Is a Skin Tag an Indication of Poor Health?

Skin tags are regarded as a harmless skin condition that people should not worry about. Research has, however, shown that skin tags can be a symptom of poor health. In this article, we will discuss the different health concerns that are associated with this skin problem. 

Skin tags, in general, are not a reason to worry amongst people because they’re a very common skin condition. They are more than anything else than an aesthetic issue, and that is why many choose to rely on a dermatologist to have them removed. Despite that, some still opt to remove them by themselves.   

Many are still baffled by the fact that a skin tag could be a symptom of an underlying issue regarding one’s health. However, is there a connection between weight gain, diabetes, and cancer to a skin tag? Read more to find out.

Do Skin Tags Represent a Health Hazard?

Their health risk as of the moment is generally regarded as a condition that is not aesthetically pleasing but harmless. However, there are exemptions because some serious factors may have caused them to grow.

Here are some of the reasons why skin tags appear:

  • When skin folds rub against each other. For this reason, areas such as the underarm, thigh, and underboob often have them.
  • Inside thicker parts of the skin, clusters of blood vessels and collagen get trapped.
  • During puberty or pregnancy where hormonal changes are experienced.

Some medical research suggests that the development of skin tags may be a deteriorating health symptom. That is because some aspects of health may lead to factors causing skin tags. An outbreak of skin tags could be a sign that something more critical could be causing it to develop.

What Is a Skin Tag?

Skin tags could develop on any individual, regardless of his gender and age. They appear as small skin flaps and are most frequently found in the neck area, the skin around the eyes, and inner thighs. They are not necessarily a health problem, but many individuals choose to remove them because they are not pleasing to the eyes, particularly if they’ve got a small group of skin tags that are bigger than average.

Skin Tags as an Indication of Excessive Weight

The relation between obesity and skin tags was investigated in a study published in the Spanish research journal “Actas Dermo-Sifiliográficas.” The study, led by doctor Gomez, is about skin disorders and their connection to insulin in obese and overweight patients.

The authors wanted to find out whether skin tags are a symptom of a metabolic or hormonal disorder. They began to look at 109 obese people to study and conclude. In fact, of the 109 patients, 77 percent had skin tags on different parts of their bodies. 

The study further looked at the correlation between obesity rates and skin tags. As expected, they discovered that the volume of skin tags rose as per the degree of obesity.

This is probably due to scratching and the rubbing of a skin tag in the skin folds. People who are obese usually have more skin folds due to an increase in their fat content. For this reason, they are more susceptible to getting a skin tag.

Naturally, most people don’t need to locate a skin tag to see if they are fat or not. Obesity can lead to various diseases and health issues. It does help if you seek a doctor if you are worried about your weight or you are finally determined to make a lifestyle change.

Skin Tags and Its Connection with Diabetes

In comparison to obesity, the study led by Doctor Gomez shows that the tags on the skin represent a symptom of another disorder. Significant links were found by researchers between skin tags and the level of insulin, indicating that the appearance of a skin tag is an early sign that a person may have diabetes.

In the journal “Anais Brasileiros de Dermatologia in Brazil”, a study on healthy human beings by Brazilian scientist Dr. de Almeida found the same findings. The research revealed that skin tags are strongly linked to insulin resistance. 

Failure to correctly regulate blood sugar which causes diabetes is also considered to increase systemic inflammation. This inflammation, on the contrary, contributes to abnormal skin cell turnover which leads to the formation of new skin tags.

A dietary imbalance is another possible cause of skin tags. Excessive inflammation and poor cell membrane health may lead to an imbalance of fatty acids in the diet, for instance. In addition, vitamin A deficiency can also impact the dividing capacity of cells.

You should seek professional medical advice if you have diabetic issues. Nevertheless, in many ways, these blood glucose levels and dietary imbalances can be improved by doing the following:

  • Ideally, you should eat plenty of fiber from fresh foods and vegetables in your diet daily.
  • Eliminate sugar intake gradually.
  • Limit your intake of processed foods.
  • Manage your stress levels through mindfulness meditation or yoga.

Can Skin Tags Be a Cause of Cancer?

Skin tags on the neck

A skin tag may be cancerous in rare cases. Please note that a skin tag that is dark in color is not a sign of cancer. They can fall off on their own when this happens. If you have spent a lot of time exposed to sunlight, you are likely to be at risk. You may want to consult your dermatologist if your skin tag alters size or color quickly.

You should consider visiting a doctor for a check-up if you have skin tags and are concerned that yours may be a warning sign for ill health. A skin tag itself is benign and can be extracted by various methods at home.