The detection of human papillomavirus DNA in skin tags

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Human papillomavirus (HPV) is associated with benign cutaneous or mucosal lesions and with malignant tumours, but none of the HPV types has so far been related to skin tags. Skin biopsy specimens from 49 Caucasian patients suffering from the presence of multiple soft fibromas were analysed by means of dot blot hybridization and by polymerase chain reaction assays aimed at detecting all known HPV types. The results revealed the presence of HPV DNA type 6/11 in 88% of the skin tags examined. This result supports the hypothesis that HPV plays a part in the progression of cutaneous soft fibromas, as previously reported for laryngeal papillomas.

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