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Skin tag under armpit, eyelid, chin and testicles. Ripped on testicles and healed with no scar. Is it HPV?

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I have a skin tag under my armpit, one on my right eyelid, some around my chin/neck/beard area (from shaving), but recently I noticed one one my left testicle and another on the groin/pelvic fold on the left side.

I shave down there a couple times a year and had just returned from a two week beach vacation where I was wearing dry fit tight boxers under my swim suit. I have recently lost 20 lbs and have scratch marks down there as well. An urgent care nurse practiotioner said they're skin tags, but I'm nervous. I ripped one off of my testicle following the trip and it healed with no scar in about a week. I noticed a tiny one on the left testicle that is barely visible as I have been monitoring the situation closely. It's been 6 weeks since I ripped off the other one and no others have appeared.

Worried its hpv? It's been two months since I noticed them and there is no growth or change.

My father, mother and sister get tags, but father said never in the testicle area. I have a derm appointment in a month but want to get another opinion before I go. The nurse practitioner said 100% not warts. However, she's not a doctor. An I over reacting?? Please help!!! Thank
To be clear, I had another dermatologist tell me they're just skin tags as well. I have a third visit scheduled for another Dr in XXXXXXX Is there any way to be sure it's not HPV?

Also, can HPV be dormant for 9 years?
Posted Tue, 28 May 2013 in Skin Hair and Nails
Answered by Dr. Geetika Paul 44 minutes later

Thanks for your query

I understand your concern and hope I am able to help you for the same

As I can make out from your query, you are concerned as to whether you have skin tags or HPV warts.

First most importantly, it is very important to differentiate the two conditions as they might have similar appearance to some extend while the prognosis of both of these is entirely different.
Now the sites that you have mentioned can be potential sites for both skin tags and viral warts. Skin tags mostly occur in body folds and areas of friction like the ones that you have mentioned like neck, axilla, groin folds and pelvic region. While viral warts can occur at almost any site over the body depending on the site where they are inoculated.

One important thing is that you tried to remove one of the skin tags by yourself and after 6 weeks still you have not noticed any new growth at the site. Also since the lesions are not increasing in size since at least two months now, these all point more towards a diagnosis of skin tags.
As far as viral warts are concerned, they usually occur at the sites of contact where the infection occurs. These lesions are usually grouped as they are contagious. It is quite uncommon that you have multiple discreet lesions all over the body.

Viral warts are usually deeper structures and cauterization or burning of the base of the lesion is important to prevent any recurrence. Simple removal of skin tags by pulling almost always leads to recurrence of the skin warts.

Skin tags are mostly seen in slightly overweight people. Also a familial tendency to develop skin tags is seen in many individuals. A family history of the same is present in your case too.

Differentiation between skin tags and HPV warts can usually be done clinically by a dermatologist.
Now the treatment of both these conditions involves the removal of the lesion along with cauterization of the base. In your case, as you are quite concerned, so I would suggest that after taking a second opinion from a dermatologist you can ask for a skin biopsy of the skin lesion after removal. That will clear your doubts.

As far as the dormant period of HPV is concerned, it can vary from few weeks to up to maximum 20 weeks. Till now, there are no studies indicating an even longer incubation period.
So I would advise you not to worry and relax and wait for your next appointment when you can have a skin biopsy in order to be 100% sure.

Hope that clarifies your query

If there is any other question, I would be happy to answer
Dr Geetika Paul
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Skin tag under armpit, eyelid, chin and testicles. Ripped on testicles and healed with no scar. Is it HPV? 1 hour later
Wonderful information. Thank you for your analysis. I do have a follow up.

I will take your advice on a biopsy. Note, I used to get finger warts as a teen, would that cloud the results on a skin tag?

Also, the general forums and non cited sources on the Internet seem to agree that skin tags can be hpv? Is this wrong?

Also, I'm not certain if you can give insight into this part of my situation, but here it goes. One if the things that has causes me extra dress is that my significant other of 9 years has been having sharp stomach pains in her lower abdomen. She was clear on a colonoscopy, CBC blood work was normal, and her stomach and vaginal ultra sound was clear. She goes in to the obgyn next week. She had the HPV shots about 6 years ago. Is there a chance it could be HPV? She had no previous partners, but I had a number before we started dating. Please advise.
Answered by Dr. Geetika Paul 19 minutes later

Thanks for writing back.

Firstly for your information, there are more than 100 subtypes of HPV that are known till now. We have both good and bad HPV infections. Now , you are correct that an association has been found in various studies between HPV and skin tags but the HPV strains that have been associated with skin tags are essentially the benign or the good strains ie HPV 6 and 11 and these are mostly harmless.

While what concerns us are the harmful strains which are contagious and can have other implications in the form of passage to partner and leading to cancerous conditions in future.

So for the diagnosis, again a skin biopsy from a skin tag and a wart are totally different and will guide us in the right track.

You had warts over fingers during early years, but then once these lesions have healed; there is no chance that the skin over hands is infected anymore with that virus.

Now as far as your friend is concerned, occasional lower abdomen sharp pain can lead us to various conditions .This is something that needs proper assessment by a gynecologist. But as far as i can help you, she is immunized with HPV vaccine also. So I don’t really see a great chance of any underlying HPV infection especially because the vaginal ultrasound was clear which rules out any cervical pathology. But we cannot be 100% sure without proper assessment by an OB/Gynae specialist.

Hope that clears your query,
Please tell me if I can be of any more help.

Dr Geetika Paul
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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