Difference between Skin Tags, Warts and Moles
Human skin is subject to numerous blemishes and unusual conditions, some of the most common of which are skin tags, warts, and moles. Everyone experiences these conditions some time or another, and they are the subjects of this comparison article.
What They Are
Skin tags or acrochordons, is the term used to refer to skin growths that are often experienced after middle age. They are often harmless, and they may be comprised of a bit of flesh connected by a narrow stalk to the skin. Skin tags are often totally painless, and they can remain with the same in appearance year after year, although they may be irritated by rough clothing or other objects. Skin tags are most often apparent on people who are overweight and those suffering from diabetes.
Warts are growths on the skin typically caused by a virus. Although generally harmless, warts can be quite unsightly, and they may even hurt or itch on occasion. Plantar warts that grow on the soles of the feet are especially bothersome, since walking on them repeatedly can cause them to become irritated.
Moles are the result of the growth of melanocytes cells in the skin. Moles are quite common, and most people have anywhere from 10 to 40 moles of them. Moles come in different shapes and colors, and they can be flesh toned, brown, or pink.
Skin tags are generally better left alone unless they are particularly unsightly, or if they become bothersome. If the appearance of a skin tag changes however, you should seek the professional advice of a doctor.
Warts may actually disappear on their own, although the process may take as long as two years. While there are various over-the-counter medications that you can use, warts that show up on the face or genital or anal area should not be treated with such medications.
The most important concern about moles is that they may possibly be the site of a melanoma or skin cancer. This is why you should always pay particular attention to prominent moles for any signs of changes. Early detection has been proven to be an effective deterrent to skin cancer, so it is important to seek consultation at the first sign of something unusual.
Many cases of skin tags are effectively treated with an excision process, although some doctors opt to freeze or burn them off as well. In addition, there is also another treatment method that utilizes an organic topical medication.
Warts are often treated with medicated bandages that can relieve the pressure and pain of plantar warts. Procedures such as excision, freezing, burning and laser treatments have also been proven effective.
Moles are often removed via surgical procedures, and some doctors opt to use non-invasive topical treatments as well.
Similarities and Differences
- Skin growths that are often experienced after middle age
- Often totally painless, and they can remain the same year after year
- Typically caused by a virus
- Generally harmless
- Result of the growth of melanocytes cells
- May possibly be the site of a melanoma or skin cancer