Having a skin tag may not be a problem until you wake up one day and find that it has become black or purple. The change of color may result from a clot or thrombosis. It may also be a result of more severe skin conditions such as skin cancer. Some skin tags are harmless benign tumors, while others may be cancerous. It is, therefore, understandable if you treat this change as a matter of concern.
Skin tags are easy to identify and diagnose by yourself. You can always tell the difference between a skin tag and melanoma by observing its texture, size, and color. Your doctor can make the diagnosis without the need to undertake a biopsy unless there is a likelihood that your tag is cancerous. Unlike other skin conditions such as warts, skin tags are always soft feel and get attached to the skin by a stalk-like pinnacle.
If your skin tag has darkened and you suspect that something is wrong with your health, consider getting immediate medical assistance. It is not suitable for you to keep worrying about the issue when you can get assisted by a doctor. If your skin tag darkens due to a clot, it will fall off in approximately two weeks. However, you will need to see a doctor if your skin tag changes color and does not seem to fall off after several weeks.
You may have had the tag for years, then suddenly wake up to a change in its color. This should not be a concern, although it may indicate a problem with the health of your skin tag. The tag could be irritated, or there could be an infection that needs to be treated before attempting to get rid of it at home.
Here are some of the reasons why your skin tag may appear black:
1. The Skin Tag Was Originally Black
A few skin tags always appear black from the outset, while a good percentage bears the color of the skin. The difference in color does not matter as long as you received the right diagnosis for the condition. Have a doctor rule out the possibility of other skin conditions before treating any tumor as a skin tag. For instance, it is easy to mistake hemorrhoids for anal skin tags since both appear dark when blood vessels get constrained. You can tell the difference during the healing process since hemorrhoids disappear after a few weeks. To quicken the process, you can make use of an over-the-counter cream.
Dark skin tags that have not undergone any change for a while can be removed safely using the TagBand, which is more hygienic and efficient.
2. The Skin Tag Changed Color Overnight
Skin tags and other benign tumors survive on oxygen and blood. When deprived of these two components, a skin tag turns black and starts dying on its own. Such tags do not need any medical attention.
Change of color may also occur when you accidentally twist the tag when asleep, or when you scratch it by accident. You can also cut the supply of oxygen and blood to a skin tag by tying it off. This process is known as litigation. Using it causes the tags to turn black and die naturally, and the process lasts approximately ten days.
3. The Skin Tag May Fall Off By Itself
You may wake up one day and realize that your skin tag fell off while you were asleep. This may catch you by surprise, especially if you have had the tags for many years. You do not need to get worried when this happens since the tags have only been starved of oxygen. Although this does not happen too often, it is more common after pregnancy as your hormones become more balanced.
On some occasions, the area may become inflamed and tender. This also occurs when you remove the skin tag prematurely. Use the right OTC products like aloe vera to facilitate faster recovery. Such products also prevent the formation of scars. The duration of the healing process also depends on the visibility and location of the skin tag. Whichever the case, the area will start looking better after a few weeks as the skin returns to its standard color.
When to Seek Medical Attention
There is no cause for worry when your skin tag turns black on its own. This is an indication that the tag is dying and that it will eventually fall off. In case the skin tag suddenly turns black and does not seem to fall off after three weeks, have a dermatologist check it out. You also need to get checked if the tag becomes infected or irritated.
On average, most individuals develop at least one skin tag in their lifetime. Some health, genetic, and age factors contribute to their occurrence. If you keep getting skin tags that do not seem to fall off, you may need to seek medical assistance to rule out any underlying problem.
Possibility of Skin Tag Regrowth
Skin tags are not like warts and other skin conditions that grow back after falling off. However, they can develop elsewhere in the body, especially when there is an underlying cause that has not been resolved. When they keep recurring in the same place, make an effort to get checked by a dermatologist.