LIFESTYLE & COMMUNITY

Skin Tags: Not Just A Cosmetic Problem But A Warning Sign Of Several Serious Health Issues

Date November 20, 2018

Most people have at least one small skin tag on their body. Some of us do not even know about the existence of such on their body, while for some other patients they can become a hugely annoying and irritating problem. The soft, benign skin growths that were considered as a cosmetic inconvenience may have a medical significance, according to a new research. Therefore, it is important to understand what things skin tags can tell us about our health.

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What causes skin tags?

Although the pathogenesis of skin tags is unknown, meaning scientists don’t know how and why these skin growths develop, different recent studies suggest these factors:

1. Insulin resistance

Apparently, insulin resistance and skin tags are somehow connected. Insulin resistance means that cells do not respond to hormone insulin normally, which is produced by your pancreas, making it impossible for glucose to enter the cell. According to the UC Davis Dermatology Online Journal, people with diabetes or excessive weight are prone to the development of skin tags.

2. Human papilloma virus

Biopsy found human papilloma virus (HPV) in 71% of all skin tags, which makes this virus a possible contributing factor in the mystical skin anomaly.

3. Metabolic syndrome

Other studies show the connection between metabolic syndrome (MetS) and skin tags. MetS is a condition which causes a wide range of symptoms, including increased blood pressure, high blood sugar and cholesterol, abnormal triglyceride level, and excess body fat around your waist area. MetS significantly increases the risk of developing diabetes or cardiovascular disease.

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4. Polycystic ovarian syndrome

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Some studies linked polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) with insulin resistance and skin tags. PCOS is an endocrine (hormonal) disorder when a woman’s body produces abnormally high levels of testosterone, which affects 1 in 10 women around the globe, and can be caused by insulin resistance. PCOS is accompanied by some certain skin issues, such as acne, acanthosis nigricans, and possibly skin tags.

Are skin tags harmful, and what can you do about them?

Such skin tags by definition are non-cancerous and do not cause any damage to your health.

However, there are 2 things you need to remember:

  1. Skin tags can be easily confused with other potentially dangerous skin growths. Let a doctor or a dermatologist examine them, as they can indicate some health issues.
  2. Don’t remove skin tags on your own. You might get an infection. And if you are not sure whether it’s a harmless skin tag, you can make it even worse, especially by cutting or damaging your mole.

Some skin tags occur in very uncomfortable places, or you can constantly rub your jewelry or clothing against them, causing irritation and inflammation. Therefore, you can visit a specialist and remove them.

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This article is solely for informational purposes. Do not self-diagnose or self-medicate, and in all cases consult a certified healthcare professional before using any information presented in the article. The editorial board does not guarantee any results and does not bear any responsibility for any harm that may result from using the information provided in the article.

Health Skin