I didn’t know much about skin tags when I first started to get them. In the beginning they all seemed to be a peach color, like the color of my skin. Later on a few of the skin tags that developed were darker in color. After a few more years one of my lighter color skin tags turned dark, which I became concerned about. There didn’t seem to be any particular reason why this happened.
What is a black skin tag? Some skin tags are darker in color than your skin color and is considered normal. Other skin tags, that were once a lighter color, sometimes change color and get darker. This is because the blood supply to the skin tag has been disrupted and started to die.
Skin tags can be frustrating and this topic is one of the reasons why. We don’t want others to notice our skin tags, and these darker ones only make them more noticeable then they have to be. In addition, I think the darker ones are also uglier. This blog post will tell you more about black skin tags and everything you need to know about them.
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Why A Skin Tag Turns Black
First a little background about skin tags so I can fully explain. Skin tags are small pieces of flesh that protrude from your skin. They attach to your skin by a stem or stalk and consist of fibers, cells and have an epidermis. Skin tags contain blood vessels just like any other part of your body (resource). There are times when an existing skin tag will change color and become a darker skin tag than before. This is usually because the normal blood flow to the skin tag has been interrupted somehow causing it to begin dying.
The same thing will happen to a skin tag when it is treated with a chemical made for removing skin tags. The chemical will dry up the skin tag causing it to turn black, shrink and eventually fall off. A skin tag will also turn dark when it’s tied off at the base with dental floss or a string. Tying the skin tag at the base with dental floss will cut off the blood supply causing it to die. A few days later it turns to a black skin tag and eventually fall off.
Mostly skin tags are the same color as your skin but occasionally skin tags will be a black skin tag, darker than your natural skin color. This just happens, is considered normal and it’s not a reason for concern.
So if you have a skin tag that suddenly turned into a dark skin tag it’s blood flow has probably been restricted. Skin tags are always safe but if you have a mole that has turned color a visit to the Doctor is a must because a mole can become cancerous.
What Causes Skin Tags
If you have black skin tags and you’re wondering how you got them in the first place, there are 3 common causes why. The first one is due to skin friction. It can be skin rubbing on other skin or tight clothing rubbing on your skin. This is why skin tags are commonly found in skin folds, armpits, groin, neck and around underwear lines (resource).
The second cause is from pregnancy. An increase in pregnancy hormones like estrogen and leptin can cause skin tags. There are studies indicating a strong association between these two hormones and skin tags (resource 1,2). Another reason is the extra weight gain during pregnancy can cause more skin folds and tighter clothing resulting in more skin tags.
The third cause is insulin resistance. Your body’s cells don’t respond normally to insulin resulting in a build up of glucose in your blood. Like with pregnancy hormones, studies (resource) have shown a connection between skin tags and insulin resistance.
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