Is There an Association Between Skin Tags and Diabetes?
Diabetes is a condition which results from too much sugar in the blood as the body is not able to process it completely and appropriately. When a person does not have diabetes, a hormone called insulin is produced which transports sugar to the body cells. For people having diabetes, the pancreas either do not make sufficient insulin or the body doesn’t use it efficiently. This is the reason why sugar builds in the blood.
Skin tags are small protrusions in the skin that keep hanging from the stalks. From medical point of view, they are harmless, but they can be very irritating. This is the reason why some people want to get them removed.
Those having diabetes may get skin tags but it is also associated with a host of lifestyle factors and conditions. What we are trying to say is that if you get skin tags, you do not necessarily have diabetes. But if you are noticing the occurrence of skin tags it is advisable to see a doctor. Tests for diabetes may be recommended.
What Does Research Say?
A study  conducted in 2007 established that there was more incidence of diabetes in people who have multiple skin tags. Another study  in 2015 concluded the same and hence strengthened the association. Recently, it has been found that skin tags indicate high cholesterol levels in people with type 2 diabetes.
What Is the Cause for This?
What causes skin tags in diabetics is not clear. It is associated with the resistance of the body to insulin. Overweight or obese people also have greater chances of development of skin tags. Obesity has a connection with diabetes so this could be a reason for developing skin tags.
Treatment for Skin Tags
Skin tags are not harmful. Thus, there is no requirement to treat them medically. But some people feel that they spoil their looks and so they want to get them removed for cosmetic purposes or they may find them irritating. You could get them removed by the doctor. The methods are:
- Surgical removal: Scissors or scalpel can help remove the skin tag.
- Ligation: In this method, a surgical thread is tied around the base of skin tag and then the blood supply is cut off.
- Cryotherapy: The skin tag can be frozen with liquid nitrogen.
- Electrosurgery: High-frequency electrical energy is used to burn off the skin tags.
Some people believe that natural remedies are effective in removing skin tags, but we don’t know how effective they are as there are no studies related to this. Some of the natural remedies are Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV), lemon juice, tea tree oil. Here are some proven home remedies to remove skin tags naturally.
With surgical procedures, there is a risk of infection. Infections could be more damaging for people having diabetes. If you try to remove the skin tags yourself, even then there are chances of getting an infection. If the skin tags are occurring because of diabetes, you may note that with stabilized insulin the skin tags clear away and do not occur again. This is better than surgical removal as it prevents the infection from happening.
Skin tags would not occur again after they have been removed but new ones may grow nearby if the root cause of the problem has not been treated.
Research says that people having diabetes have greater chances of developing skin tags as compared to those who do not have diabetes. But this does not imply that if you are having skin tags, you have diabetes. Skin tags could be due to a number of other conditions.
See your doctor if you get skin tags. The doctor will run a test for diabetes to rule it out as the cause of skin tags. You should all the more visit your health care professional if you have other risk factors for diabetes like having a family history or if you are overweight. If you want to get your skin tags removed, get it done by a doctor and be careful about the risk of infection.