We are all unique and as such have features that aren’t always shared by others. These differences are very apparent in our physical appearance and it’s quite understandable why it is the first thing we also notice among others and even ourselves. That fresh and flawless skin is not forever, though. Aging can mess up your looks and you gradually see more imperfections pop up as the days, months, and years pass by. If luck isn’t on your side, you may start sporting noticeable skin flaws at a young age like moles and birthmarks. Then, there is skin tag. It starts appearing with age and can be a real bummer if you are someone who is vain enough to notice these little marks.
While it may be disconcerting to see these skin growths dangling all over your body, you may start thinking yourself if you have anything to worry about it yourself. By this time, you’ve probably done your fair share of research in knowing more about skin tags. It simply is a benign skin growth that is just that, hanging skin. Your first thought is to find out if it’s something serious or cancerous in nature, which is an issue with moles that change over time. Factors that affect it are aging, Diabetes, pregnancy and weight gains, for instance, and are more common in areas where there are skin folds as friction contributes to their appearance. Now going back to the crucial question and often a misconception about skin tags; no it is not cancerous, so you can finally heave a sigh of relief.
Skin tags are cancerous
Dermatologists say nay: The tags are almost never cancerous and don’t need to be removed; in fact, they’re (almost!) always benign. (By the way, don’t fall for any of these other 50 cancer myths.) And while many people opt to remove them due to discomfort or for cosmetic reasons, there is no harm in leaving them be. There are extremely rare exceptions to this rule: In one study, two patients with known basal cell nevus syndrome (BCNS) were found to have multiple basal cell carcinomas that resembled ordinary skin tags. “There are rare cases where skin cancers, such as basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and even melanoma, can mimic a skin tag,” says dermatologist Avnee Shah, MD. “Going to a board-certified dermatologist assures a trained eye is examining the lesion and determining the risk of a more harmful condition masquerading as a skin tag.” To be safe, if any tag is growing, changing color, or bleeding and itching, it’s definitely time to see an expert.
Skin tags are benign and far from confirming any possible cancers. The major issue with it is that it is painful to the eye and cosmetic reasons are often always the case why people get skin tags removed. Unlike other skin conditions that you want to be removed, it is possible for you to get rid of skin tags on your own at home allowing you to save a lot of money from medical consultations and treatments. It’s almost painful to remove especially if you are dealing with the really small ones but it can be a bit painful if it involves bigger tags. A typical dental floss won’t work anymore but you can still buy OTC treatments that usually burn the tag until it falls off on its own, which is a bit tricky to those who are rather clueless.
No two skin tags look alike. Many times they are misidentified as moles even though moles tend to occur more in the first 30 years of a person’s life while skin tags tend to appear in the later years.
Skin tags (unlike moles) tend to be the same colour as the surrounding skin.
As an adolescent my mother pointed “moles” on my father’s shoulder that were actually skin tags. They had a narrow stalk and a little flap that is the characteristic of a skin tag.
The bottom line is if you’re not sure what is going on with that “mole” please have it checked by a health professional, preferably a dermatologist or a certified medical aesthetician.
In general, skin tags shouldn’t be a cause for worry but they seriously are a major annoyance if looks are high up on your radar. It is pretty easy to distinguish it from a mole, so it shouldn’t be that hard for you to tell one from the other and you don’t end up barking on the wrong tree. No matter what you hear about skin tags, your best recourse is to consult a doctor, especially when in doubt. Over time there are new research developments that scientists find out that may prove us wrong about something we think is right and only trained professionals can know that. What we know for now is that skin tags aren’t entirely a medical emergency. It is up to you if you want it gone that bad or just pretend to ignore it and learn to live with it some more.