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How to Differentiate Skin Tags from Warts

The skin is a precious organ and often considered to be one of the most important when it comes to a person’s confidence and their appearance. When problems develop with the skin, a person is more likely to become self-conscious about how they look in public. While acne is the most common condition that affects the confidence levels of a person, sometimes even making an individual fear going out into public, there are other problematic skin-related conditions that can also be unpleasant. Many of these conditions cause symptoms that may look similar to each other, which can make an affected person confused – not knowing what particular condition is affecting them makes the approach to treating the condition much more difficult. There are, however, ways to identify some conditions from each other.

In this post, we would like to consider the differences between two particular skin conditions that are often confused with each other – skin tags and warts. These are two very common skin-related problems that the general population suffers from, and they can affect any person, at any point in their life. We will provide an overview of how you can identify these two conditions from one another, as well as take a closer look at each condition – we will consider the particular causes behind each condition, and share some useful information that will help you understand how you can get rid of both warts and skin tags.

Skin Tags Versus Warts – How Do You Identify These Skin Conditions?

We will start this post by looking at what the main differences are between skin tags and warts. As we have already explained previously, both of these conditions can cause growths on the skin that may look similar at first glance. Luckily, there are many differences between how these two conditions look and feel. When you educate yourself on these differences, you will find that it is easy to identify which particular condition you may be affected by – this also makes it easier to know how you should ideally treat the growth you have developed.

Skin Tags – Skin tags are very common and can appear almost anywhere on the body. These growths have a smooth appearance, and they are soft to the touch. A skin tag will usually have an appearance that could be compared to a cauliflower. Another way to identify a skin tag is the fact that they are more raised than warts. Most skin tags have a thin stalk that connects the tag to the skin – often called a peduncle. Skin tags are more common in older people, which makes drinking anti-aging smoothies and implementing effective anti-aging remedies possibly helpful in preventing these growths.

Warts – Warts are also relatively common and, even though they may appear similar to skin tags at first, you will find some distinctive differences when you take a closer look at these growths. While the appearance of a skin tag is smooth, warts rather have a rough appearance. When you touch a wart, the growth will also feel rough, whereas a skin tag will feel soft. Furthermore, a wart will not be as raised as a skin tag, and will not be connected to the skin through a thin stalk. Instead, warts are usually either flat or only slightly raised from the skin.

Skin Tags: Causes and Treatment Options

As described, skin tags are soft and smooth and raised from the skin. These growths are medically known as Acrochordon. They are considered benign, which means there is no need to worry about a skin tag being cancerous. Most skin tags have a diameter that ranges between 0.2 centimeters and 0.5 centimeters.

This is a very common skin condition and affects at least 50% of the entire human population. Skin tags have an equal prevalence amongst both men and women. The risk of developing these tags tend to increase as a person becomes older. It should also be noted that a pregnant woman is at a higher risk of developing skin tags as compared to a woman who is not pregnant.

Skin tags can appear on virtually any part of the body, but there are certain locations where these growths are more commonly found. These areas include the neck, the groin area and the axillae.

Numerous risk factors and causes have been associated with the development of skin tags. The most common factor linked to these skin growths is friction that occurs when skin rubs against skin, or when skin rubs against other materials, such as the fabric of clothes, or against jewelry. This also explains why older people are more likely to develop skin tags. As a person ages, their skin’s elasticity becomes impaired gradually. Facial wrinkles start to appear, and the skin start to develop extra folds.  These are major factors that contribute to skin tags caused by friction.

Apart from friction, certain types of health conditions may also have a connection with skin tags. The large variety of health conditions associated with the risk of skin tags can make it difficult to understand why a particular individual may be developing these skin growths. Some of the conditions that may share a link to skin tags include:

  • Fluctuations in hormones within the body. This explains why pregnant women often develop skin tags. Leptin and estrogen, in particular, have been found to play a significant role in the risk of these skin growths.
  • Individuals who are obese or overweight are also at a higher risk of developing skin tags, due to the increase in the production of androgen hormones. Additionally, the folds that occur with skin due to weight gain also causes more friction to occur.
  • The use of anabolic steroid injections may also cause a person to become more likely to develop these skin growths.
  • People who have been diagnosed with either type 2 diabetes or insulin resistance also develops more skin tags than individuals who have not been diagnosed with either of these diseases.

Since skin tags are benign, there is no need to be concerned about their presence. Still, many people do wish to remove these skin growths due to the abnormalities that may occur with the affected individual’s appearance. Medical approaches and home remedies can be utilized to treat and remove skin tags. Medical approaches may include surgery, cauterization, cryotherapy and laser removal.  Home remedies include apple cider vinegar, garlic, tea tree oil, iodine, a banana peel, vitamin E oil, and oil of oregano.

Warts: Causes and Treatment Options

Warts are not only different in appearance to skin tags, but also share a completely different set of causes. While there are many factors that can cause skin tags to develop, warts are always caused by a virus, also called a viral infection. Warts develop when a virus that is part of the human papillomavirus (HPV) family comes in contact with a cut or scratch on the skin. The virus causes an infection in the skin’s outer layer, which leads to skin cells rapidly growing. The rapid growth of the skin cells then causes the wart to develop. While skin tags are not contagious and caused by an internal factor in most cases, warts are considered highly contagious.

We are exposed to the HPV pathogens that causes warts on a daily basis. They can be left behind by someone who touches a doorknob, a railing, a computer mouse, or even your smartphone. The virus can also be transferred from one person to another person. Being exposed to the virus does not, however, guarantee that you will develop a wart. Only when the virus can enter the skin through a cut, scratch, or another opening, can it cause an infection to develop, leading to a wart. Over 100 different HPV pathogens have been associated with warts. The majority of the worldwide population will develop at least one wart at some point in their lifetime, with the most commonly affected location on the body being the hands.

Warts usually go away without any approach to treating them, but it can take some time if you wish to leave the wart to clear up on its own. Different treatment options can be utilized to help clear up warts faster. There are medical options available, such as liquid nitrogen, which is used to freeze warts, as well as acid peels, specialized surgical approaches, and laser wart removal. Several home remedies can also provide fast removal of warts. The most common home remedy used to treat and remove warts on the body is to apply a special solution that contains salicylic acid on the area. There are special types of pads and gels available that have been specifically developed to help with the treatment of warts. Wartrol is an excellent example of a product that helps you remove warts at home.


Many common skin conditions can cause symptoms that appear similar. When a growth appears on the skin, for example, an affected individual might find it hard to determine what exactly it affecting them. Both skin tags and warts may be a worrisome skin condition for many people, as the affected person might consider the possibility that the growth could be a sign of cancer. Luckily, both of these conditions are considered benign, but it is still important to consider the fact that the causes and treatment options for these conditions are completely different. Understanding the differences between these two skin conditions helps a person better go about treating and eliminating the problem, and restoring the natural beauty of the skin below. Either way, before you make a final decision you should always seek help and advise from licensed medical practitioners.

Written By

Shawn Clark is a Health, Beauty and Fitness Adviser. For the past 7 years, he is providing nutrition counseling, fitness training and health advice all over Phoenix, Arizona. Shawn is committed to providing modern, relevant and reliable health information in all its complexity, perpetuating positive messages about sexual health, joint pain, diet and exercise.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Harvey Lee

    May 14, 2018 at 7:54 am

    Vey informative article! I like the info provided by you to differentiate the skin tags and warts. Thanks for sharing the great article.

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