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Are Skin Tags a Sign of Health Issues?


Anyone can develop skin tags even infants and children. Researchers have been exploring the possible connection between skin tags, type 2 diabetes and obesity. Skin tags might be harmless themselves, but could they be a sign of something greater?

There are concerns that skin tags might be more common among people suffering from metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome is a group of risk factors that increase your risk of heart disease, diabetes and stroke. Because researchers have found some abnormalities regarding lipid and carbohydrate metabolism among patients with skin tags, it’s worth looking into.

One recent study, published in Annals of Medical and Health Sciences Research, researchers were interested in whether or not skin tags could be a marker of metabolic syndrome. After studying 110 patients all of whom have 2 or more skin tags, as well as 110 control subjects, researchers found the following:

  • 58 patients with skin tags had diabetes, in comparison to 12 control subjects
  • 15 percent of patients had impaired glucose tolerance, in comparison to 8 percent of control subjects.
  • Patients with skin tags had higher systolic and diastolic blood pressure, in comparison to the control group

The researchers concluded that skin tags might in fact, be a sign of metabolic syndrome. In that case, these patients would benefit from making key lifestyle changes. Based on their findings, particularly high serum levels of key enzymes, researchers were interested in investigating the possible relationship between skin tags and liver diseases.

Skin tags and other diseases

This relationship was also reported within a 2013 study, published in the Indian Journal of Dermatology. Researchers explored the impact of age, metabolic syndrome, skin tags, BMI and smoking on cardiovascular diseases. This study focused on 30 cardiac patients with skin tags. Researchers studied 30 noncardiac patients with skin tags and 30 healthy control subjects with neither skin tags or heart disease.

Researchers came to the conclusion that skin tags may act a physical symptom of underlying cardiac atherogenic factors. These include increased triglycerides, high-density lipoproteins and total cholesterol. Since these factors threaten coronary circulation, the researchers described skin tags, obesity and metabolic syndrome as a “Bermuda Triangle” that acts against the heart.

Of course, just because you have a skin tag, doesn’t mean that you’re at risk for a heart attack, but that being said, there does appear to be a connection. If you are overweight and have developed numerous skin tags, this may be a sign that you’d benefit from key lifestyle changes.


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