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Anal Warts vs. Tags: How to Tell the Difference

Anal Warts vs. Tags: How to Tell the Difference

As soon as you notice something unusual, such as anal growths, it’s important to have them evaluated. Anal skin tags and anal warts are two types of anal growths that share similarities in appearance. Visiting a colon and rectal specialist can help you get an accurate diagnosis and the appropriate treatment. 

At Colorado Colon & Rectal Specialists in Parker, Colorado, our board-certified colorectal surgeon, Lisa Perryman, MD, FACS, FASCRS, evaluates and treats a full range of issues that affect the colon and rectum, including anal warts and anal skin tags. 

Dr. Perryman can evaluate your anal growths and determine the cause. Both issues are treatable. Once you receive an accurate diagnosis, Dr. Perryman discusses treatment options. To give you a better idea of these two issues, we’ve put together some helpful information.

Anal tag overview

Anal skin tags are tiny, usually harmless growths that develop around the outside of the anus. To the untrained eye they can be easily mistaken for warts or hemorrhoids. Hemorrhoids are a common cause of anal skin tags. 

Hemorrhoids can cause the skin to stretch, and when the hemorrhoid disappears, a skin tag is left behind. That’s why you’re more likely to develop anal skin tags if you have a history of hemorrhoids

You also have a higher likelihood of developing skin tags during pregnancy. Skin tags can also form as a result of inflammation or anal skin irritation. It’s best to leave it to a professional to differentiate an anal skin tag from an anal wart. 

Dr. Perryman can remove your anal tags if they’re causing pain or discomfort. This is done in our office in a simple procedure. 

If recurrent hemorrhoids are an issue, talk to Dr. Perryman about managing and preventing hemorrhoids so that you lower the risk of developing new anal skin tags. 

Anal wart overview

Anal warts are caused by the human papillomavirus, or HPV. They appear around the anus and can also appear on the skin surrounding the genital area.

Anal warts are usually tiny when they first appear. They can, however, become substantially larger and cover the entire area around and on the anus if not treated. They also tend to cause itching and burning in the area. 

There are several forms of HPV; some produce hand and foot warts, while others cause genital and anal warts. Dr. Perryman can treat them in a variety of ways, depending on their location, quantity, and size. 

If the warts are small, they can be treated by injecting a solution into the warts that causes them to shed. This is a simple in-office process that takes a few minutes.

If there are several warts in the area, Dr. Perryman may recommend removing them surgically. Freezing and cauterizing the warts are other ways to remove them. Rest assured that Dr. Perryman goes over your treatment options and helps you choose the most appropriate approach. 

If you notice any abnormal anal growth and are looking for answers, schedule a visit with Dr. Perryman. Our highly skilled and compassionate team of medical professionals in our office is devoted to providing top-quality care. Call 303-840-8822 to schedule a visit with Dr. Perryman, or submit your booking request through our website. 

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