Do I have a skin tag, wart, or mole? What's the difference?

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If you've developed a skin growth you're trying to find some information about, it can be overwhelming to know where to start. In this article, we look at some of the obvious characteristics that differentiate moles, skin tags, and warts from each other. This is summarised nicely by the infographic towards the bottom. But first, we will dive into some differences in appearance.

What’s the difference between Skin Tags And Moles?

Skin tags, also known as acrochordons, are common, benign skin growths. Skin tags are usually colourless and caused by friction. Moles, on the other hand, are caused by genetics and sun damage. They can come in the shades of tan, reddish-brown, red, purple, brown, or pink. No hair grows from skin tags, whereas hair may grow out of moles.

A skin tag is usually the same colour as the rest of your skin. It usually appears as loose piece of skin attached by a stalk to your body, which you can often wiggle it back and forth with your fingers. Moles and skin tags are both soft, however moles tend to remain more stationary when touched.

Are Moles, Warts and Skin Tags contagious?

Moles and skin tags are not contagious, but warts are. Warts are thick and deep, while skin tags remain at the surface. Most importantly, a wart is caused by a virus which is why it can be spread to other people.

Where do skin tags appear?

Skin tags most often appear on places where clothing rubs against the skin, like armpits, neck, body folds, groin and upper trunks. You may even find skin tags that form on the eyelid or genital skin tags. Because they usually appear in areas of friction, you may find skin tags that appear during pregnancy. The good news is that skin tags are harmless! They are non-cancerous, which is why after you have confirmed your skin condition with a GP or dermatologist, you can remove skin tags from home with kits like TagBand.

See the infographic below for some useful distinctions between skin tags, moles and warts.