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Should I Be Worried About Anal Tags?

Should I Be Worried About Anal Tags?

It's perfectly normal to feel concerned about growths that arise on any part of the body including the rectum and anus. After all, certain growths may go on to develop into cancer. 

The anus starts at the last portion of the colon and may develop soft growths known as skin tags. Anal skin tags are usually harmless, and are more common than you might think.

At Colorado Colon and Rectal Specialists in Parker, Colorado, board-certified colon and rectal surgeon Dr. Lisa A. Perryman and our team want patients to know that anal skin tags are extremely common and nothing to feel embarrassed about when you visit our office. 

While they aren't cancerous, anal skin tags can cause itching and discomfort. If you're experiencing discomfort as a result of anal skin tags or are concerned about the unsightly appearance, Dr. Perryman can perform a simple in-office procedure to remove them usually in less than twenty minutes. In this post you'll learn how skin tags are diagnosed and what can be done to treat them.

What are anal skin tags?

Anal tags are small flaps of skin around your anus. Although they're nearly always noncancerous and painless, they can cause some serious irritation and itching. Generally, anal skin tags are skin-toned or a bit darker than your usual skin color. 

Anal skin tags commonly develop as a result of prior external hemorrhoids or anal fissures, or from straining during constipation. In some cases, they can develop due to excess pressure from heavy lifting or during pregnancy. 

If anal tags aren't causing you irritation and don't concern you cosmetically, you may not need treatment. But many patients prefer to seek treatment because it's simple.

Recognizing anal skin tags

Anal skin tags can be confused with other things such as warts and hemorrhoids. That's why it's best to visit a colon and rectal specialist for an examination. Skin tags feel like extra pieces of skin around the anus. You may have one or more skin tags that may cause itching or have no symptoms at all. If you notice any excess skin around your anus, Dr. Perryman can examine you and let you know what's going on.

Diagnosing anal skin tags is straightforward. Dr. Perryman will look for signs of irritated skin and tender areas, and inspect the area closely. You can expect to discuss related factors such as whether you're experiencing constipation or having regular bowel movements, as well as other symptoms such as pain or bleeding. Once diagnosed Dr. Perryman will discuss treatment options.

Anal skin tag surgery

Dr. Perryman specializes in anal skin tag removal and routinely performs this procedure for patients. Skin tag surgery is a simple, in-office procedure that can help relieve discomfort or unsightly excess skin around the anus. There's no general anesthesia required. 

Dr. Perryman will use a local anesthetic to numb the area before carefully removing the anal skin tags. Because skin tags develop on the outside of the anus, the removal process is fairly easy for patients.

The procedure typically takes less than twenty minutes, after which you'll be advised to avoid any heavy lifting and exercise for about two weeks. To prevent any skin tags from developing in the future, Dr. Perryman may discuss some diet and lifestyle changes that you can make, such as increasing your fiber intake to prevent constipation and avoiding tight-fitting clothes to reduce irritation.

Dr. Perryman offers the highest quality surgical procedures and treatments to address issues affecting your colon and rectum. To learn more about anal skin tag removal and for all of your colorectal needs, give our office a call to schedule a visit with Dr. Perryman, or book your request online today.

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