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The Difference Between Skin Tags, Moles, and Warts

 There are so many types of skin growths and it can be quite a challenge to tell them apart. A few of the most common yet nonserious kinds of growths are skin tags, moles and warts.

Unfortunately, the older you get, the more prone you are to develop these types of skin growths. In addition, these growths can really make you feel uncomfortable and self-conscious.

Any procedure to remove skin tags, moles, and warts should be done by a board-certified dermatologist with the skills and many years of experience removing skin growths. Self-treatment or DIY removals may lead to scarring, infection, and a worsened appearance and condition of your skin.

Here’s how to tell skin tags, moles, and warts apart so that you can plan the best course of action to get rid of these self-confidence saboteurs.

Skin Tags

A skin tag is a small flap of skin commonly found in the folds of skin that undergo friction such as the eyelids, armpits, and the neck. Skin tags usually form as a result of skin rubbing against a piece of clothing, jewelry, or skin-on-skin friction. Some people are also susceptible to forming skin tags due to hereditary factors.

Skin tags may be removed using over-the-counter medications. If the skin tags do not respond to medication, then excision, cauterization, or cryotherapy may be used.


Moles or nevi are small and oval or round dark brown spots that may appear at any time between infancy and early adulthood. They form when pigment cells are clustered together and can develop anywhere on your body. Unlike a wart, a mole is distinctly pigmented and may also have hair. Moles may be removed surgically with or without stitches through excision or shave removal.

Moles carry a risk when they appear, especially in old age. Having too many moles, bigger-than-average moles, or unusual moles may increase your risk of developing melanoma. If this is of particular concern to you, a dermatologist can educate you on how to perform self-checks to look for changes in your moles between visits to the dermatologist.


A wart is a skin growth on any part of your body caused by human papillomavirus (HPV). It is characterized by a rough texture that may look like a blister or a cauliflower. Warts may feature a black dot, which is a blood vessel. The type of warts you have depends on where it is located on the body. Warts on the hand are called palmar warts, while warts on the feet are called plantar warts. Warts may be a sign of a weakened immune system. It can also take years for warts to go away on their own, and treatment includes medical and surgical intervention.

If you would like to learn more about how to get rid of problem skin growths such as skin tags, moles, and warts, call Atlantic Derm in Delray Beach, Florida, at (561) 802-SKIN (7546) or use the convenient online appointment request form.

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