Jennifer Baron, MD Blog What's the Difference in between a Mole and a Skin Tag and How execute I remove Them?

It is not constantly easy come tell apart skin tags, moles, and also keratoses (“barnacles”). All 3 can selection in shade from tan come brown/black, gray come pink, or enhance your skin shade exactly. Some moles are also a blue/black color. Moles are well-organized collections of skin cells that are devoted in make the melanin pigment the protects skin native the harmful ultraviolet results of the sun. Tags and most keratoses, however, are comprised of the an ext common skin cabinet types.

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Moles, or “nevi,” can also have numerous shapes and sizes, and also can appear almost anywhere on the body, consisting of palms and also soles, scalp, face and also genital areas. Keratoses are usually very superficial v no basic “roots,” virtually like warts. Part keratoses are resulted in by sun damage and also they are considered pre-cancers. Skin tag (“acrochordons”) room usually small, but can prosper steadily and also tend to occur in skin folds. The most common areas for skin tags include:

Under armsGroinUnder the breastsBelly foldsNeckUpper and lower eyelids

If tags, mole or keratoses gain in the way, snag on your clothes or jewelry, or you room otherwise unhappy v their appearance, they can be gotten rid of safely through a professional dermatologist like Jennifer Baron, MD, FAAD, FACMS in mountain Jose. You will mitigate the chances of bleeding, infection, recurrence and also scarring by permitting Dr. Baron to remove them for you.

The differences in between moles, freckles, skin tags and also keratoses

Your baseline skin color is the result of pigment production and also distribution to her skin by committed “melanocytes.” The melanin colours is typically spread same in her skin, yet with moles, they group together in ring or oval shapes, sometimes flat and sometimes raised like mounds over the skin. Some people have very few moles and some have more than 50. If there space exceptions, having a many moles is typically inherited and most civilization stop getting new moles ~ the age of 30.

True summer sprouts are various from moles in many ways, yet the many noticeable is that freckles are usually lighter tan or brown and also are constantly flat. Also, freckles have tendency to it is in on the face, shoulders, chest, and arms, and also sometimes disappear through age. Freckles execute not end up being skin cancer.

It is an extremely rare the a mole turns right into a skin cancer (i.e. Melanoma), but, that is not unusual for really skin cancers come look very comparable to a continual mole once it an initial appears on her skin. For that reason, the is very important to get a full skin examination by a dermatologist if you have moles, there is skin cancer or melanoma in her family, or you’ve noticed some of your moles an altering color, dimension or shape faster than others. Her dermatologist have the right to perform a biopsy right away if there is any type of suspicion because that skin cancer.

Skin tags often look choose a soft “pouch” of skin that is enclosed by a fine “stalk.” because of this, they have the right to twist and turn black and also fall off, or they can be torn off and bleed. Part moles can look tag-like, so that is no advisable to shot to snip or twist off any kind of growth of the skin without visiting your dermatologist to assess first. Skin tags space not cancerous, however some growth that appear to it is in tags or moles may actually be early skin cancers.

Keratoses are usually rough choose sandpaper or waxy in texture. They room so superficial, they may seem prefer they have the right to be conveniently scratched off. They likewise tend to gain irritated easily and also can be very itchy, especially around the chest, neck and back. The pre-cancerous keratoses are practically always situated in sun-exposed skin, favor the scalp, ears, face, hands and arms.

Removing moles, freckles, skin tags, and keratoses

These growths deserve to be removed by her dermatologist in the office. The finest removal options depend top top the size, location, and also depth that the growth. Also, the dermatologist will nearly always confirm through the pathology lab the a mole was non-cancerous through submitting it together a biopsy.

“Burning” or fine Needle Hyfrecation

A dedicated instrument that delivers a spark of electrical energy to the most superficial great of the skin is used to properly remove little tags and also keratoses. The warm from the spark seals off any kind of bleeding during this procedure. This therapy is used frequently in areas or skin types that might not tolerate freeze (see below).

LASER or Broadband irradiate (BBL)

Freckles and flat sun spots can be properly lightened and/or gotten rid of safely and completely with BBL treatment.

Shaving, snipping or “Cutting”

Dr. Baron may use a lance to remove raised moles or surgical scissors come snip off tag-like mole or skin tags. If a mole extends more deeply under the skin, she might recommend an cut which will avoid a mole from cultivation back. An excision is a little bit more complex and may require numbing (with a little needle injection) in the area, followed by bland to improve healing and also reduce the opportunity of a scar.

Freezing (Cryotherapy)

Liquid nitrogen is frequently used to frozen skin tags and also keratoses. In some areas, this can form a blister which typically heals without a scar over the course of days to weeks, depending on size and location. For darker skin types, freezing may not be a an excellent option since it can cause semi-permanent interruptions in the surrounding skin color (see well Needle Hyfrecation, above).

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Leaving the removal of these common growths come a expert dermatologist will provide you the best chance because that a good result, permit for mindful evaluation (biopsy if needed) and also will protect against complications choose scars and also pigment irregularity. Call Jennifer Baron, MD, FAAD, FACMS when you need skin growth evaluated or removed. Speak to the san Jose office at 408-329-6056 to schedule her appointment.