Anal tags are the shapeless lumps and flaps of skin and tissue found at the anal verge. They’re quite common and usually come with other anorectal problems, such as hemorrhoids.
The skin tag normally starts off as a painless soft lump near the opening of the anus. If the lump is painful, an associated rectal condition may be the actual cause of the pain. Cleanliness can be a problem, as fecal debris may become trapped under the tag when you wipe in one direction. Itching often makes things worse.
Previous anorectal problems may have led to the anal tag. An acute swelling of an external hemorrhoid, if left untreated, frequently leaves behind a skin tag.
A sentinel tag is a skin tab that is located at the inferior border of an infection or injury. Anal fissures and fistula are often associated with secondary changes, which may include a sentinel tag.
Anal tags causing itching, anxiety or hygienic issues can usually be removed. An anoscopy may enable the physician to identify the cause or find other lesions. If tags are small, local anesthetic is injected, and the area is cut out. A radiofrequency device is used to get rid of skin tabs and resurface the anal area to acquire a good cosmetic result. If the patient need a hemorrhoidectomy, anal tags can be removed together as part of hemorrhoidectomy. If the anal tag is extensive, two stages of surgery may be necessary.