Skin tags aren’t as well known as warts, but they’re a common skin condition. You may have had a skin tag on the anus for years, but just didn’t notice it. Once you realize that you have an anal skin tag, it immediately becomes a source of anxiety and worry. They look horrible, affect your self-esteem, and they can even be mistaken for other skin problems.
You can develop skin tags just outside the anus, and also skin tags just inside the anus. In simpler terms, they’re called rectal skin tags. They’re slightly different to the ones that appear on other areas of the body, but there are some similarities.
Skin tags are (usually) small, soft, and benign growths that occur on the face and body. It’s likely that most of us will get at least one during our lifetime. People who are overweight or older tend to get skin tags more than those of average or healthy weight. And women are also more prone to skin tags when pregnant, or when their hormones are fluctuating during menopause.
When you see a skin tag, you’ll notice it as a piece of skin that seems loose and baggy. They can range from a few millimeters in size, to the size of a grape. Skin tags don’t usually fall off on their own unless they became twisted and deprived of oxygen.
There are many solutions, but there are only a few skin tag removal treatments that work. Overall, when diagnosed correctly, they are harmless. But most people consider skin tags around the anus to be unsightly. Given their position, they can easily become irritated or infected. Getting them removed with a safe and proven procedure is usually the right move.
Understanding More About Skin Tags Inside & Outside the Anus
Skin tags in the anus are different from those elsewhere on the body. While they are still benign, and aren’t harmful, because of the location, they can more easily become inflamed. This can lead to irritation, infection, and bleeding.
What Causes Rectal Skin Tags?
- Constipation – This is where hemorrhoidal skin tags can become a problem. Constipation causes your stool to harden and makes it harder to pass through the anal cavity. When you try to pass it, it can become strenuous, and even painful. This strain can cause a lot of stress on the cavity, leading to anal fissures.
- Childbirth – The sudden stress on a woman’s body during childbirth can lead to the formation of fissures.
- Anal Intercourse – If measures aren’t taken during anal intercourse, like adequate lubrication, it can cause fissures and skin tags.
The tears and fissures that arise from these problems are what cause the skin tags to form. So, instead of natural occurrences, as they are with most other places on the body, the majority of rectal skin tags occur because of stress or strain.
To prevent them, or at least lessen the risk, make sure you strain and stress the anus as little as possible. Unfortunately, we tend not to give as much attention to the anus as we should, because it can seem a bit taboo. But skin tags, fissures, and tears are something that shouldn’t be ignored. Even if they can’t lead to more serious medical issues, they can be annoying, or even painful, and certainly unsightly.
Treatment Options for Hemorrhoidal Skin Tags
A skin tag, unlike a wart, blister, etc., isn’t a foreign contaminant to the body. It’s a living part of the body, so allowing it to take its natural course won’t do you any harm. However, once again, rectal skin tags can be a bit different and may require special attention. One of the most important reasons to pay attention to skin tags around the anus is that they can be mistaken for other medical issues.
You may think you have skin tags around the anus, but it could be hemorrhoids, warts, or other possible growths. Skin tags are benign, but there are no guarantees as to what other growths could be. If you’re noticing large skin tags around the anus, get them checked by a doctor.
Treatments for rectal skin tags can include excision, in which each skin tag will be individually cut off, and surgically removed, or laser treatment, in which the skin tags would be burned off. Cryotherapy is another option, where the skin tags are frozen off with liquid nitrogen. They reach such a solid frozen state that they cannot receive oxygenated blood.
How to Prevent Skin Tags Just Outside the Anus
When it comes to preventing rectal skin tags, the best thing you can do it maintain good, proper hygiene. The causes listed above are sometimes things that cannot be avoided. Strenuous childbirths happen, as does constipation.
Try to eat a diet that encourages healthy, fluid bowel movements, so your constipation risk lowers. As far as anal intercourse, the best thing you can do is to take the proper precautions to ensure no part of the anus is being strained, or at risk of tearing.
The Stigma of Anal Skin Tags
They may be common, but anal skin tags aren’t often discussed with others. It’s okay to start the conversation and be an active part of it – someone you know may be dealing with rectal skin tags, and they might not be sure how to get rid of them.
The more information that’s available about treatment, causes, and overall knowledge of rectal skin tags, the better. It will allow them to become less taboo, and just as regular as skin tags anywhere else on the body.
If you’ve ever experienced skin tags just inside the anus, or skin tags just outside the anus, trust that you are not alone. You are now armed with the knowledge that you need to know how to get rid of skin tags safely.