Difference Between Skin Tag and Hemorrhoids

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The confusion of whether, is it a hemorrhoid or skin tag, arises when skin tag is found near the anal region. 

Hemorrhoids are engorged veins formed inside or outside the anal area, which are painful and can bleed, where as skin tag can also be found in the creases of genital area or near the anus, it is not painful and does not bleed.

Self diagnosis or  removal is not recommended and let your doctor see and plan the treatment accordingly. Click here for more information on Piles

Let’s know about skin tags

Skin Tag definition

Skin tag , also called as Acorcordons, is generally a small harmless mass of excess skin, which can appear suddenly, of same color or darker, protruding out in areas of the body where there is friction of skin against skin or clothes.

This is a normal aging process and forms as the skin loses elasticity. 

Where can skin tags appear?

Common areas where the skin tags are found are

  • Neck area
  • Axillary area (Armpits)
  • In the crease of breasts
  • Eyelids
  • Genital area

They may be seen around the neck in groups in a pattern, commonly called a molluscum pendulum necklace sign.

skin tag on nape of neck

Who gets skin tags? What does a new skin tag mean?

Skin tags generally appear in your 4th decade and recent reports have indicated that it is increasingly found in younger age groups, mostly because the younger population is increasingly overweight.  They are reported in 60% of the general population.

Skin tags are often associated with 

  • Normal aging process
  • Pregnancy
  • People with insulin resistance
  • Those who are prediabetic or diabetic
  • Obese
  • Genetic factors
  • Increased Estrogen levels
  • Increased Progesterone levels
  • Increased Human growth hormone levels
  • Human papillomavirus (HPV)

When should I be worried about a skin tag?

If you thought it was a skin tag but it turns out to be something else.

It’s always better to visit your doctor and get it evaluated, as skin tags can be diagnosed visually and if needed, your doctor would ask you to get a biopsy and get this sorted.

Conditions which might resemble skin tags are

  1. Neurofibromatosis Type 1
  2. Genital Warts
  3. Melanocytic Nevi
  4. Pinkus Tumor (Premalignant fibroepithelial tumor)
  5. Seborrheic Keratosis

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