Difference Between Skin Tags and Warts & Other Skin Problems

Difference Between Skin Tags and Warts & Other Skin ProblemsSkin tags are just one of those skin conditions that anyone can get. However, skin tags are not the only skin condition that you may get. In fact, there are quite a few you can get that may look like skin tags but are actually something much different.

This article will help you tell the difference between skin tags and some of these other skin conditions. Of course, you should always consult a medical professional to confirm your skin condition. They will typically take a skin sample and send it to a lab to determine your skin condition. This article simply serves as a guide and not a medical diagnosis.

Identifying The Different Types Of Skin Problems

All these bumps have a few things in common. First, they can form as one single bump or a grouping of multiple bumps.Next, all the bumps tend to be small. Rarely will you see one larger than a pencil eraser. Though sometimes they can get as large as a grape, it’s extremely rare.

Skin Tags

Skin tags are perhaps the best and often most common skin problem to have. Treatment for skin tags is also fairly easy and straightforward. A skin tag is simply a skin fibroma, also known as a growth. They will usually be skin colored and soft. They are fairly common and not usually dangerous.

Also, skin tags do not usually grow over time. They will almost always stay the same size for the life of the tag. If they get irritated, then they may become painful or itchy. However, you will not typically feel your skin tag under normal circumstances.


Warts are a different type of skin problem. They are notfibromas. Instead, warts are caused by a virus similar to human papillomavirus (HPV). Just like skin tags, warts will be small and skin colored. However, warts will usually have a slightly different appearance and texture. They will usually resemble cauliflower and feel rough to the touch. Warts will also typically be much harder than a skin tag as well, so it is generally easy to differentiate between the two.

You can also find warts all over your body,and they will spread. So, make sure to wash your hands after touching your warts.

What Causes These Skin Problems?

Warts and skin tags have two completely different causes. Neither of them is particularly harmful but knowing what causes these skin conditions can help in their treatment and prevention.

Skin Tags

As mentioned earlier, skin tags typically appear in locations where the skin will rub together. This includes the arm joints, knee area, neck, and groin. Skin tags can still occur anywhere though. The people that get skin tags tend to be older, but anyone can get a skin tag no matter their age or gender.

The exact cause of skin tags remains unknown. Scientists have various theories such as skin rubbing together or that the HPV virus may cause them. However, people experience skin tags all over their body (including their scalp),and people without a version of HPV still get skin tags.


Scientists know a lot more about what causes warts. First, they are caused by a virus similar to HPV. People will typically get this virus from sharing a towel or other clothing that has made contact with a person that has a wart.

The virus will get under the skin,and then a wart will form on the surface of the skin. The whole wart itself is the virus, but the wart goes underneath the skin and grows from there; this can make removing a wart extremely difficult and complicated.

Treating Warts and Skin TagsTreating Warts and Skin Tags

There are a few different ways to treat warts and skin tags. Some treatment methods will work for both,and some will only work for one or the other. This section will provide solutions for both.

Freezing (warts and skin tags)

You, or your dermatologist, can remove warts and skin tags by freezing them off. This process is also known as cryotherapy and involves low temperatures to treat a variety of tissue lesions on the skin.  Now, freezing them involves more than just getting an ice cube and placing it on your skin.

You will have to use liquid nitrogen to lower the temperature of the skin enough to kill it completely. The skin dies,and then the wart or skin tag falls off. You will have to ensure that the root of the wart is completely removed from your skin. Skin tags require no extra work to remove but should still be inspected by your dermatologist to be safe.

Duct Tape (warts)

Duct tape might sound like a strange treatment option, but it works. Simply cut a small piece of duct tape and place it on your wart. You should use a Band-Aid to hold the duct tape in place since the skin that touches duct tape will die.

Just keep applying the duct tape to your skin until the wart dies, and the root falls out. This method takes longer than freezing, but it does work.

Apple Cider Vinegar (skin tags)

Apple cider vinegar works for removing skin tags. Simply rub the vinegar on your wart every few hours and before you go to sleep. The acid in the vinegar will kill the skin on the skin tag over time. Eventually, the skin tag will die and fall off.

This method takes a few weeks and will be a slow process at first, but it does work with enough time and patience.

Final Thoughts

Skin tags and warts are two skin conditions that no one wants. Fortunately, they are fairly easy to remove once identified. More importantly, neither condition should cause you much concern. Both conditions are benign and not cancerous.

Of course, only a doctor can diagnose them as non-cancerous, but if you have warts or skin tags, then you only have a cosmetic concern and not a health concern.

Finally, the treatment options for warts and skin tags are both fairly simple and easy to do at home. However, you will still want to get a professional opinion to rule out a skin condition that could prove to be more serious before you attempt any home methods listed above.

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