Photo Rounds

Growing mass on trunk

A 40-year-old man went to his family physician (FP) because he had a growth that had been on his trunk for the past 2 years. He denied any pain or other symptoms, but was concerned because the growth had continued to increase in size. On physical exam, the growth measured 1.5 cm in diameter and was soft to palpation. The patient was otherwise in good health.

What’s your diagnosis?


The FP recognized that the patient had a large skin tag. He offered to excise it for the patient and explained that it could be removed with a deep elliptical excision and then repaired with sutures, or that it could be shaved off and allowed to heal by secondary intention. The patient opted for the shave excision because he preferred not to have sutures.

The FP numbed the area with an injection of 1% lidocaine and epinephrine, then shaved off the growth using a DermaBlade and sent it to pathology. (See a video on how to perform a shave biopsy here.) The FP used aluminum chloride to stop the bleeding. The Pathology report came back and indicated the lesion was a fibroepithelial polyp, which is essentially a large skin tag. At a 2-week follow-up, the biopsied area was healing well.

Photos and text for Photo Rounds Friday courtesy of Richard P. Usatine, MD. This case was adapted from: Smith AM. Skin tags. In: Usatine R, Smith M, Mayeaux EJ, et al, eds. Color Atlas of Family Medicine. 2nd ed. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill; 2013: 922-925.

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