Believe it or not, anal skin tags are more common than you think, and they are nothing to be ashamed of. While some women may choose to live with them, there are options to get rid of the condition to help you feel better and eliminate discomfort.
Read on to learn more about anal skin tag surgery and what to expect with the procedure.
What do anal skin tags look like?
Skin tags are bits of soft tissue that protrude from the skin. Anal skin tags can vary in size. If you’ve ever had a skin tag somewhere else on your body, they look very similar. On the anus, skin tags are much more difficult to see, so many people discover them by feeling them when using the bathroom and during a shower. If they’re small enough, they don’t cause discomfort and may go unnoticed.
Many skin tags are usually the same color as your skin tone, but sometimes they can be a bit darker. Your skin can develop skin tags at any point in time, and usually, friction is the culprit for why they appear. Places like the neck from wearing necklaces and clothing, armpits from skin-to-skin friction, and clothing are very common, but anal skin tags are also prevalant.
What are anal skin tags?
Anal skin tags are small bumps that appear around the anus, but they aren’t to be confused with warts or hemorrhoids. Some people may have only one or a few while others could have many.
Unlike skin in other areas of the body, skin around the anus has more laxity. That is because it has to stretch to properly pass stool without tearing or other complications. Most of the time, after stretching, the skin returns to its regular size.
The issue arises when you have enlarged blood vessels around the area, which causes you to have excess skin. In some cases, that extra skin forms anal skin tags. Enlarged or swollen blood vessels around the anus may come from:
- Intense exercising
- Straining due to constipation
- Heavy weight lifting
Anal skin tags can also come from improper healing. Whenever you have an injury in the area, the body will heal to the best of its ability. However, healing happens more easily when an area goes untouched. The caveat is that the anus experiences strenuous activity on a regular basis through defecation, which can irritate the wound. So when your body lays down scar tissue, that scar may grow out with extra skin, creating a skin tag. This may stem from:
- Abscesses and infections
- Anal tears (fissures
- Anal gland tunnels (fistulas)
In many cases, anal skin tags are benign, but you should always get diagnosed by a doctor instead of coming to the conclusion on your own. There are times when the bumps could actually be from blood clots or tumors. During a diagnosis, a physician will assess the area through a visual exam to check for skin tags.
Do anal skin tags go away?
Like other types of skin tags, anal skin tags do not simply go away on their own once they form. For most people, skin tags in this delicate area can become uncomfortable, and they can create a sense of self-consciousness.
It’s always a good idea to visit a doctor to determine if the skin tag is harmless or something to be concerned about. Either way, many people elect to have them surgically removed in a quick, in-office procedure to improve comfort and any self-consciousness.
How to find the best anal skin tag removal surgeon
Look for advanced training and experience
Not every surgeon performs anal skin tag removal regularly, so visiting a specialist with in-depth training and a lot of experience makes the process as smooth, quick, and painless.
Dr. Brenner is board certified in obstetrics and gynecology. She has advanced training in cosmetic gynecology and anal skin tag removal, making her credentials unique. We have patients who visit us from across the country for anal skin tag surgery with Dr. Brenner because of her comprehensive background in this form of surgery.
Find someone you’re comfortable with
For many people, talking about anal skin tags can feel downright embarrassing, even though it’s incredibly common. You want to find a doctor and an office you can feel comfortable with.
You should never feel ashamed to have these conversations, and a good physician takes the time and care to make sure you’re comfortable. Dr. Brenner has treated hundreds of patients for many types of cosmetic gynecology and anal skin tag procedures; she has open, honest conversations to answer your questions, discuss your concerns, and walk you through the entire treatment process.
Why you should avoid home remedies for anal skin tag removal
Home remedies for skin tags are almost never a good option because there is no guarantee of full skin tag tissue removal like surgery. With anal skin tags, many home remedies like apple cider vinegar, tea tree oil, and Vitamin E are much too strong for the sensitive skin on the anus and can cause irritation and more harm than good.
Over-the-counter products like freezing kits are also too irritating for the anus, and they are not effective for long-term use. You may also risk bleeding or infection from at-home anal skin tag removal. For the safest, most effective, long-term results, anal skin tag surgery is your best option for removal.
What to expect during anal skin tag removal surgery
While the idea of surgery may sound scary, anal skin tag removal isn’t something you should be worried about. Plus, you won’t have to go under general anesthesia or be “knocked out” for long periods of time. Most people are surprised to find how easy this out-patient procedure is, and the result helps them live without discomfort or unsightly bumps.
Before the procedure starts, your doctor will numb the area with a local anesthetic (an oral sedative is also an option). Once the anesthetic and sedative have set in, your doctor will carefully remove your skin tags. Since skin tags are on the outside of your anus, the removal process is fairly simple.*
At Amy Brenner, MD & Associates we use the Ellman Surgitron instead of a scalpel to not only excise the anal skin tags, but to also create a smooth, natural surface. Since the Ellman Surgitron provides superior precision and less thermal injury, it helps promote faster recovery and minimize pain.
How to prepare for anal skin tag surgery
There is not much you need to do to prepare for anal skin tag surgery; there is no need for hair removal of the area. Just come to your appointment with the area clean and free from any products. Your surgery with Dr. Brennner will take place in our cosmetic gynecology procedure suite. View a short tour of the suit below.
What to expect after an anal skin tag removal procedure
Procedure times vary from person to person, usually ranging between 30 to 60 minutes. In the first days after the procedure, your doctor may recommend you take a laxative or try a liquid diet to make using the restroom easier and reduce the possibility of constipation. You’ll also receive prescription medications to manage pain and prevent infections.
For the following week, you’ll want to avoid heavy lifting and exercise, but you should be able to return to your regular activities after two weeks.
*In some cases, your doctor may involve a colorectal surgeon depending on the severity of your anal skin tags.
Anal skin tag removal before and after
One of the most important aspects of most procedures is viewing before and after photos of your surgeon’s work. A considerable benefit of this procedure is that sutures are dissolvable, so you do not need an appointment to remove them.
Anal skin tag surgery frequently asked questions
We definitely understand that considering surgery is a big deal. That is why our team is always available to answer your questions. Our goal is that everyone who steps into our Cincinnati office is comfortable with their decision and well-informed about the process. When you feel better; we feel better, and that is what helps keep our patients at ease.
Does getting an anal skin tag removed hurt?
We work to make anal skin tag surgery as painless as possible. We also use local anesthesia and oral sedation to ensure you’re comfortable throughout the surgery.
Additionally, Dr. Brenner does not use a scalpel for this procedure. She uses the Ellman Surgitron; this technology gives ultimate precision while causing less tissue damage, pain, and scar tissue.
Do you do phone or video consultations?
Yes! We do phone or video consults for this type of appointment. Many of our patients travel to receive their surgeries, and our team is here to assist you. We can set up an initial consultation on the phone or through video conferencing and then help you with every step after that to ensure an easy process.
Do you see out-of-town patients for anal skin tag surgery?
Yes! Anal skin tag surgery is one of the most common treatments patients travel to us for Dr. Brenner’s expertise. If you’re from out of town but are interested in coming to our practice for this procedure, you can set up a consultation via phone or over video conferencing. We have resources available for out-of-town patients as well. We put together information on local airports, accommodations, restaurants, and more so you can have a hassle-free stay for your procedure.
How do I know if I’m a candidate for anal skin tag surgery?
The only way for you to know whether or not you are a candidate for skin tag surgery is by visiting a doctor. If you’re in the Cincinnati area, you can schedule a consultation with us, and will examine your tags to ensure there are no active hemorrhoids and that surgery is the right solution for you. We also offer virtual consultations for anyone who is out of town.
Are anal skin tags the same as hemorrhoids?
No, anal skin tags are not the same as hemorrhoids, though many people mistake the two. Anal skin tags may arise from a previous hemorrhoid, but the hemorrhoid is no longer there. Tags are simply excess skin.
Can anal tags be inside the anus?
Anal skin tags are not inside the anus. They are always outside and around the anus. If you have bumps inside your anus, it may be something else, and you wouldn’t be able to go through the same skin tag removal procedure.
Will I experience pain after the surgery?
You may experience some pain and discomfort after surgery and throughout recovery. However, your doctor will provide medications to control pain and prevent infections.
Can I combine anal skin tag surgery with other procedures?
Of course you can combine anal skin tag surgery with other procedures! In fact, we do it quite often. Many of our patients add anal skin tag removal onto other cosmetic surgeries they are planning for, such as:
Your labia minora are the smaller, inner vaginal lips. Usually they’re unnoticeable in day-to-day life, but excess tissue can cause irritation, rubbing, or even pain. A labiaplasty minora procedure not only alleviates those symptoms, it can also improve the aesthetic appearance of your vulva.
A labiaplasty majora procedure reshapes the larger, outer lips of your vagina. Overtime, the outer lips can become elongated, saggy, bulge, or appear asymmetrical, which can even be noticeable under clothing.
Both labiaplasty procedures remove excess tissue to reduce, reshape, and rejuvenate your labia.
Clitoral hood reduction: A clitoral hood reduction, also known as hoodectomy or clitoropexy, reduces the amount of skin surrounding the clitoris. Since the sole purpose of the clitoris is pleasure, excess tissue on the clitoral hood can decrease sexual stimulation. For some women, a large clitoris may cause embarrassment, especially if it’s noticeable under tight clothing.
Vaginoplasty: A vaginoplasty procedure tightens the inner and outer muscles and the structure of your vagina. As a result, it can strengthen your vagina and increase muscle tone and control. Most women find that the procedure increases sexual pleasure by making the vaginal canal smaller and tighter.
Perineoplasty: A perineoplasty procedure addresses any issues with the vaginal opening (introitus), including a vaginal opening that’s too tight or too loose. This surgery repairs the tissue and tightens the muscles of the vaginal opening to make the perineum (area between the opening of the vagina and the anus) more aesthetically pleasing.
You can also choose to get a modified perineoplasty (the combination of a perineoplasty procedure and labiaplasty procedure). Keep in mind that a modified perineoplasty will only address excess skin in the perineum; it won’t tighten the muscle or address a more substantial vaginal issue.
O-Shot®: The O-Shot®, also known as the Orgasm Shot, is the perfect way for women to take control of their sexual wellness. Using platelet-rich plasma, this minimally invasive procedure helps to rejuvenate the clitoris and vaginal walls.
The injections themselves are very quick; expect them to be done within a few minutes. A medical professional will first inject your platelet-rich plasma into the anterior wall of your vagina, then directly into the clitoris.
How can I prevent future anal skin tags?
There isn’t one surefire way to prevent anal tags. In some cases, they form no matter what you do. However, there are some ways you could reduce their occurrence, including:
- Solving digestive problems and maintaining a healthy diet to avoid constipation
- Getting enough fiber in your diet and take supplements if needed
- Avoiding tight-fitting and non-breathable underwear and clothing items to reduce irritation
- When cleaning, use moist towelettes (unscented) or softer toilet paper
LEARN MORE ON OTHER HEALTH TOPICS ON THE HEALTHIHER PODCAST
If you love learning through podcasts, you will LOVE the HealthiHer podcast with Dr. Amy Brenner! Dr. Brenner discusses sexual health, weight loss, and aesthetics topics for women and men.
Schedule an anal tag surgery consultation with Amy Brenner, MD & Associates
Our health experts and cosmetic gynecologists provide the best anal tag removal surgery for women of all ages. Plus, with our vast array of sexual wellness procedures, we can not only alleviate discomfort, but also boost confidence by helping you reach your goals.
We’re here to offer a warm, friendly environment while providing the highest quality surgical procedures and aesthetic treatments to help you look great and feel great. No matter what, we will stick with you throughout your entire journey, because your goals are our goals.
Get started today by using our virtual consultation tool or scheduling an appointment.