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fibroepithelial polyp

Tuesday 17 June 2003

skin tag, acrochordon, skin tags, soft fibromas, fibroepithelial polyps, FEP, fibroma pendulans, pedunculated fibromas, soft warts; molluscum pendulum

Definition: Epithelial polyps are common fibroepithelial protuberant neoplasms that occur with advancing age predominantly on the trunk, head, and neck.

The fibroepithelial polyp is perhaps the most common cutaneous neoplasm. Variously termed skin tag, acrochordon, and squamous papilloma (a misnomer in that these are polypoid and formed by epithelial and stromal components, not simply papillary epithelial lesions), these neoplasms commonly occur with advancing age on the trunk, axilla, head, and neck skin.

Clinically they are sessile or pedunculated, soft, flesh-colored tumors that grow slowly and present predominantly cosmetic problems. Eruptive fibroepithelial polyps have been associated with the acute onset of other benign epidermal neoplasms (e.g., seborrheic keratoses), a presumed consequence of production of epidermal growth factors by internal or unrelated primary cutaneous neoplasia. (AFIP)


- hyperplastic epidermis with hyperpapillomatosis, hyperkeratosis, and acanthosis
- loosely arranged collagen fibers and many capillaries
- mantle of variably reactive epidermis covering a protuberant fibrovascular core
- in the core, mature adipose tissue and occasionally nerve fibers

Clinical differential diagnosis

- polypoidal types of malignant melanoma
- neurofibromas
- polypoid dermal nevi
- pedunculated hemangiomas

Differential diagnosis

- soft fibroma
- accessory tragus
- polypoid seborrheic keratosis


- BHD syndrome with fibrofolliculoma and trichodiscoma
- type 2 diabetes mellitus