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Acrochordon (skin tag)

2 Ratings: -5.0
A small benign tumor that forms primarily in areas where the skin forms creases

An acrochordon (plural acrochorda, and also known as a cutaneous skin tag, fibroepithelial polyp or, in the U.K., a hanging mole) is a small benign tumor that forms primarily in areas where the skin forms creases, such as the neck, armpit, and groin. … see full wiki

Tags: Health, Medicine, Skin Tag, Tumor
1 review about Acrochordon (skin tag)

Skin Tags can be Irritating and Uncomfortable

  • Dec 30, 2010
  • by
Rating:
-5
I found out the hard way about eight years ago that acrochorda (skin tags) are not covered by health insurance. So hopefully this review will provide some helpful hints on how to deal with them in a cost-effective manner.

I am told that there is a genetic predisposition to skin tags, but that the factors that cause them to appear are weight gain and rubbing of the skin. About ten years ago I started to gain weight like a good middle aging man does and I also have an affinity for distance running. This hobby necessitates a lot of rubbing of the arms against the body. So I started to develop skin tags under my arms. I was somewhat alarmed and irritated by them, especially by one that had turned black, so I went to the dermatologist. He said there was nothing to worry about. It had turned black because of getting twisted and cutting off the circulation. He removed the tags without local anesthetic and sent me on my way. The visit was, in fact, quite brief.

Some weeks later I received a hefty bill for a doctors visit and a separate charge for skin tag removal. It turns out that removal of skin tags is considered a cosmetic procedure and it is not covered by medical insurance. Not many of even my closest friends want to spend any significant time up-close-and-personal with my armpits, so for me this was not prompted by cosmetic concerns. The tags are quite irritating when they rub against the skin and it is no fun to go for a long run with a dull pain in your underarms. Nevertheless, they are not covered by insurance.

There appear to be numerous home remedy alternatives to the dermatologist. You can buy over the counter dry ice applicators that will freeze the skin tags. You can cut them off yourself if you are brave enough and have sterile and sharp surgical scissors. Or you can even tie them off with a strong piece of thread. All of these alternatives are somewhat unattractive to me. I worry about scarring and pain with the dry ice method in the hands of an amateur. I worry about infection and bleeding with the excising method. And I worry about pain and lack of success with the common thread approach. So home remedies are less than ideal in my opinion.

Now eight years later, after starting to run frequently again in the past year and still being over weight, I started getting them again in my underarms. Ugh. After considering trying to freeze them or cut them off myself, I decided to try the negotiated pricing route. Having been burned in the past, this time I called up a new dermatologist and negotiated a cash price up front. There would be no office visit charge. There would be no insurance billing. Just a quick moment in the chair and pay my bill on the spot.

This dermatologist used local anesthetic, which I am thankful for. The whole procedure took less than fifteen minutes including preparation and cleanup. The assistant prepared the sterile instruments and blood clotting applications and the doctor took care of the shots and snips. The assistant then applied some band-aids and I was out the door. Wham, bam, thank you doctor.

I have to admit that the whole experience was somewhat refreshing.  I hadn't given it much thought before, but there is a certain amount of stress that accompanies going to the doctor under our current system.  You never know how much you are actually going to need to pay for any given visit or procedure.  There is a complex pricing dance between the doctor and the insurance company, so most of the time the office can't tell you how much it is going to cost until the process runs its course.  In this case, I had a guaranteed price on the visit and could make a decision based on that certain information.  Therefore, I was quite pleased to have obtained the service that I was looking for and to know the cost in advance.  If only all medical costs could be this transparent.

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January 10, 2011
First time I heard of this! I don't know what to say & that's highly unusual ;-)
January 10, 2011
Well, hopefully you'll never have to have any firsthand experiences. :-)
 
December 30, 2010
Skin tags make me cringe! I know a young MMA fighter who got a bunch of them on the side of his face from constant rubbing against the mat and other people, so it's not just people in your demographic getting them! Being young, this guy decided to try a slew of home remedies, including cutting off circulation to them by tying it with floss, freezing them with wart formula, and finally, cutting them off with a pair of sanitized nail clippers. He said he like the latter the most because it was quick and effective. If you've got the money though, your route sounds like the much, much better route.
January 10, 2011
Geez... sounds painful!
January 10, 2011
Yeah, I hope to never get them!
 
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