off (nothing applied topically). As soon as I figure it out, I'll let you know.
posted by vitallywell at 12:39 PM on May 3, 2010

I had a skin tag on my thigh that eventually ripped off and it hurt like a bitch, so I think the pain of DIY removal is going to depend on the size (mine was large from constantly rubbing on things) and other factors.
posted by Issithe at 1:31 PM on May 3, 2010

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