Tongue Skin Tag: What is It and How to Remove It?
Medically known as acrochordons, skin tags are protruding skin growths that may develop on different parts of the body such as armpits, eyelids, under the breast, neck, and groin folds. If you see a soft whitish skin sticking out, it is possible that it could be a skin tag if not a wart.
Skin tags usually develop from the friction of two skin rubbing each other or skin and clothing, although several factors are considered. These factors include age, weight, hormones, HPV (Human Papillomavirus), insulin resistance, or steroids. In most cases, people who develop skin tags belong to the senior group, pregnant women, and diabetic ones.
In essence, having a skin tag is a common occurrence and not something to be worried about. As a benign tumor, skin tag doesn't cause any symptom unless it gets irritated repeatedly. But if a skin tag becomes irritating and blood comes out from it, it is best to seek medical help because it might be something more than just a skin tag.
This article will tackle skin tags that grow in rare areas for them to grow and the things that need to be considered when facing issues like skin tags. We will also discuss how to remove and prevent skin tags from growing again.
Is it possible to have a skin tag on the tongue? Yes, it is possible, although rare. If you find a white fleshy piece of skin on your tongue, you have likely developed a tongue skin tag.
Although the tongue doesn't have skin and is made of a mucous membrane, friction may still occur, causing the growth of a skin tag. That friction is caused by your tongue rubbing against any skin in your mouth. But friction is not the only reason for a skin tag on the tongue to grow. Having a tongue piercing could also lead to the growth of a tongue skin tag.
Typically, skin tags on the tongue aren't painful unless there is an infection. But it could be irritating and annoying when you eat or talk. People who have skin tags on their tongue find it hard to chew their food because it is painful. As a skin tag grows where there is friction, then the skin tag would continually rub itself against any skin or part of your mouth, which might be a reason for irritation and infection.
Although skin tags shouldn't be painful or dangerous, there are times when a skin tag isn't what we thought it to be. If you experience pain on that particular area of your tongue where your skin tag grew, it could be an indication of something more serious. If bleeding develops on your tongue skin tag, seek medical help immediately to provide further complications.
Although a rare development, skin tags do appear in areas such as the tongue. But that shouldn't be a reason not to have your tongue checked by medical experts. What you thought as a skin tag could be a more severe infection or disease. Below are some tongue problems that are commonly mistaken for a skin tag.
Plica Fimbriata is small folds made by the membrane itself on the underside of the tongue. These folds resemble a skin tag because of the tiny bumps they create on your tongue.
Usually, Plica Fimbriata is harmless, but they can be harmful when they come off. These small folds can sometimes get caught in the teeth and get cut off. When that happens, the open area becomes susceptible to infections. Redness, pain, and swelling are indications that your Plica Fimbriata has been infected. It is best to call your doctor immediately for treatment. In most cases, an antibiotic is enough to clear up infections, but there are also instances when you just have to use an antiseptic mouthwash to keep the infected area clean.
Swollen taste buds may resemble a skin tag in a way that the buds are bulging out and feel like they are skin tags sticking out. But swollen taste buds and skin tags differ in terms of color and texture. Swollen taste buds are white and less fleshy.
Unlike skin tags, swollen taste buds require a doctor's treatment and cannot be remedied at home.
A non-cancerous cluster of tissue, irritation fibroma happens when you bite your tongue or rub it against your teeth or retainer. Fibromas are harmless and painless, but they can be a bit annoying, just like a skin tag. It doesn't really require any treatment since it doesn't pose any danger to a person, but if you want it removed, a doctor can do so by performing a surgical excision.
Warts are sometimes mistaken as a skin tag. Warts are like small blisters or rough-textured skin growth. Unlike skin tags, warts are caused by a virus and are highly contagious. And like skin tags, warts can also grow on the tongue.
The Human Papillomavirus is a sexually transmitted disease. Normally, sexually transmitted diseases are associated with the genitals, but they can also affect the mouth through oral sex.
Several bumps inside your mouth and on your tongue can grow when HPV infects your mouth. Although they are as harmless as skin tags, they can also be irritating when you eat or drink. And since HPV has many variations, it is indefinite whether you can be at risk of oral cancer or not. Once again, it is best to consult a doctor to determine whether what you have is a skin tag or HPV.
There are skin tag-like bumps on the mouth that are actually cancerous. When your skin tags become painful, reddish, or white, consult your doctor immediately. It might be cancerous or may lead to cancer.
To confirm whether the skin tag-like growth on your tongue is cancerous, your doctor will run a biopsy. Cases like this are rare, but there is no harm in taking precautionary measures.
Lymphoepithelial cysts (LECs) are hardened lumps inside the body's soft tissues and can be mistaken as a skin tag. They are whitish and yellowish bumps that are almost 1-centimeter-wide in size. They usually grow in the throat and head areas. LECs on the tongue are located at the bottom part near the entrance of the throat.
Although this is also non-cancerous, doing a biopsy is recommended to avoid further problems.
Just to be sure, whenever you get a new bump, it is always best to have it checked by your doctor. Although skin tags or anything that resembles it is harmless, going to the doctor will help you prevent other underlying conditions.
You should also seek medical attention if you notice any of the following symptoms:
- finding it hard to chew or swallow foods
- problems on your jaw and tongue movements
- sudden and inexplicable weight loss
- changes in the bump or skin tag's size, texture, and color
- continuous pain in your mouth and tongue
- wounds in your mouth that don't heal or take a long time to heal
- red and white spots in your mouth
- numbness of the tongue
- changes in your voice
- sore throat and tightness
Some of these signs are symptoms of other minor conditions, but they can also be symptoms of some worst illnesses such as oral cancer.
Removing skin tags on your tongue may be a hard one, considering the topical and medicated solutions.
Usually, skin tags can be removed through simple methods that you can do at home. The most common removal method is the ligation technique. It is a term used when you tie a skin tag to disrupt its blood flow. By cutting off its blood circulation, a skin tag will soon die and fall off. But, considering that the skin tag location is on the tongue, the ligation technique would prove an impossible removal option.
Removing tongue skin tags require a specialist's attention and expertise. Medicated solutions are out of the options because they are not meant to be swallowed. Self-treatment is also not recommended because removing one on your own may be hazardous.
The best thing to do is to consult your doctor and discuss the possible ways you can remove the skin tags on your tongue. Your doctor can either cut the skin tag with a scalpel, burn it off through laser surgery, or cauterize it.
Tongue skin tags are uncommon and yet common. Common in the sense that it is a skin tag, so there is nothing to worry about. If you have skin tags on your tongue, don't fret and don't freak out. Worrying and panicking about it would not help you find a solution to treat your skin tags. And never do something rash without consulting a medical specialist first. Being impulsive may result in untoward incidence and future complications. Moreover, don't resort to home remedies because skin tags on the tongue is not a common occurrence and require a medical specialist.
The price for removing tongue skin tags varies considerably based on the method used. Since tongue skin tags cannot be removed using medicated solutions or self-removing methods, you will have to pay your doctor the medical fee for your surgery.
It will cost much if you consult a doctor to remove the skin tags on your tongue compared to doing it yourself and resorting to medicated solutions or herbals. But there is no guarantee that everything will turn out fine if you do it by yourself.
Although removing skin tags may seem easy, tongue skin tags are a different story to read. Doctors give their expertise as a medical professional as they perform the surgical procedure. Aside from that, they would make sure that there will be no complications after the surgery. So even though it may cost you a fortune, you will have the assurance that nothing will go wrong. That will leave you with extra peace of mind.
Knowing the causes or why you are getting skin tags on your tongue is the primary point in preventing skin tags from occurring or growing. Although preventing skin tags' formation is possible and always better than finding a treatment, some factors are beyond your control, so you have to take note of that too.
Even though skin tags are mainly caused by friction, other factors contribute to its growth as well. One of which is the weight of a person. Medical studies have associated skin tags with pre-diabetes symptoms. So it would be best to consider having a diet and workout plan. Losing weight could also lower the tendency of hormonal changes, which is als o a factor in developing skin tags.
Aside from those uncontrollable causes, there are causes that you can actually control. One is to keep your mouth clean by brushing it or gargling mouthwash. That would keep bacteria from infecting your mouth. You should also avoid rubbing your tongue with your teeth or gums, as it is the main reason why one would grow a skin tag. Preventing friction to happen continually will slow or prevent skin tag formation.
Skin tags can form again, that's for sure, but you can lessen the number of skin tags that would grow. And once a skin tag has been removed, the same one won't grow again. Other skin tags will appear in nearby areas, but it won't be the same skin tag that was removed.