Skin Tags Are Not a Risk Factor for Colorectal Polyps

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To ascertain whether acrochordons (simple skin tags) are associated with a higher risk for colon polyps, we prospectively studied 218 male and female patients, age 40 or older without history of colon cancer, polyps, ulcerative colitis, familial polyposis, or recent lower intestinal symptoms. Each patient was assessed for the presence of skin tags. A screening flexible sigmoidoscopy was then performed without knowledge of the dermatologic findings. All polypoid lesions were recorded, and patients with polyps ≥3 mm in diameter underwent full colonoscopy and polypectomy. Twenty patients (9.2%) had documented adenomatous polyps on colonoscopy. Nineteen other patients had hyperplastic polyps and mamillations. There was no significant difference in the prevalence of polypoid lesions in those with skin tags compared with those without skin tags, either analyzed as group totals or stratified by age, sex, or type of polyp. We conclude that skin tags are not associated with a higher than usual risk for colonic polyps and should not be used as a marker for more intensive screening.

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