Skin Tag on the Tongue: 10 Causes and Treatments

Skin Tag on the Tongue can be  caused by friction between two parts of the skin. This is commonly seen in the armpits, and eyelids, but can also be found on the tongue.

However, the tongue can be an odd place to find skin tags as these bumps might indicate something else.

This article would explain the causes of skin tags on the tongue and similar bumps that can be mistaken for skin tags.

What causes skin tags on the tongue?

Friction is the main cause of skin tags on the tongue. There might be too much friction between your tongue and the bottom of your mouth, which might cause skin tags to appear.

Also, a tongue stud could also cause friction and in turn, a skin tag on your tongue.

Other causes of a skin tag include;

  1. Age: Skin tags get more common as we get older.
  2. Weight gain: The amount of fat in your body increases as you gain weight, this includes in your mouth. This increases the chances of friction in your mouth.
  3. Hormones: Hormones released during pregnancy and menopause can increase friction and in turn, skin tags.
  4. Human Papilloma virus
  5. Steroids
  6. Insulin resistance

What looks similar to skin tags in the tongue?

Most people confuse other health conditions for skin tags. This can lead to extreme health conditions in future, as these similar ‘skin tags’ might be early indicators of a disease, like oral cancer.

Let’s discuss other things that might be similar to skin tags:

●    Plica Frimbriata

If you look underneath your tongue, you would notice that it is covered by a membrane. Sometimes, this membrane can fold slightly to form bumps; these bumps are called plica frimbriata.

Although it does not have some growths might develop on the plica frimbara.

These growths can be mistaken for a skin tag. They are harmless, but can stick between your teeth and cause an injury. Likewise making it easy to get a mouth infection.

There is no treatment for Plica frimbiata, but the growths can be removed by surgery if necessary.

●    Warts

A wart on the tongue is rare but highly contagious. Warts are caused by a virus unlike skin tags that are caused by friction.

If you seem convinced that what is on your tongue is a wart, it is best to see a doctor. Even if you’re confused on what it is, if wart is among your options, a doctor would confirm it for you.

You can also get the wart treated in the hospital. Please do not try to treat the wart on your tongue with a topical cream.

●    Irritation fibroma

When you have a minor injury on some part of your body, a group of none cancerous tissues come together to form an irritation fibroma. This can happen in any part of your body including your tongue.

An irritation fibroma is formed when you bruise a part of your tongue by biting, hot food, hitting your tongue in a rough tooth, etc.

A fibroma can be removed by surgery, but it’s not mandatory as it is a painless cluster.

●    Human Papilloma Virus (HPV)

HPV is a sexually transmitted disease of various types. Although most symptoms of this virus are found in the genitalia, some can also found be in the mouth and throat because of oral sex.

Human Papilloma Virus can cause several types of bumps in your mouth including the squamous cell papilloma. This particular papilloma resembles a skin tag on the tongue. It can be single, or in a group on a spot.

Growths from HPV are usually harmless, but can disturb the normal eating process. If necessary, they can be removed by surgically cutting then off it freezing them (cyrosurgery).

●    Oral cancer

A few times, a skin tag might be an indication of oral cancer. Although this is rare, it is one of the early symptoms of oral cancer.

A skin tag is cancerous if it is painful, and has a vibrant red or white colour. If the tag changes size and texture over time, or gets injured and does not heal, it might be cancerous.

It’s best to visit a doctor when you see some of these signs. The doctor would remove the tag surgically, and run a biopsy on it. You don’t need to panic if it’s cancerous, if caught early, it can be treated.

●    Lymphoethelial cysts

Lymphoerhelial cysts are hardened cysts that are found in soft tissues id the body. They are majority found in soft tissues of the head and neck.

A lymphoethelial cyst is different from a skin tag as it is can be white or yellow in colour, up to one centimeters wide in diameter, and mostly seen at the bottom of the tongue.

They are painless and can be removed by surgery. However, it’s best you visit a doctor for a biopsy on the cysts, they might indicate something cancerous.

●    Swollen taste bud

A swollen taste bud looks like a skin tag, but there are some differences. It is not as fleshy as a skin tag, and it is white in color.

A swollen taste bud might be painful and requires a doctor attention unlike a skin tag that is painless and does not necessarily need medical attention.

How to Remove Skin Tags in the Tongue

Normally, skin tag on the tongue can be removed by cutting off the blood supply with topical creams or medications. However, these methods do not apply for skin tags on the tongue.

Whatever part of the tongue the skin tag are in, do not remove try to remove them by yourself. To remove a tongue skin tag, you need a specialist.

Discuss with your doctor on how wide the skin tag is, and the best method in removing the tag.

Again, do not try to make ligations by yourself because remove of tongue skin tags is not a common procedure. You might end up damaging some important vessels in your tongue.

How much does removing a tongue skin tag cost?

The cost of removing skin tag on the tongue vary according to your location, the removal method used, and the consultant fee of the doctor.

Remember, it is not necessary to remove a skin tag but whatever the cost is, it is worth it compared doing the procedure yourself.

Summary

Skin tags on the tongue can occur in any part of the skin that is in constant friction with another. This includes the tongue and floor of the mouth.

Sometimes, people mistake some serious health conditions as skin tags. Like oral cancer, Human papilloma Virus, etc.

Skin tag on the tongue are painless and do not necessarily need to be removed. However, if you want to remove it, discuss with a specialist and do not try to remove it by yourself.

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