Jennifer Baron, MD Blog What's the Difference in between a Mole and also a Skin Tag and How carry out I eliminate Them?
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It is not always easy to tell personal skin tags, moles, and also keratoses (“barnacles”). All 3 can range in shade from tan come brown/black, gray to pink, or complement your skin color exactly. Part moles are even a blue/black color. Moles are well-organized collection of skin cells the are dedicated in do the melanin pigment the protects skin native the harmful ultraviolet impacts of the sun. Tags and also most keratoses, however, are consisted of of the much more common skin cell types.

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Moles, or “nevi,” can likewise have numerous shapes and sizes, and also can appear practically anywhere ~ above the body, consisting of palms and also soles, scalp, face and genital areas. Keratoses space usually an extremely superficial through no basic “roots,” practically like warts. Some keratoses are brought about by sunlight damage and also they are thought about pre-cancers. Skin tag (“acrochordons”) are usually small, but can prosper steadily and also tend to take place in skin folds. The many common areas for skin tags include:

Under armsGroinUnder the breastsBelly foldsNeckUpper and also lower eyelids

If tags, mole or keratoses obtain in the way, snag top top your clothes or jewelry, or you are otherwise unhappy v their appearance, they deserve to be removed safely by a professional dermatologist favor Jennifer Baron, MD, FAAD, FACMS in san Jose. Friend will reduce the possibilities of bleeding, infection, recurrence and scarring by allowing Dr. Baron to eliminate them because that you.

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

Your baseline skin shade is the result of pigment production and also distribution to your skin by committed “melanocytes.” The melanin colors is normally spread evenly in your skin, however with moles, they group together in ring or oval shapes, periodically flat and also sometimes raised favor mounds over the skin. Some people have very couple of moles and also some have an ext than 50. When there space exceptions, having a the majority of moles is generally inherited and also most people stop getting brand-new moles after ~ the age of 30.

True freckles are different from mole in many ways, however the most noticeable is that freckles room usually lighter tan or brown and also are constantly flat. Also, freckles tend to be on the face, shoulders, chest, and also arms, and sometimes disappear through age. Freckles do not end up being skin cancer.

It is very rare the a mole turns right into a skin cancer (i.e. Melanoma), but, it is not inexplicable for really skin cancers come look very comparable to a continual mole as soon as it first appears on her skin. For the reason, it is really important to get a complete skin check by a dermatologist if you have moles, over there is skin cancer or melanoma in her family, or you’ve noticed several of your moles changing color, dimension or shape faster than others. Her dermatologist deserve to perform a biopsy appropriate away if over there is any type of suspicion because that skin cancer.

Skin tags often look prefer a soft “pouch” the skin the is fastened by a fine “stalk.” due to the fact that of this, they have the right to twist and turn black and also fall off, or they can be take it off and bleed. Some moles have the right to look tag-like, so it is not advisable to try to snip or twist off any kind of growth that the skin there is no visiting your dermatologist to evaluate first. Skin tags space not cancerous, yet some growth that appear to be tags or moles may actually be beforehand skin cancers.

Keratoses space usually rough favor sandpaper or waxy in texture. They space so superficial, they might seem choose they can be conveniently scratched off. They additionally tend to acquire irritated easily and can be really itchy, especially roughly the chest, neck and back. The pre-cancerous keratoses are almost always located in sun-exposed skin, prefer the scalp, ears, face, hands and also arms.

Removing moles, freckles, skin tags, and keratoses

These growths have the right to be gotten rid of by her dermatologist in the office. The ideal removal options depend top top the size, location, and also depth that the growth. Also, the dermatologist will virtually always confirm through the pathology lab the a mole to be non-cancerous through submitting it together a biopsy.

“Burning” or good Needle Hyfrecation

A devoted instrument the delivers a spark of electrical energy to the many superficial layers of the skin is provided to efficiently remove small tags and keratoses. The heat from the spark seals off any bleeding throughout this procedure. This therapy is used regularly in areas or skin species that may not tolerate freeze (see below).

LASER or Broadband light (BBL)

Freckles and flat sun spots deserve to be efficiently lightened and/or removed safely and totally with BBL treatment.

Shaving, clipping or “Cutting”

Dr. Baron might use a scalpel to remove increased moles or operation scissors to snip turn off tag-like moles or skin tags. If a mole extends much more deeply under the skin, she might recommend an excision which will avoid a mole from cultivation back. An excision is a bit more facility and may require numbing (with a small needle injection) in the area, complied with by bland to boost healing and also reduce the opportunity of a scar.

Freezing (Cryotherapy)

Liquid nitrogen is often used to freeze skin tags and keratoses. In some areas, this can kind a blister which normally heals there is no a scar over the course of days to weeks, depending on size and also location. Because that darker skin types, freezing might not be a an excellent option because it can reason semi-permanent disturbances in the bordering skin shade (see good Needle Hyfrecation, above).

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Leaving the removed of these common growths to a expert dermatologist will provide you the best chance because that a great result, allow for careful evaluation (biopsy if needed) and will prevent complications prefer scars and also pigment irregularity. Contact Jennifer Baron, MD, FAAD, FACMS once you require skin growths evaluated or removed. Call the san Jose office at 408-329-6056 come schedule your appointment.