What SKIN TAGS Really Mean (What Causes Skin Tags?)
Hello, I’m Dr. Ken Berry, a family physician. Today, I want to delve into a topic that’s often overlooked: skin tags, or as we call them in the medical field, acrochordons. These small, benign growths are more than just a cosmetic concern. They can be a sign of a deeper health issue: metabolic syndrome.
A Closer Look at Skin Tags
Skin tags, or acrochordons, are harmless, non-cancerous growths that frequently appear in areas where the skin folds, such as the neck, armpits, and groin. While they may seem like a minor nuisance, they can actually serve as a warning sign for more serious health concerns.
The Hidden Connection: Skin Tags and Metabolic Syndrome
In my experience, I’ve found a direct correlation between the number of skin tags a person has and their risk of developing metabolic syndrome, insulin resistance, hyperinsulinemia, pre-diabetes, and type 2 diabetes. Obesity also seems to be linked, but it’s important to understand that it’s not the obesity causing the skin tags, but rather the underlying metabolic syndrome and insulin resistance.
The Culprit: Diet and Skin Tag Development
From my observations, the primary cause of skin tags is a diet high in carbohydrates and processed foods. These foods can lead to elevated blood sugar and insulin levels, which in turn can lead to the development of skin tags.
Dietary Strategies for Managing Skin Tags
I believe that certain dietary changes can help shrink or even completely reverse skin tags. These include:
- Low-Carb Diet: This diet involves limiting your intake of carbohydrates, particularly those found in sugary foods, pasta, and bread, and instead focusing on real foods including protein, natural fats, and vegetables.
- Keto Diet: The ketogenic diet is a high-fat, very low-carb diet that involves drastically reducing carbohydrate intake and replacing it with fat, putting your body into a metabolic state called ketosis.
- Carnivore Diet: This diet involves primarily consuming meat and animal products, and eliminating all plant-based foods.
- Banting Diet: Named after William Banting who popularized it, this is a low-carbohydrate, high-fat diet.
- Atkins Diet: This is a type of low-carbohydrate diet designed to aid weight loss.
By bringing blood sugar and insulin levels back to normal, these diets can help eliminate skin tags.
Sharing Experiences and Building a Supportive Community
I encourage all of you who have experienced skin tag reduction or elimination through these diets to share your experiences. Your stories can provide invaluable support and motivation for others embarking on similar dietary changes.
Addressing the Root Cause, Not Just the Symptom
While it’s possible to remove skin tags surgically, I want to emphasize that this does not address the underlying issue. Without dietary changes, the skin tags are likely to return. Therefore, it’s crucial to tackle the root cause rather than just treating the symptom.
The connection between skin tags and metabolic syndrome may not be widely recognized, but understanding this link can provide valuable insights into managing your health. Always consult with your healthcare provider before making significant changes to your diet or health regimen. Remember, our goal is not just to remove skin tags, but to improve overall health by addressing underlying issues.