Anal skin tags are common, benign bumps surrounding the anus. They form when a blood vessel swells, stretching the skin, and then shrinks back to the original size. The skin is left dangling which may cause itching, irritation, interfere with personal hygiene or present an aesthetic concern. Common causes of anal skin tags are pregnancy, constipation, diarrhea, hemorrhoids, heavy lifting and strenuous exercise.
Anal skin tag removal is a simple out-patient procedure which may be performed in the office under local anesthesia or in the operating room when combined with another surgery. While patients may return to their regular activities the following day, it is important to avoid constipation and rigorous exercise for the first week. The total recovery time is 6 weeks.
Anal skin tags are diagnosed by a physical exam. If hemorrhoids (internal or external) are present the patient will be referred for evaluation by a Colo-rectal or Gastrointestinal specialist. Furthermore, it is possible for additional anal skin tags to develop in the future, high-lighting the importance of avoiding the common risk factors such as constipation and heavy lifting.