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What You Need to Know About Anal Tags

What You Need to Know About Anal Tags

Medically known as acrochordons, skin tags are common, noncancerous growths that occur in various locations around your body. Anal skin tags form on the skin around the anus. 

While anal tags are usually pain-free, they can cause local irritation and itching. They can also resemble some more serious health conditions. 

Consider a visit to see Dr. Lisa Perryman at Colorado Colon & Rectal Specialists when you experience growths that might be anal tags. Proper diagnosis can rule out more serious conditions such as hemorrhoids and cancer, and Dr. Perryman can easily remove symptomatic anal tags to prevent future irritation. 

What you need to know about anal tags

Acrochordons form when your body produces excess cells on the upper layers of skin. Most commonly, skin tags form in skin folds and areas where skin rubs against itself. As well as the anus area, skin tags can form in places like your armpits, eyelids, neck, and thighs.

Anal tags are usually the same color as your skin or slightly darker. They tend to be small, a few millimeters at most. 

Skin tags on parts of the body other than the anus often feature a teardrop shape with a narrow stem attaching a larger bulb to the skin’s surface. Anal tags often have a flatter appearance with little or no stem. 

Constipation and diarrhea may contribute to anal tag formation; they may also be caused when anal fissures or hemorrhoids heal. 

Comparing anal tags and anal warts

It’s sometimes easy to mistake anal tags with anal warts, growths resulting from an infection caused by certain strains of the human papillomavirus (HPV). Anal warts typically start out very small, but sometimes they’ll grow quite large. 

It’s possible for anal wart clusters to cover a substantial area around the anus. Anal tags tend to form, at most, with only a few individual tags. 

Learn more about differences between anal tags and warts here

Removing anal tags

Don’t attempt to remove anal tags yourself or with the aid of consumer skin tag removal kits, even if you’ve been successful treating skin tags in other places on your body. The risk of infection and poor healing is substantially higher in the anal region.

Because of their location in the anal area, with high levels of natural bacteria and often humid conditions, it’s important to leave removal of anal tags to medical professionals like Colorado Colon & Rectal Specialists. If removal of an anal tag becomes necessary, Dr. Perryman performs a simple and well-tolerated office procedure appropriate for your case. 

Anal tag prevention

You can control some of the risk factors associated with anal tag growth. 

Staying hydrated and enjoying a balanced diet that’s high in fiber promotes regular soft bowel movements that place little strain on the anus. Gentle cleaning and wiping after bowel movements reduces irritation in the anal area. 

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle helps both regularity and weight management. Being overweight increases your risk of developing anal tags because of the strain placed on the anal area.

Tight clothing and underwear, particularly those made from non-breathable fabrics, can hasten the formation of anal tags. Wear loose-fitting items that minimize friction. 

There’s more information about treatment of anal tags in this blog post.

Contact Colorado Colon & Rectal Specialists for diagnosis and treatment of anal tags. You can book an appointment with our Parker, Colorado, office online or by phone. Plan your visit today. 

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