Skin Tags and Diabetes

skin tags and diabetes

Being diabetic comes with its large share of related issues. The list is endless, especially with skin related problems which can include skin tags. I’ve had skin tags and know how it can make you feel frustrated from that alone. So, could it be possible skin tags and diabetes are connected in some away?

Are skin tags a sign of diabetes? If you have skin tags, it doesn’t necessarily mean you have diabetes. However, the presence of skin tags can indicate you have a blood sugar problem. Studies have shown a strong association between skin tags, insulin resistance and diabetes. If you have skin tags, it’s a good idea to see your doctor.

I couldn’t imagine being diabetic and having to deal with skin tags also. A friend of mine has diabetes but luckily he doesn’t skin tags. Skin tags can just complicate an already serious problem. In this blog post, I’ll inform you of the studies that show you the association between skin tags and diabetes. In addition, I’ll discuss why this happens and possible ways to avoid it from happening.

Skin Tags and Diabetes

There are numerous studies showing a connection between the two. Although, having skin tags doesn’t mean you have an insulin problem. On the flip side, having diabetes doesn’t mean you will get skin tags. The following are studies showing an association between skin tags and diabetes.

Study: In a study published in 2007 (resource), a group of 104 patients with skin tags was compared to a group of 94 people without skin tags. The study found the patients with skin tags had a higher frequency of diabetes. In addition, there was a connection between the total number of skin tags and the mean fasting plasma glucose. The study found patients with more than 30 skin tags were at an increased risk of diabetes.

Study: In a study published in 2015 (resource), the researchers objective was to find an association between skin tags and diabetes. They compared 2 groups of 51, one group with skin tags and the other without. The results indicated the patients with skin tags had a significantly higher frequency of diabetes than the group without skin tags. In addition, they noted the presence of skin tags was important in an early diagnosis of diabetes.

Study: A study published in 1987 (resource), studied 216 patients with skin tags for the presence of diabetes and obesity. The study concluded skin tags are associated with impaired carbohydrate metabolism and may serve as a way to identify patients as a high risk of having diabetes.

Study: A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 1976 (resource), noted a large percentage of patients with skin tags had type 2 diabetes.

Study: A study published in 2010 (resource), researched the association between skin tags and insulin resistance.  The study involved 98 people who had more than 5 skin tags. They concluded the presence of multiple skin tags was strongly related with insulin resistance regardless of other risk factors.

Study: Another study published in 2002 (resource), evaluated 120 people with skin tags for the presence of impaired carbohydrate metabolism. Diabetes was found in 88 people. Glucose intolerance was detected in 6 people and reactive hypoglycemia was found in 4 people. The study concluded skin tags are markers for underlying impaired carbohydrate metabolism. In addition, they stated people with skin tags should be evaluated for the presence of diabetes.

skin tags diabetes

What Causes Skin Tags In Diabetes

It appears skin complications, like skin tags, occur when a person’s blood sugar levels are too high. More research is needed to confirm this. People with diabetes typically have high blood sugar levels because they have a lack of insulin or its not performing properly. About 33 percent of people with diabetes develop some sort of skin problem. Too much blood sugar can cause dry skin, inflammation, reduced circulation and unhealthy collagen networks. In addition to skin tags, the following skin conditions are associated with diabetes:

  • Diabetic ulcers
  • Shin spots
  • Blisters
  • Waxy skin
  • Sclerederma diabeticorum
  • Psoriasis
  • Acanthosis nigricans
  • Xanthelasma
  • Eruptive xanthomas
  • Necrobiosis lipoidica diabeticorum
  • Granuloma annulare
  • Skin infections

Ways To Prevent Skin Tags

Some things can be done to help reduce the risk of skin tags and other skin conditions related to diabetes and insulin resistance. The best way is to maintain healthy blood sugar levels. The following are tips for achieving healthy blood sugar levels.

  • Regular physical activity and exercise.
  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • Follow your doctor’s advice and treatment plan.
  • Follow a healthy diet. I wrote a whole blog post on how the Keto diet may be beneficial with insulin resistance and preventing skin tags. You can check it out right here. A low carbohydrate diet, like the Keto diet, can improve insulin resistance which can help reduce skin tags.

Other ways to help prevent skin tags:

Reduce friction from other skin: By maintaining a healthy body weight will reduce folds in the skin. Skin folds caused by excess fat create areas where skin will rub on other skin. In addition, apply baby powder to those areas, under the arms and near the thighs. This will help your skin stay dry and reduce the friction.

Friction caused by tight jewelry and clothing: Wear clothes that are loose and not tight, particularly around the neck, chest and thighs. Also, avoid repetitive movements that causes clothing to constantly rub on the same part of your skin.

what causes skin tags
Tight Clothing

Related Questions

Are skin tags hereditary? They can be, numerous studies have shown a genetic predisposition to the development of skin tags. This includes people with genetic disorders like diabetes, insulin resistance, obesity, Birt-Hogg-Dube Syndrome and hormonal imbalances.

What are symptoms of diabetes? The following are symptoms of diabetes:

  • Weight loss
  • Increased hunger
  • Frequent urination
  • Skin problems like skin tags
  • Fatigue
  • Increased thirst
  • Decreased sex drive
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Yeast infections


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Tom Johnson

Hi, I'm Tom Johnson, and I've spent years conducting extensive research, testing and have a passion for any topic related to skin tags. You can read more here About Me

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