March 16, 2012
1 min read

Skin tags may predict insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome potential

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Individuals with multiple skin tags demonstrated high BMI and Homeostasis Model Assessment Index values, according to findings presented at American Academy of Dermatology Annual Meeting.

The researchers noted that insulin resistance is an underlying abnormality linked to obese and noninsulin dependent patients with diabetes, and that multiple skin tags can be found in these populations. They added that the fibroblasts proliferation that occurs in skin tags is caused by an activation of growth insulin receptors for factor-like (IGF1).

Individuals without insulin resistance average 1.7 on the Homeostasis Model Assessment Index. The researchers suggested that insulin resistance should be defined when this ratio exceeds 2.7. The aim of the current study was to calculate BMI and the Homeostasis Model Assessment Index in 30 patients with skin tags.

Eligible participants had been referred to an outpatient clinic with multiple skin tags — defined as 5 lesions — between July and December 2010.

More than three-quarters (76.7%) of the study population were women, and the average age was 50.5 years.

A family history of diabetes was observed in 56.7% of the study population. Fasting glucose above 100 mg/dL was also observed in 56.7% of patients. The average BMI was 29.1±5, and the average Homeostasis Model Assessment Index was 3.4±3.4.

“High [Homeostasis Model Assessment Index] and high BMI in this study reinforce the concept that skin tags are markers of insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome potential,” the researchers wrote.

Disclosure: The researchers identified no commercial support.

For more information:

Barbato M. #4883. Association between multiple skin tags and insulin resistance. Presented at: The 70th Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Dermatology. March 16-20, 2012. San Diego, Calif.