Anal skin tags are non-cancerous growths of excess skin appearing near the opening of the anus. They are sometimes associated with other anorectal problems, including hemorrhoids. Typically, anal skin tags don't present with any other symptoms. However, they can cause discomfort or itching, and may be considered unsightly. Additionally, they may become irritated or bleed from friction. There is a hygienic concern as well, points out Hemorrhoid.net, as fecal matter can accumulate beneath anal skin tags. Your doctor can remove anal skin tags for you.
See your doctor for confirmation that your growth is, in fact, an anal skin tag. Skin tags can be confused with viral warts and a skin infection known as molluscum contagiosum, notes the New Zealand Dermatological Society. Your doctor will rule out other growths, and possibly perform a biopsy if there is any suspicion of skin cancer.
Have an anoscopy, a procedure for examining the anus, anal canal and lower rectum. An anoscopy checks for hemorrhoids, infections, tumors, inflammation, anal polyps and other skin problems. It can locate other anal skin tags as well. An anoscope, a lubricated tube with a light at the end, is inserted a few inches into the rectum, explains the MedlinePlus. There will likely be some discomfort, and you may feel the urge to have a bowel movement. Preparation may include emptying the bowels with a laxative or enema, and there is little risk or recovery associated with the procedure.
Choose a method of removal for your anal skin tag by discussing the options with your doctor. Consider her recommendations and information about the various methods available. Your health, medical history and preferences will be taken into consideration, as will the location, size and other characteristics of the growth.
Undergo the chosen method of removal. Your doctor may simply numb and cut off anal skin tags with a scalpel or surgical scissors. Skin tags can be tied off with a suture in a procedure known as ligation, which eventually causes the tissue to die and fall off. In addition, anal skin tags can be frozen off or burned off with procedures called cryosurgery and electrosurgery, respectively. Laser surgery can also sometimes be used for skin tag removal.