We accept Telehealth appointments. Please schedule a virtual visit here.

Anal Skin Tags: Treatment and Prevention

Anal Skin Tags: Treatment and Prevention

Anal skin tags are common, typically harmless growths that develop on the outside of the anus. When you feel around, you may notice that they feel like warts or hemorrhoids. Skin tags can appear anywhere on the body, although they are most commonly the result of irritation or friction. You’re more likely to develop anal skin tags if you’re pregnant, overweight, dealing with chronic constipation or hemorrhoids.

Here at Colorado Colon & Rectal Specialists, our board-certified colon and rectal surgeon, Lisa Perryman, MD, treats anal skin tags and helps patients prevent them from recurring. 

What symptoms do anal skin tags cause?

Anal skin tags usually aren’t painful. However, they may itch and cause some discomfort, depending on how many you have and their size. Many patients have more than one anal skin tag. They may feel like small bumps on the anus and bother you cosmetically. For an accurate diagnosis, see Dr. Perryman for an examination. 

Preventing anal skin tags

Managing underlying issues is the best way to prevent anal skin tags. Here are some of the primary issues that contribute to the development of anal skin tags and how to prevent them: 

Keep stools soft and easy to pass

Constipation is one of the main contributors to the development of anal skin tags. Over the short term, a stool softener can help. However, if constipation is chronic, it may be a sign of another issue, such as irritable bowel syndrome or inflammatory bowel disease. 

Tell Dr. Perryman if you’re dealing with chronic constipation. Staying well-hydrated and boosting your fiber intake can help soften the stool and improve constipation. 

Prevent and manage hemorrhoids

Hemorrhoids that progress and grow large can stretch the skin of the anus, and once they shrink, they can leave a skin tag behind.

Because straining during bowel movements is one of the most common causes of hemorrhoids, avoiding constipation and keeping the stools soft and easy to pass is the best way to lower the chances of hemorrhoids. If you’re prone to hemorrhoids, see Dr. Perryman to have them treated as soon as possible so that they don’t progress. 

Reduce friction

Friction is another contributor to anal skin tags. If you’re having an issue with skin tags, it’s a good idea to avoid wearing tight-fitting underwear or pants. Additionally, women dealing with anal skin tags should avoid wearing thong underwear, since the fabric can cause significant friction. 

Prevent anal fissures

Anal fissures are another issue we see causing anal skin tags. An anal fissure is a tear in the delicate tissue that lines the anus. Frequently, a small anal tag develops at the base of the fissure.

As with hemorrhoids, constipation is the most common cause of anal fissures. Taking steps to prevent constipation reduces the risk of anal fissures. 

How are anal skin tags treated?

Gentle skin care can help anal skin tags that aren’t causing problems. Avoid scratching, rubbing, and friction. If your skin tags are bothersome, Dr. Perryman can remove them. Excision is often the treatment of choice and is typically a brief, nonsurgical office procedure.

If something feels out of the ordinary around your bottom, see a health care provider. For help with skin tags, call or message our Parker, Colorado, office to schedule a visit with Dr. Perryman.

You Might Also Enjoy...

What Causes Condyloma?

In most cases, anal warts cause no pain. Still, without appropriate treatment, these painless growths, known as condyloma, can cause serious health problems. Treatment is crucial to avoid complications.

How Your Diet Can Help Prevent Hemorrhoids

Many patients are hesitant to discuss or seek help for hemorrhoids and their related symptoms. Rest assured that hemorrhoids are incredibly common, and with treatment you can say goodbye to bothersome symptoms.

Anal Itching: Causes and Self-Care Tips

Anal itching is not only bothersome, but may also be a topic you’re uncomfortable talking about. Rest assured that it’s common and treatable. A colon and rectal specialist is your best resource.

Causes and Prevention of Anal Fissures

Anal fissures often heal within a few weeks if you take the right steps. If your symptoms are severe, or don’t improve, see a colon and rectal specialist for an evaluation.

Who’s At Risk for Colon Cancer?

With the rise in colon cancer cases each year, everyone should be concerned about their colon health. Learn about steps you can take to reduce your risk and protect your colon.