Warts and skin tags are both common skin growths, but they are different in several ways. If you have questions about your skin health or treatment options, Borealis Dermatology is here to help.
Wart or Skin Tag?
Warts are caused by a viral infection in the skin. The most common type of wart usually appears on the fingers, hands, and feet. Warts can also appear 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.
Skin 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. Skin tags are typically small, flesh-colored, or slightly darker than the surrounding skin. They often have a stalk that attaches them to the skin.
While warts are caused by a viral infection, skin tags are not caused by a virus. Skin tags are benign growths of skin that are not harmful and do not require treatment unless they are causing discomfort or are unsightly.
It’s important to note that warts and skin tags can both be a sign of an underlying medical condition, so 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 wart or a skin tag and provide you with the best course of treatment.
Types of Warts
Warts are a common skin condition caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV). There are many different types of warts, each with its own unique characteristics.
- Common warts are usually found on the hands, fingers, or around the nails.
- Plantar warts, which are usually found on the soles of the feet, have a hard, grainy surface.
- Flat warts are smooth and flat, and are usually found on the face, neck, arms, or legs.
- Filiform warts are long and thin and often appear around the eyes, nose, or lips.
- Periungual warts are found around the nails and are often painful.
- Mosaic warts are clusters of several warts that merge together.
While all warts can be unsightly, they can be effectively treated by a medical professional.
Wart and Skin Tag Removal
When it comes to treating warts and skin tags, your doctor might first numb the affected area to reduce any discomfort. There are several options for in-office treatments, such as cryotherapy and electrodesiccation. Cryotherapy involves freezing the wart or skin tag, which causes it to scab over and eventually fall off. Electrodesiccation, on the other hand, involves dabbing a probe, which is flowing with electric current, onto the wart or skin tag. In some cases, skin tags may also be removed through the use of sterile scissors or by shaving them off with a biopsy.
In summary, warts are caused by a viral infection and are often rough and bumpy in texture, while skin tags are soft, fleshy growths that usually occur in areas where the skin rubs against itself or clothing. Although skin tags are not likely to cause pain or discomfort, we suggest scheduling a visit for removal. Warts need to be examined by a healthcare professional to decide the correct treatment. Dr. Arora and his dermatology staff are experts in skin health and treatments. Schedule a visit by calling (516) 246-8800 and visit either our Garden City or Syosset location.