Does Apple Cider Vinegar Remove Skin Tags?

The short answer is…yes…apple cider vinegar removes skin tags. However, should read more about the dangers that are involved.

How Is Apple Cider Vinegar Made?

If you ferment apple juice, then you will make apple cider vinegar. You need to crush the apples and then squeeze all of the juice out. Fermentation allows the sugars from the fruit to turn into alcohol, which is converted into vinegar later in the process. Apple cider vinegar has been an effective medicine for centuries in healing and other medical applications including skin tags.

Health Benefits

Apple cider vinegar has been known for a long time to be beneficial in skincare. There are also many other uses, such as preserving food and sterilizing wounds to prevent infection. When using apple cider vinegar to remove skin tags, the acidic properties of the vinegar will break down the tissue of and around the skin tags. Eventually the skin tag to fall off naturally without surgery or chemicals.

Apple Cider Vinegar And Skin Tags

Naturally removing skin tags is seen as better as some people believe that the chemicals are dangerous or may damage their skin.

There is no evidence whatsoever that apple cider vinegar removes skin tags. There have been many cases where people have attempted and ended up with chemical burns, or even layers of skin coming off. The bad reaction is because of the break down of tissue that occurs upon the application of the apple cider vinegar to the surface.

Dangers

Applying apple cider vinegar to the skin for long periods can result in severe inflammation and scarring.

In a case in 2015, a woman applied apple cider vinegar on her mole every day for three weeks and put a bandage over it. The mole did fall off, but a few layers of skin also fell off, causing long term damage and scarring to the area. The damage was most likely due to the acidity. The acid eats the skin and obliterates it, causing the mole to fall off, but also causing severe damage to the surface.

Skin does regrow, but the new skin will not cover the deep scars. Had the process been done for longer than the three weeks, repairing the missing skin would need skin grafts. There would be such damage to the skin that it would no longer grow in that area without the help of plastic surgery. Avoiding surgery in the first place is the main reason people choose to attempt using apple cider vinegar to remove their skin tags.

Many people have caused chemical burns to their skin by using apple cider vinegar in excess and using bandages and other materials to keep the chemical on their skin. There have not been too many scientific research studies on the effects on skin tags. But experience shows that it could work without causing harm if done correctly and in moderation. However, this would most likely take much longer than other processes, and could still result in scarring and chemical burns.

Alternatives

There are other approaches to removing skin tags that should be done rather than applying apple cider vinegar directly to your skin. You can buy skin tag removal devices approved by the FDA in stores or online. Alternatively, you can visit your local dermatologist and have the skin tag removed professionally. Seeing a professional will prevent any damage or infection to the site of the skin tag.

Precautions

Although we have advised you NOT to use apple cider vinegar on the skin to remove skin tags,  if you choose to do this knowing the risks, there are ways to make sure it is a little safer. First, make sure that you are not covering the skin tag once you have applied the vinegar. Forcing the vinegar to remain on your skin for long periods can cause chemical burns and other issues. Only keep the vinegar on the area for ten to fifteen minutes at a time, and then make sure to rinse the area thoroughly with water. Do not allow the vinegar near your eyes or touch your eyes with the vinegar on your hands.

Using Other Vinegar To Remove Skin Tags

Just as we don’t advise apple cider vinegar, we also don’t suggest that you use any other vinegar for skin tags. Vinegar will not remove skin tags but could harm you from the acidity of the vinegar.

Removing Skin Tags

Skin tags are not generally harmful, and there is no reason to remove them for health reasons. It is much better to wait until you can purchase a device that can remove your skin tags safely, or wait until you can visit the dermatologist. Properly removing a skin tag will prevent severe skin problems even if you have to wait longer. Some of these skin problems are irreversible or very expensive to repair. They are typically considered elective procedures because they aren’t carried out for health reasons alone.

How To Stop A Skin Tag From Bleeding?

What Makes A Skin Tag Bleed?

There are several different ways that a skin tag may start bleeding:

  • A skin tag catches on something
  • There is too much friction on the skin tag
  • The skin tag is cut or removed unsafely

Skin tags can continuously bleed because they consist of tiny blood vessels covered in skin. It can be a bit shocking how much a skin tag can bleed because it is typically so small. The reason is because of many little blood vessels that lead to bigger blood vessels. It is very rare for a skin tag to bleed on its own with no apparent cause and, therefore, a doctor should examine it if that happens. A bleeding skin tag can also be a painful skin tag.

Cutting Off A Skin Tag With Scissors

It is against all medical advice to cut off a skin tag yourself, and can seriously harm you as well as open up the risk for infection. Most skin tags will bleed a little bit if they get caught on something or endure friction, but the bleeding will most likely not be very severe and can typically have pressure applied for a short amount of time to stop the bleeding.

The most common reason for an excessively bleeding skin tag is because someone decided to cut or pull the skin tag off themselves. While nobody should ever cut off their skin tag, or pull it off, sometimes people make mistakes. If it is too late to take medical advice, there are ways to stop the excessive bleeding.

How To Stop A Skin Tag From Bleeding

If you have cut off a skin tag and it won’t stop bleeding, you should:

  1. Stop the bleeding
  2. Apply antibiotic ointment
  3. Cover the wound to protect it from infection

Treating A Bleeding Skin Tag

For any minor bleed, take a cotton ball and hold it on the area for 15 to 20 minutes, or until it stops bleeding. Make sure to clean the area properly when you finish and apply an antibiotic ointment. It is crucial to cover the area with a bandage to avoid infection.

If the blood seeps through the cotton ball, or you have to use multiple cotton balls for longer than 15 minutes, treat the bleed as if it is a major bleed. Switch to using a towel instead of a cotton ball.

Use A Towel For Major Bleeding From A Skin Tag

While applying pressure, put ice in a zip lock bag and wrap it with a smaller towel. Replace the towel you were using with the smaller towel that is holding the ice. The cold will constrict arteries causing the bleeding to slow down or stop and will also help with the pain associated with the bleeding area. Once the bleeding stops, apply an antibiotic ointment and make sure to cover the area with a bandage.

What To Do After 30 Minutes

If the bleeding does not stop after 30 minutes, keep applying pressure with the towel. Also, you really should go to the hospital. Do not remove the towel as blood will gush everywhere. You need to continue applying pressure, so you don’t lose too much blood. It is likely that you cut deeper than just the skin tag and you should investigate the need of stitches to close the hole and seal the source of the blood. You should also see a doctor if your skin tag begins bleeding for no apparent reason as that can be a sign of more severe problems, or that the skin tag is not a skin tag but possibly a mole.

Why Am I Getting Skin Tags On My Neck?

Skin Tags On Neck?

Skin cells which rub against other skin cells often form clusters of skin. These are commonly known as skin tags. Common areas where people get skin tags include dry areas that contain skin folds. These include the armpits, skin tags on neck, groin, and sometimes even on the eyelids. Scientists believe that skin tags form in these areas because the skin is continuously rubbing, causing the cells to build up and create a skin tag. Many factors go into how skin tags appear, but most scientists do not focus on the cause of skin tags too much because they are not harmful to the skin or the body and are easily removed.

What Is The Cause Of Skin Tags?

Skin tags on the neck seem to be related to genetics. Typically, people with skin tags have other members of their family that also have skin tags. Skin tags have also been linked to the disease HPV. This information may play a role in diagnosing the disease in addition to other indications as the population that has been diagnosed with HPV is nowhere near the population that has skin tags. Almost half of the world’s population gets a skin tag at some point in their life. They are typically more common with older people, women, overweight people, or those diagnosed with diabetes.

Since so many people have skin tags regardless of nationality, weight, race, blood type, etc., it is virtually impossible to say what causes the tags. The only real knowledge there is about skin tags is that they are not harmful to the human body. They are a cluster of skin cells commonly found in skin folds. Moles are studied more than skin tags because they have been linked to Melanoma and other serious diseases.

Possible Underlying Causes

Most likely, having a skin tag on your neck is just due to the skin rubbing together, but there is a small chance that there could be an underlying cause of skin tags appearing. If it is just one or two skin tags, there is no reason to worry. But if you are continuously developing skin tags, you may want to consult with your doctor or dermatologist. Your doctor may want to run some tests for diabetes and other diseases that have been linked to skin tags. It is also important to visit a doctor if there seems to be anything abnormal about skin tags.

Skin tags are not dangerous. However, it is likely that if you have one skin tag on your neck, then you may eventually develop multiple skin tags. The recurrence is because there is friction occurring in that area. The best way to make sure you don’t end up with a ton of skin tags on your neck would be to keep the area dry. Dryer skin will prevent friction. Also, you should start maintaining healthy eating habits and adopting an exercise routine to keep your weight down. Skin tags have been directly linked to people who are above their recommended body weight.

When skin tags are in areas with a lot of friction, it is best to get them removed. While they are not harmful and may not be related to a disease, they can become bothersome and painful. If the skin flaps continue to rub against each other, it is likely that the skin tag will become irritated, inflamed, and can even begin to bleed. This can be incredibly painful, especially in places like your neck. If a skin tag begins to affect your quality of life, it is best to get it removed.

Will Wart Remover Remove Skin Tags?

What Typically Is Wart Remover?

The best wart removal kits contain Salicylic Acid and work by freezing the wart. Doctors also freeze skin tags to remove them. Salicylic Acid is an ingredient that you will find in most skin tag remover solutions. There is very little scientific research on the use of this acid to remove skin tags. However, that’s not to say it doesn’t work. In theory, wart remover is used the same way on warts that one would get rid of a skin tag. There is no reason why it shouldn’t work. It is safe to try and costs less than visiting a doctor to have the skin tag removed.

Skin tag freeze kits and wart remover freeze kits can be purchased in almost any pharmacy over the counter. They generally retail for less than $50.

Wart And Mole And Skin Tag Removal

Skin tags are most effectively removed by freezing. The chemical used to freeze skin tags is liquid nitrogen, which freezes the entire skin tag down to the root. This procedure removes the whole skin tag so that it cannot grow back once. Liquid nitrogen is not used in home kits because there are laws regulating the use and purchase of liquid nitrogen. These home skin tag removal kits typically contain similar ingredients that are less potent than liquid nitrogen. These chemicals still do the job but ensure that there is no severe damage to the skin.

The only damage that is typically caused by using wart remover to remove skin tags is a small scar that replaces the skin tag. The scar tends to fade over time. There may also be a small amount of discomfort in the area from the freezing of the skin tag. This pain should pass in less than an hour. Risk of infection is doubtful because there are no cuts to the skin. There will not be an open wound for an infection to enter. There is also no risk of excessive bleeding because nothing interacts with the blood supply with this method of tag removal.

The Price Of Home Freezing Kits

The price of buying a home freezing kit is relatively reasonable considering the cost of going to the doctor to remove the skin tag. It costs around $20 for a home freezing kit, which contains multiple treatments. These kits are readily available at most drug stores, pharmacies, and even grocery stores. Freezing skin tags off is not the fastest method, but it is the most affordable option that is reliable and able to be done at home. The quickest way would be to cut the skin tag off yourself, but as we discussed elsewhere, that is not safe. It can result in severe damage to the skin tissue as well as cause an infection.

Some wart, mole and skin tag removers are even safe to use on sensitive areas such as the eyelids. Freezing does not come in contact with the skin around the skin tag, only the tag itself. Most kits have up to 8 treatments. This means that you can remove up to 8 skin tags or warts with one freezing kit. That is around $2.50 per skin tag or wart, whereas having the skin tag removed by a doctor tends to run at about $150 per skin tag. It is an elective cosmetic procedure that insurance does not typically cover because it is not dangerous to your health to have a skin tag.

Take Away

Many people use wart removal kits to remove skin tags, and there has been plenty of consumer-based evidence that it is an effective way to remove skin tags without severely damaging the skin or body. Compound W NITROFREEZE is advertised as a wart remover that has shown to be very helpful in the removal of skin tags to the point that it was voted by consumers to be one of the top 10 ways to remove skin tags.

Do Skin Tag Removers Work On Moles?

Removing Moles And Skin Tags with Skin Tag Removers

There are many different ways to remove skin tags, including removal tools, freezing the skin tag, cutting it out, drying the skin tag out using electrodes, and creams that can be purchased from most drug stores. Skin tags and raised moles are typically removed the same way by doctors. Either through freezing, heating, or cutting.

Some moles appear to be flat, which would require more extensive methods to remove. Some doctors will perform minor surgery to completely remove moles from the skin. There is also the option of creams and ointments that can be purchased to aid in removing skin tags, but can Skin Tag Removers be used on moles?

Creams And Ointments

Some creams and ointments for skin tags are also recommended for use on moles as well. However, some creams are specially formulated for skin tags alone. If not removed and treated properly, moles can sometimes grow more rooted in the skin. This will require further treatment or removal because if the cells are not completely removed, the mole will return later by regrowing the cells that are on the outside of the skin. Regrowth of those cells can sometimes form abnormal cells causing the mole to no longer be benign. If you want or need to remove a mole, it needs to be eradicated to prevent complications in the future.

There is proof that these creams are effective in removing skin tags or moles. However some of these creams and ointments can cause significant skin damage. They have even been linked to the development of Melanoma, a life-threatening form of skin cancer. This can be avoided by using a removal tool that is approved by the FDA or by visiting a dermatologist to get the skin tag or mole looked at and removed.

Other Skin Tag Tools

Many skin tag removal tools have settings for moles as well. While they are not removed in precisely the same way, the process is very similar. Some devices will not work on both skin tags and moles. Specific removal methods are formulated for each that will be more aggressive towards one or the other. For example, the Skin Tag Remover Device by Claritag is specific to skin tags and is not recommended for the removal of moles. On the other hand, the Spot Blaster Pro was made for the removal of both skin tags and moles.

Visit A Doctor

While skin tags are harmless and moles are generally safe, it is always in the best interest for someone to visit a doctor when a new mole is found on the skin, even if to be on the safe side. Different shapes and colors of moles can help a doctor identify melanoma and other skin diseases. However, if the mole is removed and the person has not seen a doctor regarding the moles, the doctor has less of a chance of catching certain life-threatening diseases promptly. Typically, early in life, moles are not harmful and don’t usually mean that the person has cancer. It is much more common in older people to wake up one day with a cancerous mole. To rule out disease, visiting the doctor is always the best option.

What Happens If You Cut Off A Skin Tag?

Methods Of Skin Tag Removal

There are many options for removing skin tags, including cauterizing (freezing or using heat), cutting them off, or by using a skin tag remover cream or pen. Many of these options are done in a dermatologist’s office, but some can be done at home. Cutting off a skin tag should always be done by a licensed dermatologist with the correct tools to properly sterilize all equipment and the knowledge of how to properly remove a skin tag.

If a skin tag is removed in a doctor’s office, they will typically cut it off, freeze it, or burn it. With these options, there will be little to no scarring or bleeding. This is the safest, most effective option and can be done within minutes. Sometimes there may be a short period of minimal irritation caused by the chemical used to freeze the skin tag or the electrodes used to dry out the skin tag.

Bleeding From Skin Tags

If you cut off your skin tag, there is a high likelihood that there will be bleeding that lasts for a long time and can be difficult to stop. There is also a high risk of inflammation, irritation, scarring, and infection.

Skin tags are harmless, but some people decide to have the skin tags removed for aesthetic reasons. If you are removing something from your skin for cosmetic reasons, you should not risk severely scarring the location because it will look just as bad, if not worse.

Cutting Off A Skin Tag With Scissors

Infection is a major concern when someone cuts off their skin tag. If the scissors you cut with are not properly sterilized, and the wound is not properly taken care of, the site becomes the perfect place for an infection to begin. Infections can become very serious and even life-threatening. It is never worth risking your life to remove a skin tag, especially when it is just as easy to go to a dermatologist and spend five minutes to remove the skin tag properly.

Most likely, if the average inexperienced person cuts a skin tag, there will be bleeding, which sometimes can be hard to stop. It can also cause scabbing as well as scarring. It is also possible that the person won’t get all of the skin tag removed, causing it to regrow on top of the scarring. Inflammation and irritation are widespread with skin tags when people pick or scratch at them. Skin tags should only be removed by a licensed dermatologist or by using a device specifically designed for skin tag removal. If these devices are used, the instructions should be read very clearly because most likely, you will need to clean the site properly before attempting to remove the skin tag.

Are Mole Removal Pens Safe?

Several skin tag and mole removal pens are considered safe for home use by the FDA and dermatologists. Many devices have been known to cause burns and permanent scarring where the mole was previously. As there is a variety of different options, it is crucial that before you purchase a mole removal pen that you do as much research as possible before using one on your skin.

Check Reviews

It is essential to check reviews of the device, check for satisfaction guarantees, and for lotions to check the ingredient list to make sure there is nothing in the product that will cause an adverse reaction. It is also imperative to follow the instructions accurately to make sure there is no room for error on the part of the person applying the treatment. Skin tag and mole removal pens can be an excellent choice for some consumers, as long as they are correctly chosen.

Being Diligent About Melanoma

There are also other things to consider that affect the safety of using mole removal pens, such as whether or not a dermatologist should be consulted. When there is a possibility that the mole that is being removed could be cancerous or could be a sign of other medical problems, then a dermatologist or a doctor should be consulted.

Melanoma is a form of skin cancer that is typically identified by abnormal moles on the body. If a consumer purchases a device to remove moles but never visits a dermatologist to have the moles looked at, they may not know that they have melanoma until it is Stage IV, or life-threatening. It is crucial that even if a consumer chooses to use the at-home devices that they see a dermatologist regarding moles, especially if they repeatedly return after removal.

Identifying Dangerous Moles

The American Academy of Dermatology has come up with a system for helping the average person identify whether or not a mole may be cancerous, called the “ABCDE’s of Melanoma.” To determine whether a mole could potentially be a sign of melanoma, follow the list below:

  • A- Asymmetry. The mole should not be asymmetrical.
  • B- Borders. Moles should not be fuzzy around the edges.
  • C- Color. Moles should not be more than one color (sometimes referred to as two-toned)
  • D- Diameter. Moles should not be larger than 1/4 inch.
  • E- Evolving. Moles should not change or grow.

If any of these symptoms occur, a dermatologist should be consulted so that the mole can be evaluated, and nothing else should be done until a dermatologist gives an all-clear.

Several creams that are created to remove moles can, in rare circumstances, cause melanoma. All chemicals put on the skin should be thoroughly reviewed and discussed with a licensed professional before being applied to the skin for any reason. While a product may say it is entirely safe, and even backed by the FDA, it is always the most reliable option to consult your doctor before doing anything to your body that could potentially harm it.

What Is The Best Mole Removal Pen?

What Is The Best Mole Removal Pen?

According to Ahjoo, there are ten highly ranked mole remover pens in 2020.

BDSii Portable Mole Remover Pen:

This BDSii mole removal pen has eight different settings and has also been approved for safety by the FDA. This product comes in at number one for home use of a mole remover pen. This pen can be charged with a power bank or directly with a cellphone charger. This product has also been ranked as the easiest mole removal pen to use on the market in 2019. However, reviews show that although it does work, it isn’t straightforward to use.

Unfortunately, the BDSii Mole Removal Pen doesn’t seem to be available to purchase anymore. You can, however, buy the Spot Eraser Pro here, which is similar but far easier to use.

Herwiss LCD Display Mole Remover Pen:

The Herwiss LCD Display Mole Remover Pen offers different strength levels based on skin sensitivity, which is a huge plus to those with sensitive skin and have a hard time finding products that won’t damage their skin further. This product also allows for USB charging, which extends the life of the device. Herwiss claims that there will be no side effects from using this device, including bleeding and scarring. Two different types of needles are provided for this device to help with unusual sized moles. This pen also offers an LCD screen to make its use more comfortable.

GenLed Portable Premium Mole Remover Pen:

The GenLed Portable Premium Mole Remover Pen allows for fast healing after use and has three different levels to ensure the correct intensity for the removal of moles. This device can also be used for freckles, tattoos, and skin tags. It is a truly portable device that can be connected to other portable devices, making it perfect for use anywhere.

Xpreen Eraser Pro Mole Remover Pen:

The Xpreen Eraser Pro Mole Remover Pen has an LED spotlight and focuses on accuracy and durability. This device is excellent for travel, as it can be charged with a simple cell phone charger. It is safe to use, does not cause bleeding, and will last for five hours after charging.

Dermasmoothe 9-Gear Mole Remover Pen:

The Dermasmoothe 9-Gear Mole Remover Pen offers nine adjustable gears to make it comfortable and reliable for removing spots, freckles, moles, skin tags, and tattoos from the skin. There are no reported side effects. There should not be bleeding or scarring as a result of this pen.

Kungber Mole Remover Pen:

The Kungber Mole Remover Pen contains a large screen to show all of the different options that can be selected for the best possible experience. It is affordable and includes various types of needles for different mole removal needs. This pen also offers different levels of strength to provide safety for those with sensitive skin.

Raizen USA Derma Mole Remover Pen:

The Raizen USA Derma Mole Remover Pen allows for the fast removal of moles. This pen can be charged with a phone charger and has a lithium-ion battery to allow for longer times between having to charge the device. It meets safety standards set by the FDA and is made of durable materials.

BDSii Version 101 Mole Remover Pen:

The BDSii Version 101 Mole Remover Pen offers a large screen to see the status of the device. This device makes it very simple to remove small moles, among other skin blemishes like spots and freckles. It is safe to use and does not cause any side effects like bleeding and scarring.

YRYM HT Mole Remover Pen:

The YRYM HT Mole Remover Pen is not the most straightforward option but offers great technology for experienced users of mole remover pens. This device does not burn the skin, cause scarring, or cause bleeding. The technology used to create this pen allows for fast recovery time after use.

Kungber Mole Remover Pen 2:

The Kungber Mole Remover Pen 2 works very well and has the approval of the FDA, but tends to take longer than the other models on this list. It has different strength levels and comes with 12 replaceable needles. There is an LCD screen on this device to show status as well as the ability to charge the device with a phone charger. This option does not have side effects such as scarring, bleeding, and burning of the skin.

Anal Skin Tags And What NOT To Do

What Are Anal Skin Tags?

Anal Skin tags are an excess growth of skin on the anus. The actual cause is not known; however, it is generally due to excessive tension caused by clothes or rubbing against skin.

Anal skin tags are a select type of skin tag that appears on or around the anus or rectum. Unlike other skin tags, they are generally tiny, measuring a few millimeters in diameter.

What Causes Anal Skin Tags?

Skin tags are caused by friction of clothing or skin rubbing on them. The friction could be due to sitting for too long or having loose-fitting clothes. They may also be caused by diarrhea if it is common, as the acidity can irritate the skin. They are not caused by cancer and are not an indication of any other disease.

Skin tags are often caused by rubbing clothes against the skin.

Do Skin Tags Bleed?

All skin tags may bleed if they are cut or rubbed too much. Since they are in or on the anus, they will probably be more likely to rub against other skin than if they were in a ‘normal’ place. You should avoid them bleeding as this may lead to infection, which can also cause other complications.

If there is bleeding, then it is more likely that the bleeding is from Hemorrhoids. Hemorrhoids are different from skin tags and shouldn’t be confused.

There is unlikely to be much blood or any at all from anal tags

How To Remove Anal Skin Tags

There are several ways to remove anal skin tags. The ‘sore’ point is that they are in a very sensitive area, so the usual solutions may not be suggested. If you have a skin tag, then you should seek medical help so that you don’t harm that sensitive area. You are advised not to try removing them yourself.

The removal process is straightforward and will take a qualified doctor or dermatologist only a few minutes to do. The whole appointment need only be around 30 minutes.

Skin tags can be removed by visiting a doctor or a dermatologist.

Are Anal Skin Tags Cancerous?

Skin tags are not cancerous. Nor are they a sign of cancer. Skin tags can be confused with moles, which may be cancerous. There is no need to see a doctor if you have skin tags unless they bother you, and you want medical advice on how to remove them from your anus. 
Skin tags are benign growths of connective tissue rather than being malignant like a cancerous tumor.
While skin tags themselves are not cancerous, you should keep an eye on the area in case some other marks or moles may be more sinister.
 

The Difference Between Moles and Skin Tags

Moles and skin tags are two of the most common skin blemishes. While most of the time they are benign, they can be unsightly and irritate. Since many people don’t know the differences between them, they don’t know when it’s appropriate to seek out medical attention.

So what is the difference between moles and skin tags?

The most crucial difference is that moles are formed when melanocytes skin cells cluster in one spot. Skin tags are small benign tumors that tend to grow in places where the skin rubs together.

Looking at the differences between moles and skin tags.

Important Differences Between Moles And Skin Tags

As stated above, moles are clusters of skin cells that can appear anywhere on the body. Most people get all of their moles before the age of 25, and the average person has 10-20 moles. They grow slowly over the years and can be flat, but they are more often raised. They are usually symmetrical and circular in shape and black or brown. Moles can change over time, especially in women after they have children.

Skin tags tend to form in creases or where the skin rubs together. Armpits, where thighs touch, and in the creases of your elbows and behind the knee are the most common places. They are benign tumors, or growths, that are typically painless as well. Unlike moles, which are dark, skin tags should be a close shade to your skin tone.

Types of moles

Most moles are called common moles and don’t cause any issues. They are usually smaller than the diameter of a pencil eraser and have even edges and coloration. Atypical moles are larger than a pencil eraser, aren’t evenly shaped, and have multiple colors. They can fade from dark brown, black, pink, or even tan colors throughout. Congenital moles are moles that are there when you are born. They can be any size and can increase the risk of melanoma. A Spitz nevus is a pink mole that is shaped like a dome. It should be watched closely for changes. An acquired mole is a mole that shows up on the skin after birth.

Are moles or skin tags cancerous?

Moles themselves are not cancerous, but they can develop into cancer. When the melanocytes are damaged, they can grow into irregular shapes and become melanoma. The most important factors to watch out for are asymmetry, border, color, diameter, and evolving. These factors are considered the ABCDE’s of skin cancer. If your mole starts to change shape, bleeds, gets a scaly texture, changes color, or grows larger, it’s time to get checked by a dermatologist.

Additionally, you’re at higher risk for skin cancer if you have 50 or more moles on your body. If you are at higher risk, you should check your moles regularly for changes. If you have moles that appear when you turn 20-25 years old, you should also be sure to watch them closely.

While skin tags are small tumors with fat, skin, and nerve cells, they are not cancerous. They are usually so little that they go unnoticed. They are not likely to become cancerous, unlike moles, but if you notice any strange changes, it doesn’t hurt to get it checked out by a dermatologist.

When should you get a mole or skin tag removed?

Since skin tags are not harmful, most people choose to live with them. However, they can grow large and so it is possible to ask your doctor to remove them. It’s a simple procedure that can usually be done in a dermatologist’s office. The most common ways to remove a skin tag are to freeze them off with liquid nitrogen or to cauterize them. If your skin tag bleeds, gets infected, or if there is redness or swelling on or near it, these are all signs that you should see your doctor.

Moles are a little more tricky. If you have a mole that looks off, your doctor will first evaluate its size and shape. Typically, they will complete a full-body assessment to determine if there are any other moles of concern. Anything they believe to be precancerous or cancerous, they will biopsy and have tested. Those moles will often be removed in layers at a single appointment to ensure they get all of the cancerous cells. Depending on how deep cancer goes, you may need additional plastic surgery to reduce the appearance of the spot where the cancer was removed. Another method is to stitch the hole closed if possible.

Can you prevent moles or skin tags?

Yes and no. You can reduce the risk of both moles and skin tags from forming, but there isn’t anything you can do to prevent them 100% of the time.

Moles are influenced by sunlight. Because of this, the best way to reduce the likelihood of getting new ones is to reduce your sun exposure, especially on your face. Facial moles get the most sun exposure, which makes them susceptible to growing larger and turning into cancer. It’s essential to use a quality sunscreen with at least SPF 15 and a hat if you are outside for an extended amount of time. Don’t forget to reapply the sunscreen every 2 hours or so and try to avoid the sun during the harshest parts of the day, which is 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

Can’t overstate the importance of protection from the sun

If you or a close relative have a history of skin cancer, it’s best to wear sun-protective clothing on your arms and legs as well. Suitable clothing will not only reduce your risk of getting new moles, but it will also reduce the risk of the moles you have from becoming cancerous.

Since skin tags are formed by rubbing, especially skin against skin, you can minimize your risk of getting one if you do a few things regularly. It’s best to wear clothing that is soft and breathable. Don’t let your skin rub against itself too often. Leg chaffing from your thighs touching can lead to skin tags, so wear shorts, pants, or leggings that don’t allow your skin to touch.

It’s not too hard to tell the difference between the average mole and the average skin tag. It’s vital to know how changes to either one of them can affect your health, so you know when to seek medical attention.