What Are Skin Tags?
Coming from a family with a long history with diabetes, I grew up around people with skin tags. Skin tags are non-cancerous tumors of the skin that are largely harmless. They appear as bits of flesh or dark colored bumps. They can vary in size from as small as half of a pencil eraser to as big as a fig!
Most people are expected to have skin tags at some point in their lives. But the people most susceptible to skin tags are middle aged and obese adults.
While they may not be harmful, as I introduced them, they can be indicative of something that can be.
What Causes Skin Tags?
Skin tags tend to occur on parts of the body where friction between skin is common like the neck, the underarms, and under the breasts. As a result of friction, they occur mostly in people who are obese.
While they’re mainly caused by friction, there may be another underlying root cause. The emergence of skin tags around the neck is one of the body’s potential signs pointing towards prediabetes. Prediabetics are people who have the tendency to develop diabetes. Skin tags can appear years before a detectable sugar imbalance. Which makes it important for you to take notice of them.
Diabetes is a serious disease that the World Health Organization (WHO) forecasts will be the 7th leading cause of death globally by 2030. Of the two types of diabetes, type-2 is the most prevalent type making up around 90% of cases. People with type-2 diabetes produce blood sugar regulating insulin but aren’t able to make use of it. Over time, this can impact your entire body.
Studies have found that those with skin tags have higher levels of cholesterol, triglycerides, blood sugar, and C-reactive protein. With such a condition, it’s no wonder skin tags signal prediabetes.
What you can Do About Skin Tags?
As one of your body’s warning signals, the last thing you want to do is go to a dermatologist to get rid of them. The best way to address skin tags is to get at the root of the issue. This means balancing your blood sugar levels.
Balancing your blood sugar levels starts with lifestyle changes.
The biggest lifestyle change you’ll need to make is around your diet. If you’ve gotten to the point where skin tags are appearing on your body, you likely maintain a diet high in carbohydrates. While carbs are important for providing our bodies with energy, when you eat foods high on the glycemic index (GI) your blood sugar will spike.
Veggies low on the GI include white beans and spinach. Most fruits are low on the glycemic index, but keep in mind that their GI will change depending on when you eat them. Being mindful of the foods you’re eating and their rank on the GI will help naturally regulate your blood sugar levels.
Poor sleep has been linked to overeating and obesity. When adjusting your diet, you need to make sure you get enough sleep too or else you’ll end up eating larger portions than you really need!
Exercise plays a significant role in managing prediabetes and your weight. If you spend a lot of time sitting at work, make sure to take the time to stand up and stretch every so often. Burst training and strength training can also help boost your metabolism. A boost to your metabolism can aid your body’s blood sugar regulating processes.
If you’ve been following The Hearty Soul, you’ll know that we’re big fans of turmeric. The healing properties of turmeric and its orange-yellow pigment, curcumin, are no joke. One double-blind study, had participants take either a placebo or a curcumin supplement. After 9 months of treatment, 16.4% of people taking the placebo developed type-2 diabetes mellitus. Meanwhile, nobody in the curcumin group developed the disease! Alongside the above lifestyle changes, take turmeric regularly to manage your blood sugar levels and much more.
Added Bonus: But wait there’s more!
Aside from incorporating each of these changes into your lifestyle, there are some more fundamental changes you need to make. Dr. Hyman suggests designing a life where good health and weight loss are a side effect of your environment. This means organizing your kitchen, getting smaller plates and more. Read about it here.
Once you’ve managed to regulate your blood sugar, you no longer need these ‘warning signs’ on your body. Getting rid of skin tags is a simple process. You can visit your doctor or dermatologist to get that done. They may be harmless on their own, but skin tags can be a call for help by your body!
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