What Is The Difference Between Skin Tags And Warts?
Before You Choose a Mole, Skin Tag, or Plantar Wart Treatment
You need to understand the differences between moles, skin tags, and warts. Despite some cosmetic similarities, these are all quite different conditions. As such a plantar wart treatment may be different from how a skin tag or mole would be handled. However, certain surgical techniques such as freezing, burning, or excision (cutting it out) may be applied to all three by doctors.
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Moles result when cells in the skin, called melanocytes, grow in a cluster with tissue surrounding them. Moles are a common condition and most people will have between 10 and 40 moles. They normally vary in color and can be flesh-colored, brown, pink, or tan. What you need to be concerned about with moles is that skin cancer (melanoma) can begin in an existing mole or appear as a growth on the skin that may look like an unusual mole.
It is very important that before you try any form of over-the-counter or home remedy type mole treatment, you learn to identify unusual moles and if you find any or discover any mole that seems odd or suspicious, have them checked medically. To give you some visual idea of the differences, there are pictures of ordinary moles and unusual ones (called dysplastic nevi by doctors) here: http://www.cancer.gov/cancerinfo/wyntk/moles-and-dysplastic-nevi/page8
Advances in the treatment of melanoma have led to an increasing percentage of very early stage detection when treatment is easiest and most successful. If you have a very large number of ordinary moles and/or any unusual moles (dysplastic nevi), then learning about early detection and seeking medical attention is extremely important. Don’t neglect it.
Skin tags (acrochordons) are usually small and generally harmless skin growths that most often occur after middle age. They actually stick out of the skin and may have a small and narrow stalk connecting the tag to the surface of the skin. Generally painless, skin tags do not grow or change though they can be irritated if they are rubbed by clothing or other materials. Though usually quite small, some may be up to a half-inch long. They appear to be more common in people with diabetes or who are overweight.
Medically, there is no reason to remove skin tags unless they are cosmetically unattractive or become irritated. The usual medical procedures for removal are excision, freezing, or burning them off. If however, there is a change in the appearance of a skin tag, seeing your medical practitioner is advisable.
Warts are usually painless skin growths caused by a virus. While mostly harmless they can be extremely unpleasant cosmetically and embarrassing and they can, occasionally, itch or hurt. Plantar warts which are those found on the soles of the feet can be particularly unpleasant because of repeated irritation caused by walking. They may become extremely painful and large numbers of plantar warts on the feet can even cause difficulty in walking as well as running.
Warts often go away on their own, though it can take up to two years which can seem like a very long time. Over-the-counter medications are often successful in removing warts. However, these treatments should definitely not be used on your face or on genital or anal warts. For other types of warts, it may also help to actually file down the wart while it is damp before applying OTC medications.
In connection with plantar wart treatment, you can also find bandage-like cushions which can help relieve pain and pressure.
Stronger medications are available by prescription and as with moles and skin tags, surgery (excision), freezing, burning, or laser treatments can be used.
You may have heard about this interesting method for wart removal that’s known as the Duct Tape method. What you do is put a piece of duct tape over the wart for six days. Then take it off in the evening, wet the wart, and scrape it down with a file. Put the tape back on the next morning for another six days. You keep doing this until the wart disappears but not for more than 2 months. This method seems to work as well as having warts medically frozen off.
While warts are contagious, getting infected from or infecting another person is infrequent. Still, avoiding contact with a wart on someone else is a good idea. If you file down a wart, be sure to wash the file carefully since you don’t want to spread the virus around – and don’t forget to wash your hands equally carefully after touching any of your own warts.
Warts are generally harmless, but you should seek medical assistance if:
- There are signs of infection or bleeding that can not be stopped easily by light pressure.
- Over-the-counter or other self-care remedies failed and you want it removed
- The wart is painful
- You have genital or anal warts
- You have diabetes or a weakened immune system
- Any changes in the color or appearance of the wart occur.
With this background and keeping the cautions in mind, you should be much better prepared to evaluate and decide on whichever form of mole, skin tag, wart, or plantar wart treatment you want to pursue.
Warts, Moles and Skin Tags – Can They Develop Into Cancer?
Skin tags pose no real danger. They will not develop into cancerous growth. However, sometimes they may be irritating especially if they are found around the collar. You may even decide to remove a skin tag for cosmetic reasons.
When one considers warts, particular attention needs to be taken in the case of genital warts, since these may be transmitted to others. Moreover, sometimes genital warts may develop into a cancerous growth. Therefore if you have genital warts you should consult your physician right away.
Moles may develop into cancerous growth. It is therefore important to take appropriate care of any changes that can occur to any mole. If you have many moles on your body it is not a bad idea to have regular checks.
Take particular attention after summer because the sun rays may make a mole develop into melanoma or cancer of the skin.
Consider any changes that you notice to any of your moles. Specifically, you must consult your physician if a mole changes its:
You must also consult your physician if your mole starts to itch or the nearby skin starts to irritate you or starts to discolor.
Moreover, certain moles have more probability of developing cancer than others. Asymmetric moles are at a more elevated risk to develop into cancer. The same also applies to irregular moles. Furthermore, moles with a variety of tones have also an increased risk of developing into a cancerous growth.
What Are The Causes Between Warts and Skin Tags?
Warts and skin tags are growths of the skin that may appear in different parts of the body. Warts most often appear on the feet, hands, and even on the soles of the feet and on the genitalia. Skin tags most often appear on the neck, the armpits, the groin, or on the eyelids – areas where there are skin folds.
Warts are caused by the infection of the human papillomavirus. These skin disorders look like cauliflowers and are usually solid or hard. Skin tags on the other hand are growths of the skin that tends to protrude or hangs off from the skin. Although these skin problems do not pose a threat to our bodies, they can, however, bring discomfort and embarrassment and can be annoying.
Warts are contagious that touching them with your hands can spread the infection to other parts of your body especially if you have even a small cut on your skin. It can also be transferred through sharing of towels or other personal things.
The exact cause of skin tags, on the other hand, is not yet known, although it is most likely associated with the virus that causes warts – the human papillomavirus. It does not however cause skin flaps but it is said to contribute to the appearance of skin flaps. These tumors on the skin are however not harmful but can be discomforting and embarrassing. For skin disorders that appear on the face, their occurrence in clusters may be unsightly, thus the need to remove or treat them. In some cases, it can be irritated and may lead to bleeding, which is also another reason why there is a need for its removal.
If warts and skin tags are among your discomforts in life, there are actually ways that you can do to manage them or eliminate them. Among the methods in removing warts and skin tags is surgery, freezing the wart or the skin tags with liquid nitrogen in the process called cryosurgery, laser treatments or other gels, ointments, and creams which mainly consist of salicylic acid. Some other techniques in removing warts include suffocating them with the use of duct tape or applying pads on warts added with salicylic acid. It is important to note that in the case of genital warts, it is wise to see your doctor when it comes to their treatment or removal.
The same with warts, flaps in the skin can also be removed by freezing them with liquid nitrogen until they fall off. Physicians may also remove them using scissors, or burning them in the process called cauterization, or remove them through excision.
Over-the-counter treatments are also available in dealing with warts and skin tags. Ointments, gels, pads, and solutions containing salicylic acid are also available. Natural treatments are also options in dealing with warts and skin tags. There are ways to avoid its spreading, and there are also various herbs that home remedies that may help in the removal of warts and skin tags, and even moles. Among the natural treatments are garlic, banana peel placed on plantar warts, castor oil, grapefruit seed extract, and other natural remedies that may help you get rid of skin problems less the pain and the cost of medical procedures.