4 May 2023
Skin tags and warts are two types of skin growth that are often incorrectly grouped. While they share some similarities, they have a lot of crucial differences. One commonality between the two is that they are entirely harmless. However, if you find them to be unsightly or they are not in a place where they are hidden, you may opt to have them removed.
Skin tags and warts are different, as you will see from the following post. In it, we will discuss what skin tags are, what they look like, what causes them and how they can be treated. We will also address the issue of what separates warts from skin tags.
What are skin tags?
As you age, you are more likely to develop. Skin tags are generally small skin growths that look similar to warts. They are stuck to the skin via thin stalks and are incredibly popular. While they do not cause harm, many people with skin tags find them unsightly and often have trouble catching them if they are on a less inconspicuous part of the body.
What do skin tags look like?
Although they are generally no bigger than 2mm in size, some have been known to grow much more significantly. While some feel wrinkly and uneven, some are round and smooth and can look like rice grains on your skin.
What are warts?
Warts, on the other hand, are rough and rugged growths that develop on your skin. They will often grow to be no bigger than a pea but can be more extensive. It all depends on the type of wart they are. While some are light brown, others are flesh-coloured, and some will have lots of black dots on their centre that give them the appearance of tiny seeds on the skin.
Are skin tags the same as warts? What is the difference?
While they are often mistaken for each other, there are differences between skin tags and warts. These differences include the following:
Warts have an irregular and rough surface, while skin tags have a smooth appearance and texture.
Warts are usually flat or only just a little raised, while skin tags have a more lifted appearance with a thin stalk
Skin tags are caused by various factors, such as friction, hormones, weight, and even ageing, while viruses tend to cause warts.
While skin tags are not contagious, warts generally are easy to catch.
While there are many differences between skin tags and warts, they also share some similarities.
Both skin tags and warts are benign, which means they are not cancerous or harmful
Both skin tags and warts can be distressing and unattractive.
Both skin tags and warts can be treated using electrolysis and a variety of other kinds of treatments
Skin Tag Causes
They can develop in both men and women and are most prevalent among older individuals and anyone with Type 2 Diabetes. Regardless of where they develop, all skin tags develop due to extra cells growing in the skin’s top layers. This happens typically when skin rubs against itself through friction, which isn’t anyone who is overweight and has folds of skin will commonly have skin tags.
It is also essential to understand that pregnant women are at greater risk of developing skin tags, though these will typically disappear once their baby is born.
Can skin tags be removed at home?
Many people think it will save a lot of hassle and time if they try to remove warts and skin tags at home. However, it can make something that isn’t a problem much worse. Even if you successfully remove skin tags and warts, you could inadvertently allow bacteria into the wound, or the damage could become infected.
Wart and Skin Tag Removal
Another similarity between skin tags and warts is that they can be removed with the same treatments. Although skin tags will often fall off and disappear themselves, if they don’t and are a nuisance or in a less conspicuous area, you may want to get rid of them using one of the following treatments:
Cauterising – which means burning them using electrical energy
Curettage – cutting them off using a surgical scalpel or pair of surgical scissors
Cryotherapy – using liquid nitrogen to freeze them off
Although these techniques used for skin tag removal sound horrific, they are prevalent treatments. There is nothing to worry about if you choose a fully qualified, experienced, board-certified plastic surgeon or dermatologist to perform the removal procedure.
You need to note that when skin tags are removed, they can darken your skin (hyperpigmentation) or cause scarring in the treated area. This is especially true if you have brown or black skin. While these side effects are usually temporary, there are often when they can be permanent.
Fortunately, when skin tags are removed successfully, they don’t tend to return.
Can You Have Skin Tags Treated on the NHS
As skin tags are purely an eyesore and can cause problems with clothing but are not a threat to your overall health, skin tag removal is considered cosmetic surgery. Therefore, you cannot have skin tags removed unless you go private to a plastic surgery clinic like Linia Skin Clinic. This is often what puts people off because it can be pretty costly, especially if you have a lot of skin tags.
There you have it. As skin tags are small and generally harmless, they are not something you need to worry about having removed. However, we understand that skin tags, especially in an openly visible part of your body, can affect your self-confidence and self-esteem. Even if they are not unsightly, as we’ve discussed, skin tags can often cause issues with your clothes and getting caught by doors and other pieces of furniture.
If you decide that you would like to invest in a procedure designed for removing skin tags, you should make sure you speak to an experienced and qualified plastic surgeon or dermatologist. Speak to one of our team today to book yourself in for a consultation appointment, where our surgeon can analyse your skin tags to check them for size, location and how difficult they will be to remove.