What are Anal Skins Tags?

No-one’s bottom is completely flat! There are normal irregularities in the skin but in some, larger lumps appear and these are called anal skin tags. Normally they have no obvious cause or association with any particular condition but you do get tags associated with haemorrhoids, anal fissures and other diseases such as Crohn’s disease.


Many people will be aware they are there but are not troubled by them. In some they can cause difficulty with cleaning after having a bowel action and this can cause soiling of underwear and itchiness (pruritus ani). Some can intermittently swell and be painful. There is no obvious cause for this and usually by the time you see a doctor it has settled. There is one kind of “tag”, a fibro-epithelial polyp, which is a pale coloured lump, that originates in the middle of the anus, which can pop in and out of the anus (prolapse), which can be irritating.


If there are no symptoms then no treatment is needed. If symptoms cannot be relieved by other measures skin tags can be excised under a general anaesthetic as a day case but although this is a very simple procedure some care is needed here. Anal surgery hurts. Some may have anal pain for 2 weeks after the operation. Also, tags at the front and back of the anal ring, when excised, are prone to poor healing and can turn into an anal fissure. Fissures are painful and can a long time to heal and often that healing process results in another tag. So, whilst it may be perfectly reasonable to excise anal tags, some consideration of these issues is required before going ahead.