Warts are caused by viruses, while skin tags are benign growths that can be caused by a number of factors. Second, warts typically appear on the hands or feet, while skin tags can occur anywhere on the body. Finally, warts can be difficult to get rid of, while skin tags can usually be removed quite easily

Differentiating between Skin Tags and Warts

It can be challenging to differentiate between skin tags and warts, but there are a few key differences to look for. Skin tags are usually small and soft, while warts are rough and raised. Skin tags hang off the skin by a thin stalk, while warts are usually flat or raised. Additionally, warts are contagious, while skin tags are not.

What are skin tags?

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Woman with a sticker on her head

Skin tags are small, flesh-colored growths that hang off the skin. They’re usually found on the neck, chest, back, armpits, under the breasts, or in the groin area. Skin tags are harmless growths. typically benign, meaning they are not cancerous. Skin tags are not dangerous and do not cause any pain, but they can become irritated or catch on clothing, causing discomfort.

What Causes Skin Tags?

Skin tags are caused by friction and skin rubbing against skin. They can also be a result of obesity, pregnancy, and type 2 diabetes.

How to Remove a Skin Tag?

It is recommended to consult a doctor before attempting to remove a skin tag, especially if it is in a sensitive area or if there is any concern about its appearance or cause. The doctor can recommend the best treatment option and ensure proper removal without causing any further complications.

There are several ways to remove skin tags, including tying them off with dental floss or string, freezing them with liquid nitrogen, or having them removed by a doctor through cauterization or excision.

Tying it off with dental floss or string: This method involves tying a piece of floss or string around the base of the skin tag, cutting off its blood supply, and allowing it to fall off on its own.

Freezing with liquid nitrogen: A doctor can freeze the skin tag with liquid nitrogen, causing it to fall off within a few days.

Cauterization: A doctor can use heat to remove the skin tag by burning it off.

Excision: A doctor can remove the skin tag by cutting it off with a scalpel.

How will a doctor remove a Skin Tag?

There are several methods a doctor may use to remove a skin tag, including:

  1. Surgical excision: This involves using a scalpel to cut off the skin tag and suturing the area closed. This method is typically used for larger or more painful skin tags and is done under local anesthesia.
  2. Electrodesiccation and curettage (ED&C): This method uses a heated instrument to burn off the skin tag and then scrapes the area to remove any remaining tissue. This procedure is typically performed under local anesthesia.
  3. Cryotherapy: This method involves using liquid nitrogen to freeze the skin tag, causing it to fall off within a few days.
  4. Ligation: This involves tying a piece of surgical thread or wire around the base of the skin tag, cutting off its blood supply, and allowing it to fall off on its own.

The method a doctor may choose will depend on several factors, including the size, location, and number of skin tags, as well as the overall health of the patient. A doctor can evaluate the skin tag and recommend the best method for removal.

What are warts?

Warts are growths that occur on the skin when a virus called human papillomavirus (HPV) infects the top layer of the skin and can be painful. HPV is a very common virus that’s passed from person to person through contact. They can be small or large, and they can occur anywhere on the body, but they’re most commonly found on the hands and feet.

Most warts go away on their own within a few months. However, some warts can last for years and may need to be treated by a healthcare provider.

What Causes Warts?

Warts are caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV) and are highly contagious. They can be spread through direct contact with an infected person or through contact with an infected surface, such as a pool deck or gym equipment.

How to Remove a Wart?

It is recommended to consult a doctor before attempting to remove a wart, especially if it is in a sensitive area or if there is any concern about its appearance or cause. The doctor can recommend the best treatment option and ensure proper removal without causing any further complications. In some cases, warts may resolve on their own without treatment, so it is always best to seek medical advice before taking any action.

  • Warts can be removed by a doctor through freezing, burning, or cutting. Over-the-counter creams and home remedies, such as duct tape, can also be effective in removing warts.
  • Over-the-counter wart removal products: These products contain salicylic acid and can be applied directly to the wart to help break down the tissue.
  • Freezing with liquid nitrogen: A doctor can use liquid nitrogen to freeze the wart, causing it to fall off within a few days.
  • Surgical removal: A doctor can remove the wart by cutting it off or using a laser to destroy the tissue.
  • Electrosurgery: A doctor can use an electric current to remove the wart.

Can warts be removed at home?

Yes, warts can be removed at home using over-the-counter (OTC) wart removal products. These products typically contain salicylic acid and are applied directly to the wart. They work by gradually breaking down the wart tissue and causing it to fall off. It is important to follow the instructions on the product carefully and to stop using the product if there is any sign of skin irritation or if the wart does not improve after several weeks of use.

It is important to note that some warts may be more stubborn and may require professional treatment. If the wart does not respond to OTC treatment or if it is painful, it is best to see a doctor. The doctor can recommend the best course of action and ensure proper removal without causing any further complications.

When to see a doctor for a skin tag or wart

If you have a growth on your skin that you’re not sure is a skin tag or wart, it’s important to see a doctor so they can properly diagnose it. Skin tags are usually harmless, but warts can be contagious and cause other health problems. Only a doctor can determine which one you have and whether or not you need treatment.

It is recommended to see a doctor if you have a skin tag or wart that:

  1. Changes in appearance: If the skin tag or wart changes in color, shape, size, or texture, it is important to have it evaluated by a doctor as this may be a sign of a more serious condition.
  2. Causes pain or discomfort: If the skin tag or wart is painful or itches, it is best to have it evaluated by a doctor.
  3. Bleeds: If the skin tag or wart frequently bleeds, it is best to have it evaluated by a doctor.
  4. Interferes with daily activities: If the skin tag or wart is located in an area that interferes with daily activities or causes self-consciousness, a doctor can recommend removal options.
  5. Multiple skin tags or warts: If you have multiple skin tags or warts, it is important to have them evaluated by a doctor as this may be a sign of an underlying medical condition.

It is important to seek medical advice if you have any concerns about a skin tag or wart. A doctor can evaluate the skin condition, recommend the best course of action, and ensure proper removal without causing any further complications.

Why do warts turn into skin tags?

There are a few reasons why warts may turn into skin tags. First, as warts grow, they can protrude from the surface of the skin and become irritated. This can cause the wart to bleed and form a scab. As the scab falls off, it can leave behind a small, raised area of skin that is called a tag.

Another reason why warts may turn into skin tags is because of repeated trauma to the area. Warts are often located in areas where there is friction, such as on the hands or feet. If the wart is constantly being rubbed or scratched, it can damage the surrounding skin and cause a tag to form.

Finally, some warts contain HPV (human papillomavirus) – a virus that can cause changes in the skin cells. In some cases, HPV can lead to the development of skin cancer. While most warts are not cancerous, some types of HPV-related warts can be more likely to develop into skin cancer if they are not treated properly.

Can skin tags spread by touch?

There is a common misconception that skin tags can spread by touch, but this is not the case. Skin tags are benign growths that occur when extra skin rubs together, so they cannot be contagious. However, if you have a skin condition such as HPV or warts, you may be more likely to develop skin tags in the affected area. If you are concerned about a growth on your skin, it is always best to consult with a dermatologist to get a proper diagnosis.

How to prevent skin tags and warts?

Preventing skin tags and warts from forming or recurring can be done through a combination of good hygiene and avoiding skin irritation. Maintaining good hygiene involves regularly washing the skin and keeping it dry, as this can help reduce the accumulation of bacteria and other irritants that can cause skin infections. In addition, avoiding skin irritation can also be helpful in preventing skin tags and warts. This includes avoiding tight clothing that can rub against the skin, as well as avoiding exposure to harsh chemicals and irritants, such as those found in some cleaning products or cosmetic products.

It is also important to maintain a healthy lifestyle, as this can help boost the immune system and reduce the risk of skin infections. This includes eating a balanced diet, getting enough sleep, and engaging in regular physical activity. If you are prone to developing skin tags or warts, it is also a good idea to avoid touching them, as this can increase the risk of spreading the infection to other areas of the body.

In some cases, skin tags and warts may be caused by underlying medical conditions, such as hormonal imbalances or weakened immune systems. If you have a condition that puts you at higher risk of developing skin tags or warts, it is important to talk to your doctor about preventive measures you can take to reduce your risk. Overall, maintaining good hygiene, avoiding skin irritation, and living a healthy lifestyle can help prevent skin tags and warts from forming or recurring.

Complications that can arise from skin tags and warts

Skin tags and warts are generally harmless, but in some cases, they can lead to complications. Some of the complications that can arise from skin tags and warts include:

  • Bleeding: Skin tags and warts can sometimes bleed if they become irritated or damaged. This can occur if the skin tag or wart is rubbed or scratched, or if it is subjected to excessive pressure.
  • Infection: Skin tags and warts can become infected if they are subjected to bacteria or other irritants. This can cause redness, swelling, and pain in the affected area.
  • Pain: Skin tags and warts can be painful, especially if they are located in areas that are subjected to pressure or friction, such as the neck, groin, or armpits.
  • Emotional distress: Some people may experience emotional distress or anxiety due to the appearance of skin tags or warts. This can be especially true if the skin tags or warts are located in visible areas, such as the face or hands.
  • Recurrence: In some cases, skin tags and warts can recur even after they have been removed. This may be due to underlying medical conditions or a weakened immune system.

It is important to seek medical attention if you experience any complications from skin tags or warts. Your doctor can diagnose the problem and recommend the best course of treatment to alleviate your symptoms and prevent further complications.

Common misconceptions about skin tags and warts

There are several misconceptions about skin tags and warts that can lead to confusion and misunderstandings. Some of the most common misconceptions include:

  • Skin tags are warts: Many people believe that skin tags are warts, but this is not the case. Skin tags and warts are different in appearance, cause, and treatment.
  • Warts are contagious: While it is true that some types of warts are contagious, others are not. It is important to know the type of wart you have in order to determine if it is contagious and how to prevent it from spreading.
  • Skin tags are cancerous: Skin tags are not cancerous and do not pose a risk to your health. However, if you have a mole that is changing in appearance, it is important to have it checked by a doctor to rule out skin cancer.
  • Warts can be treated with over-the-counter remedies: While there are many over-the-counter remedies for warts, these treatments may not be effective for everyone. In some cases, prescription treatments or procedures may be necessary to remove the wart.
  • Skin tags and warts can be popped like pimples: It is not recommended to attempt to pop or squeeze a skin tag or wart as this can lead to infection and further complications.

It is important to educate yourself about skin tags and warts and to seek medical advice if you are unsure about your condition. Your doctor can provide you with accurate information and help you determine the best course of treatment for your needs.

 

Featured Image By –  Angélica Echeverry on Unsplash

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