Anal skin tags are harmless skin tissues found on the opening of anal canal. They are also known as rectal skin tags and in medical terms they are called hypertrophied papillae. They are not related to cancer or tumor but sometimes anal skin tags are mistaken for anal warts or hemorrhoids. Anal skin tags can occur due to injury or inflammation caused to the anal region. Anal skin tags are soft tiny tissues that hand off loosely from the skin in and around the anal or rectal opening. Anal skin tags are not contagious and do not spread to your partners through sex. They need no treatment but it can cause irritation when rubbed with tight clothing or friction caused while you are sitting. Bowel particles can stick on to the anal skin tags causing unclean atmosphere.
Anal skin tags can be identified as small flap that hangs off your skin and they occur in and around the anus/rectal region. They are nothing but small extension of the skin that is held through a stalk. Anal tags are flesh or pink colored and many people would come to know about it only when they wash after using the toilet. For some people it can cause slight irritation while getting rubbed with tight under-garments.
Exact cause of development of anal skin tags is not clear.
- Obesity :
People who are obese have increased chance of getting anal skin tags. Any trauma or injury to the anal region can trigger formation of anal tags.
- Constipation :
People with constipation problem are likely to get anal skin tags. Since they are in the habit of passing hard stools consistently the soft skin areas that surround the rectum can tear apart.
- Rectal Surgery :
People who have undergone rectal surgery are more likely to get anal skin tags. The skin in this region would be swollen and requires complete healing. This condition can give rise to anal skin tags.
- Piles (Hemorrhoids) :
Hemorrhoids or piles can also trigger formation of anal skin tags. They can cause inflammation of the anus area giving way to fresh skin tags.
Do Anal Skin Tags Cause Any Complication ?
Anal skin tags do not cause any pain for the person. But it may cause slight discomfort while using the toilet. There is chance for getting the infection when fecal particles got stuck to these tags causing foul smell and issues of cleanliness. This can invite bacteria leading to anal infection. And anal skin tags can cause anxiety and discomfort while having sex. Hence if you observe any anal tags in and around the anal region you can consult your doctor and get it removed.
Your doctor can easily detect anal skin tags by pelvic examination. Your doctor would make sure that anal fissures or hemorrhoids are not present in the anal region. If required, he may order for a biopsy of skin tags to be tested in the lab.
Anal skin tags can be removed easily by various procedures. Your GP would you give a shot of local anesthesia on the anal region so that you may not feel the pain while cutting the anal skin tags.
- Cryotherapy is freezing the anal tags using liquid nitrogen. A drop of liquid nitrogen would be applied on the anal skin tags which will eventually destroy them.
- Laser therapy is also widely used for treating anal skin tags. Laser beam would smooth the surface of skin in and around the anus thus helping in removal of tags.
- Ligation is another process through which blood supply is completely cut off from the skin tags. This will gradually wither and fall off within few days. A new layer of skin would develop in this area covering the space.
- Electrocautering is a procedure in which minute quantities of current will be used to burn the anal skin tags.
Scarring of skin and mild irritation can occur in some of the above procedure, but it is temporary.
Will Fresh Skin Tags Form On The Region After Removal ?
There is no evidence to believe that fresh skin tags will be formed in the area after its removal.
Home Remedies :
You can take sitz bath (sitting in lukewarm water for 20 minutes) for getting relief from discomfort caused by anal skin tags. This would also help in cleaning the unwanted fecal particles from the tags. You can repeat this bath even after removal of skin tags by any of the above methods. The chance of getting infection can be prevented by taking sitz bath for few minutes.
Some people would tie a piece of fine cotton or dental floss around the anal skin tag. After few days it would drop off from the stalk. But it is not advised to follow this method since it can cause irritation and bleeding. And you may not be able to successfully remove the skin tags completely.
Can Anal Tags Be Prevented ?
No. Nothing can be done to prevent getting anal skin tags. But you can always reduce the risk by maintaining your weight and avoiding constipation. Practice exercise regularly or joint a gym nearby to shed excess of pounds. Take fiber rich diet and include plenty of fresh fruits daily. This will help in reducing constipation considerably.