The skin is the largest organ in the body. Unfortunately, this means it is exposed to many pollutants and potential injuries. That is the reason for many skin conditions, ranging from white spots on the penile region to ringworm on the scalp and other similar issues. Naturally, the body will always move to rectify unwanted skin growths, which can be caused by infections or be predisposed by identifiable factors.
Skin tags and moles are good examples of benign skin growths that almost everyone will have to deal with at some point in their lifetime. The body will get rid of them on its own, if given enough time. Although they occur and appear differently, it is easy to confuse them. In this article, we will examine the main differences and what causes them.
Skin tag vs mole; what is the difference between the two?
Let’s have a quick breakdown on skin tag vs. mole and their differences:
Skin tags take the color of the skin. They can turn reddish or black, especially when infected or about to heal.
Moles will, in the majority of cases, take a black coloring. Some will appear brown, tan, red or even pink.
In regards to what causes skin tags, we can only identify the predisposing factors. Any parts of the body that are prone to friction can develop the tags. Friction can result from clothes, other body parts and so on. Diabetics, pregnant women, older ones and obese individuals show a tendency of developing the tags more frequently.
Moles usually result from an accumulation of the cells that give the skin its pigmentation. Some appear before a child is born but most show up in early stages of development. Moles show a tendency to grow larger and darker in pregnant women.
Skin tags pose no health risk except in matters related to beauty. They can, however, become infected or injured.
1 in 100 moles will end in melanoma. It is a very deadly cancer of the skin. Such moles show early signs of rapid evolution such as changes in size, color, and blurry borders.
Locations where they occur
You can have a skin tag anywhere on the skin. Common areas where they appear include the underarms, neck, groin and eyelids.
Moles don’t seem to have a preference in regards to where they can appear. It is not surprising to find one on the genitals where it can feel like a bump on the vagina or penis.
A skin tag looks like a literal tag hanging on the skin. It has a thin root, or stalk, which is attached to the skin. Most resemble a grain of rice but larger ones can develop to the sizes of grapes or figs. They can develop individually or in clusters.
Moles form a dome shape with smooth tops. Their edges are defined. On average, they don’t usually grow past 6 mm in diameter. Rarely will you find them in clusters although they can invade a certain body part in larger numbers.
Who is at risk?
Anyone can get skin tags but they are more common with age. Use of steroids, smoking, eating too much sugar and pregnancy encourage their development.
Moles usually appear on the body before 30 years of age. It is common to have up to 20 of them.
What is the difference between mole and skin tags treatment?
The difference between mole treatment and skin tags treatment is dependent on the current state either is in. For example, moles that are showing signs of skin cancer can only be treated in hospitals with cancer treatment methods such as chemotherapy.
Skin tags, on the other hand, will only call for a bit more complex removal when infected. Even then, antibacterial medications will do a clean job of it.
Skin tag vs mole medicine
Any of the following methods can be used to get rid of either:
- Natural products – in this category, you will find remedies such as tea tree oil and essential oils. They work in a matter of weeks or even days to clear these skin growths. Some in this category can also be used to get rid of cold sores.
- Cryotherapy – this procedure makes use of liquid nitrogen to kill the skin growths.
- Excision – a skin tag can be cut off easily in a clinic or at home. A mole, on the other hand, requires a bit more complex shave excision surgery.
- Laser therapy – laser beams are directed on the affected area to poison the skin growth being removed.
- Burning – the skin growths can be burned using an electric current.
- Over the counter kits – there are many options in this category. For example, patches and creams containing salicylic acid can be used to digest the layers of the skin growth. Wart Freeze compounds can also be used for the same effect produced by cryotherapy. A Tagband can also be used to ligate a skin tag.
Home remedies for skin tags and moles removal
It is not always necessary that skin tags and moles be treated in clinics. As long as they are not infected and do not show signs of malignancy in the case of moles, home remedies for skin tags and moles can be used.
There are quite a number of options you can choose from. They range from simple banana peels, which you can also use to remove scars, to essential oils such as oregano. You can compare their reviews and choose one that works best for you.
Which is the best skin tag or mole medicine?
There is no single medicine that will work the best in all cases. The best approach is to compare them and weigh the situation you are in.
For example, tea tree oil is mild enough to remove skin tags on the penis where you may not want some freezing to be done. Surgical removal is fast and effective but you may not want it done on your face, as it might leave a scar.
If you are not certain what medicine or home remedy is best to use, a dermatologist can always help. In fact, you don’t necessarily need to visit a clinic. With modern technology, there is the option of contacting an online doctor and having your case reviewed without ever having to enter a clinic physically.