How To Identify Skin Tags and Moles

Skin Care

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How To Identify Skin Tags and Moles

Clear and spot free skin is perceived as an indicator of good health. Any changes in the outer appearance of our skin is often considered as a tell-tale sign of underlying medical problems. Conditions like skin tags and moles are a cause of concern for a lot of people who have these unsightly growths on exposed body parts such as face, neck and arms. Since, these skin conditions greatly underplay the cosmetic appearance of an individual, most people turn to surgical procedures to get them removed completely. There are many health conditions that contribute to development of skin tags and moles, it becomes crucial to address them to prevent any occurrences in future.


Both skin tags and moles are benign growths on the surface of the skin but starkly differ from each other in the way they look and the conditions that precede their occurrence. High insulin levels, obesity and hormonal irregularities are some of the factors that contribute to development of skin tags. On the contrary, moles are caused by a collection of pigment releasing cells called melanocytes on skin surface. The pigment contained in melanocytes is responsible for brown or black hue of the mole. Moles are generally caused due to over exposure to sun or certain hormonal changes and mostly affect fair skinned people. Certain moles have a possibility of turning into a cancer and may signal melanoma, a form of skin cancer. Such moles have a particular set of characteristics that distinguish them from non-cancerous moles.

Most skin tags or moles are not a cause of major concern from health point of view unless they become infected or suddenly start to change in the way they look. Moles that change in shape, size or colour might be a sign of melanoma and should be assessed by a medical professional at the earliest as they have a chance to spread to other parts of the body. In case, you are planning to get the skin tag or mole removed, it is crucial to stay updated on correct information regarding both conditions to be able to tell the difference between the two. We have outlined parameters that need to be assessed for easy identification of skin tags and moles.

Shape
Skin tags are round tubular growths on the surface of the skin. These growths are attached to the skin with a stalk like structure. Moles are generally tiny circular spots with defined edges on the surface of the skin. Pre- cancerous moles are asymmetrical in shape and have ragged undefined edges.

Texture
Skin tags are smooth in texture and dangle outward from the surface of the skin. They tend to move around and rub along surrounding skin area when they come in contact with clothing. Moles vary in texture. They may be smooth or have a slightly rough and raised texture and lie flat against the skin surface. Moles that bleed or ooze fluid can be a sign of melanoma.

Size
Skin tags generally start out as small lumps of skin tissue and are typically about 2mm to 5 mm in diameter. Some skin tags may grow bigger up to the size of a grape. Moles are less than 6mm in diameter. Size of pre-cancerous moles is not uniform and keeps changing with time.

Colour
Most skin tags are fleshy or slightly darker coloured than the rest of the skin. Some skin tags acquire a purple or black tinge if they get injured or twisted due to which the oxygen supply gets cut off and leads to darkening of the tag. Such skin tags die within a short span of time and eventually fall off on their own. Moles are usually brown or black in colour and have an even tone. Some moles exhibit two or three shades of colours ranging from black, brown, blue, pink or even red. Such moles are cancerous in nature and need to be thoroughly examined by a doctor.

Location
Skin tags are likely to occur in places that are prone to constant friction such as skin creases and folds. Moles can appear on any part of the body that remains exposed to sunlight. Cancerous moles tend to spread to other body parts if they begin to grow inside the layers of skin and therefore need to be timely treated.

About the Author

Harvey lives with his wife, daughter, and two golden retrievers in one of the many stone houses in Stamford, UK. He is a freelance writer and a content strategist with many top health and beauty product companies like Tagband: makers one of the most popular skin tag removal devices in UK. When he is not working he can be found sipping coffee in one of the cafe's overlooking river Welland.

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