Skin growths and malformations are more common than you might think. We all have an embarrassing mole or two somewhere along with other issues. Skin, like most people, is imperfect to one degree or another. Moles are so common that professionals speculate that most adults have upwards of thirty due to continual development during their lives. Most of us get to know our moles and where they are as we age. There are others kinds of skin malformations though. Skin tags are another form that happen more commonly to women. Skin tags, like most moles, are entirely benign and do little beyond provide perhaps a little embarrassment if they’re in an easily seen location. Not everyone knows the difference between these two skin growth types though. We’ve put together a quick primer to help you understand what you should know about these growths and how to tell the difference.
Skin tags are small, typically flap-like, growths that typically occur in clusters on the skin. They most commonly appear in areas where you rest in a folded position at least some of the time. You’ll typically find them around the neck and armpit, but they also appear in the region of the groin sometimes as well. Others areas are possible too if the skin is folded there. Skin tags aren’t highly variable and are typically so small that they are easily missed. They do not grow or change as part of their existence on the skin. Removal of skin tags is fairly simple for dermatologists as the larger “flap” part of a skin tag is typically attached to a thinner section. All the dermatologists need to do is either cut of freeze the skin tags free. It is an outpatient procedure that can sometimes be done as soon as the skin tags are identified, if desired. People seldom have to deal with the skin tags again after that.
It might seem pointless to review such a basic skin feature as a mole, but this will help give you the clearest picture of the differences. Unlike skin tags, which often form a bit later in life, moles tend to form on our skin throughout our childhood and young adulthood. They are slightly darker areas of raised skin on the body. Most of the time they are perfectly benign. Moles are also flush with the skin, unlike skin tags. You should also note that moles actually change over the course of your life as well. Many of the moles we form early can gradually disappear or even darken as we age. Sometimes moles that weren’t very raised before will get a bit more pronounced. In general, they’re far more reactive to things than skin tags and few of us will wonder where a mole came from unless it is new.
A Word On Newer Moles
Once people hit their early 30s, they need to be especially aware of any moles they find on their body. This is doubly true when it comes to finding a new mole in an area of your skin that is frequently exposed to sunlight. New moles can sometimes prove to be cancerous or precancerous growths. Talking to a doctor before they progress any further is ideal. You should also remain aware of any older moles changing. Moles tend to be relatively symmetrical and of a consistent color throughout. If this changes or a new mole is not like that, then you should speak to a medical professional as soon as possible. Moles that grow from their original size should also be investigated promptly. Utilizing these cues can help you ensure both your skin’s health and your overall health.
Skin tags and moles are fairly different in appearance. Moles are within the skin whereas skin tags are on the surface. In most cases, both are entirely benign and offer little more than cosmetic displeasure. You should stay aware of your moles throughout your lives though to ensure you become aware of potentially cancerous growth comparatively early on. Performing routine self-checks and following other skin health habits will likely ensure you have little to worry about concerning your moles over the course of your life though.