While typically harmless, current research suggests that there is a strong association between skin tags and prediabetes, also called insulin resistance, and Type-2 diabetes. In those with insulin resistance, insulin becomes ineffective at pushing sugar into cells and, as such, the blood sugar builds up and the body keeps producing more insulin in an attempt to normalize blood sugar. Eventually, the pancreas becomes exhausted and diabetes results. Early detection can prevent the development of this deadly disease. Diabetics, on average, live 10 to 15 years less than non-diabetics.
Also known as fibroma pendulum, a skin tag is a benign (non-cancerous) soft area of skin that hangs off the body. Technically a tumor, skin tags are made up of collagen fibers, capillaries, lymphatic vessels, a core of ducts, fat cells, nerve cells and are covered by the epidermis. Caused by bunches of trapped blood vessels and collagen inside thicker parts of the skin, they are usually flesh colored, about the size of a grain of rice or bigger, and look like a little flap of skin connected to the body by a small stalk of tissue called a peduncle. Known to doctors as acrochordons, the most common areas where they occur are in the folds of your skin, such as the eyelids, neck, groin under arms and upper chest, but can also be found elsewhere on the body. While it can be alarming to see any kind of growth on your skin, these growths are typically harmless.