Skin Tags and Moles -- Causes and Cures
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September 12, 2009, last updated September 28, 2014

By Betty Howard, Contributing Columnist

Skin tags and moles are often confused. What are the
differences between skin tags and moles? Are skin tags
dangerous? What do some people develop skin tags more
than others? How can skin tags be safely removed?

What are Skin Tags?
I have numerous skin tags on my back. They seemed to
come "overnight" when I reached age 38. By the time I
was 40, I had had enough and I had many of them
removed. But what made them appear suddenly?

Skin tags are simply growths of skin, fed by blood, and
connected to the surface of your body by a thin stalk. Their
technical name is  acrochordon.   Contrary to popular myth,
skin tags are not cancerous or pre-cancerous. They are
harmless form a medical perspective and are merely
cosmetic nuisances. This is why many medial plans in the
U.S. won't cover their removal.

What Causes Skin Tags?

There are several causes of skin tags. Skin tags often
appear for the first time following pregnancy. Hormonal
changes during pregnancy are believed to increase them.
Skin tags are also more common in people who are
overweight or obese, perhaps encouraged by the
hormones that fat emits.

How to Remove Skin Tags

Skin tags live on a tiny blood supply . To get rid of them,
dermatologists can freeze them, cut them off with sterile
scissors or cauterize (burn) them.  The area is then treated
with anti-bacterial solutions to prevent infection. I had my
skin tags removed with an instrument that looked like an
electrolysis needle. It emitted a electric current which was
used to burn off the tags.

Several home remedies for removing skin tags are used,
including tying a string  around the stalk to cut off the
blood supply and freezing them off using treatments
sometimes recommended for warts.

Moles Are Different From Skin Tags

Moles, technically called "nevi" in the plural and "nevus" for
a singular one,  are often darker than your normal skin,
usually brownish or darker, while skin tags often are the
same color as your normal skin.

Moles tend to appear in areas that get a lot of sun, while
skin tags grow in areas of your body hidden from the sun,
such as the folds of our skin or under your breasts.

Among Causasian people, those who have darker hair tend
to have more moles (nevi) than those who have lighter
(blond hair) and lighter skin, according to a 2010 study
from the University of Colorado in Denver.

Moles can be flat or raised, and can grow without stalks.

Like skin tags, moles are usually harmless. They are
harmless, that is, unless they change shape. If a mole
changes shape or color, see a doctor to screen for skin

Moles are harder to remove. Because they can be flat, with
no stalk, removal of moles should be done only by a
medical professional in a sterile setting.  The same
treatments used to remove skin tags are used to remove
moles-- freezing, burning and sometimes cutting.  

Moles are small dark marks on the skin. They are a
collection of skin pigment cells called melanocytes.

You can have moles at birth (congenital melanocytic naevi).
But most of us develop moles in out teens or twenties.
Others develop them after we become pregnant or during
menopause or  pre-menopause.

Find out more information on how to keep your skin
Olive Oil Keeps You Young/ Fat-It Alive!- Fat Emits
Hormones That Affect Your Skin and Heart /Stop Dandruff
-Natural Remedies / Shingles -Causes and Cures /

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