ZocdocAnswersHow do warts and skin tags differ?

Question

How do warts and skin tags differ?

I have on my stomach something my doctor said was a big skin tag, and he said not to worry about it. But now I've got a few more, as if it's spreading like warts, which is what I thought it was in the first place. How do you know the difference between warts and skin tags?

Answer

Warts and skin tags are some of the most common skin conditions, and they are sometimes confused. The doctors who will be well qualified to discuss this issue with you include your primary care doctor and your dermatologist. Skin tags, or acrochorda, are benign, fleshy protrusions of skin that often narrow at the base. They do not have a specific cause, and they do not 'spread' per se. However, they often seem to grow in areas of skin friction, such as the armpits, stomach, and groin. As such if you have one or two in this location you will probably develop more. They do not require treatment unless they become uncomfortable of if they bleed. Warts, on the other hand, are infections of the skin causes by a virus. They can spread from one wart to the other. They are flatter and with a broader base then skin tags. Warts can be treated by freezing or applying certain chemicals as recommended by your doctor. As always the diagnosis and the management of your particular skin concern will require a physical examination by your personal physician. Scheduling an office visit with your primary care doctor or your dermatologist is highly recommended.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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