Wart or Skin Tag?


Warts and skin tags are common skin conditions that can cause concern and discomfort. Understanding the differences between these two conditions is important in order to seek appropriate treatment. Let’s take a closer look at warts and skin tags.

Warts: Causes and Characteristics

Warts are caused by a viral infection in the skin, specifically the human papillomavirus (HPV). The most common type of wart usually appears on the fingers, hands, and feet, but they can also occur on other parts of the body, including the face, knees, and elbows. Warts often have a rough, bumpy surface and may be round or oval in shape. They can be painful or uncomfortable, especially if they are located on a weight-bearing part of the body.

WartWarts are classified into different types based on their appearance and location:

  • Common warts: These warts are usually found on the hands, fingers, or around the nails. They have a rough texture and may have black dots, which are clotted blood vessels.
  • Plantar warts: Found on the soles of the feet, these warts have a hard, grainy surface and may cause discomfort while walking.
  • Flat warts: These warts are smooth and flat, often found on the face, neck, arms, or legs. They can occur in large numbers.
  • Filiform warts: These long and thin warts appear around the eyes, nose, or lips. They have a thread-like appearance.
  • Periungual warts: These warts are found around the nails and can be painful. They may cause nail deformities.
  • Mosaic warts: These warts are clusters of several warts that merge together, forming a larger, irregular pattern.

While all warts can be unsightly, they can be effectively treated by a medical professional.

Skin Tags: Characteristics and Treatment

Skin TagSkin tags, on the other hand, are soft, fleshy growths that usually appear in areas where the skin rubs against itself or clothing, such as the neck, armpits, and groin. They are typically small, flesh-colored, or slightly darker than the surrounding skin. Skin tags often have a stalk that attaches them to the skin.

Skin tags are benign growths of skin that are not harmful and do not require treatment unless they are causing discomfort or are unsightly. However, if desired, skin tags can be easily removed by a medical professional. Removal methods may include:

  • Cryotherapy: This procedure involves freezing the skin tag with liquid nitrogen, which causes it to scab over and eventually fall off.
  • Electrodesiccation: In this procedure, a probe with an electric current is used to destroy the skin tag. The heat generated dries out the tag, causing it to wither and fall off.
  • Surgical removal: Skin tags may also be removed through the use of sterile scissors or by shaving them off with a biopsy.

It’s important to note that skin tags, although generally harmless, can be a sign of an underlying medical condition. If you are concerned about the growth on your skin, it is best to consult a dermatologist for an accurate diagnosis. A dermatologist can help you determine whether the growth is a skin tag and provide you with the best course of treatment.

Conclusion and Recommendation

In conclusion, warts and skin tags are common skin conditions that can be easily distinguished based on their characteristics. Warts are caused by a viral infection, have a rough texture, and can be painful. Skin tags, on the other hand, are soft, fleshy growths that usually occur in areas of friction and are generally harmless.

If you have concerns about warts or skin tags, it is recommended to seek the expertise of a dermatologist. Dr. Arora and his dermatology staff are experts in skin health and treatments. They can provide an accurate diagnosis, determine the best course of treatment, and perform any necessary removal procedures.

Schedule a visit by calling (516) 246-8800 and visit either our Garden City or Syosset location for personalized care and treatment.