If you are experiencing pain or sensitivity in the rectum area, it is a good idea to have any unusual growths checked out by your doctor. They may be anal skin tags, which are not dangerous but can cause discomfort and itchiness.
Skin tags are a common problem that can be prevented by making simple changes to your lifestyle. Avoiding habits that lead to them like excessive wiping and straining can help as well.
1. Wash the area with soap and water
A skin tag around the anus can cause irritation and itching. If this becomes severe, you should visit your doctor to have it removed. You should not attempt to remove an anal skin tag at home because it could result in injury and infection. It is also important to have any unusual growths checked out by a doctor, as some more dangerous growths can look like anal skin tags.
Some of these growths may need to be surgically removed if they pose a serious risk. If the doctor suspects that you have a cancerous growth, they will perform a biopsy. A doctor will insert a finger into the anal opening and the rectum to feel for any lumps or bumps. They will also use a procedure called a sigmoidoscopy, which involves using a thin tube with a light and camera to view the rectum and lower portion of the colon.
Many people get anal skin tags because of previous external hemorrhoids, which are swollen veins in the anal area. They can also occur due to constipation, which puts pressure on blood vessels in the rectum and anal areas. To prevent this, people must boost their dietary fiber and water intake, as well as avoid straining while going to the toilet. Some of these growths can be managed through lifestyle changes, but if they cause significant pain or cosmetic problems, they should be removed. There are several office-based procedures to remove anal skin tags, all of which are carried out under local anesthesia.
2. Apply a lubricant
Skin tags are small bits of tissue that protrude from the skin and vary in size. They’re usually the same color as the surrounding skin and can appear anywhere on the body from friction, such as neck tags from jewelry or underarms from wearing bras. They can also form around the anus and rectum, particularly as a result of external hemorrhoids or thrombosed anal fissures that heal. Fortunately, they aren’t dangerous, but you should see your doctor if a skin tag changes shape or color or if it becomes irritated, painful, or bleeds. These signs could indicate a more serious condition, such as anal cancer or a blood clot.
Some home remedies may help with anal skin tags, such as applying tea tree oil, apple cider vinegar, or witch hazel to the area using a cotton ball. However, if these treatments don’t work or your symptoms are severe, you should consult a colorectal surgeon. These specialists can perform a physical exam and recommend medical treatments, such as cryotherapy or electrocautery, to remove anal skin tags safely.
Perianal skin tags typically don’t cause pain or bleeding, but they can be a nuisance if they become irritated, itchy, or bothersome. You can prevent them by avoiding straining while passing bowel movements, washing the anal area with unscented soap or wet wipes, and changing your underwear regularly. You can also reduce your risk of developing anal skin tags by avoiding a high-fat diet and being overweight, as these can put pressure on blood vessels in the rectum and anus.
3. Change your underwear
Some idiopathic cases of skin tags are unavoidable, but you can reduce your risk of developing anal ones by wearing loose cotton underwear every day and changing it frequently to minimize friction. It is also important to avoid tight underwear, which can irritate the area. Lastly, be sure to wash with non-biological laundry powder and to use a soft toilet paper when wiping the anal area.
Skin tags tend to develop in areas of friction, like creases and folds of the skin. They can also be a result of a bowel condition, such as diarrhoea or constipation, which can irritate the skin around the anus by causing excessive wiping and irritating the area with acidic stool. Straining to pass a bowel movement can cause pressure on blood vessels in the anal area, leading to skin tags.
Skin tags are often mistaken for hemorrhoids, which can be painful and have a variety of symptoms, including bleeding during defecation and itching. The best way to tell them apart is to have your doctor examine the area. He or she may ask you to remove your underwear and lie down while performing a visual exam, which can include feeling the area with a finger or inserting a plastic tube into your bottom called a proctoscope. If they decide that you have anal skin tags, your doctor can surgically remove them, usually a same-day procedure performed under local anesthesia and sedation or general anesthesia.
4. Avoid straining
The anal area is more prone to skin tags than most other parts of the body. Skin tags can develop due to friction and irritation in the area caused by exercise, prolonged sitting, and tight clothing. They can also occur due to diarrhea or constipation. Constipation can cause the skin to stretch and may lead to bulging blood vessels in the area. This can also cause pain, itching and sensitivity. Diarrhea can irritate the anus as well, especially if it is recurrent and acidic or if you over-wipe with rough toilet paper. Crohn’s disease can lead to diarrhea and constipation as well, and there is evidence that the condition increases the risk of developing anal skin tags.
If you are experiencing any of the symptoms associated with anal skin tags, then it is a good idea to contact your doctor. Your doctor can give you some tips on preventing skin tags and can discuss treatment options if needed.
When you visit your doctor, they will perform a physical exam and can diagnose the problem with little difficulty. They may use a device called a sigmoidoscope or an anoscopy to look inside the anal opening and rectum to check for growths. If they determine that you have anal skin tags, then a procedure to remove them can be performed quickly in their office. Your doctor will inject a numbing medication before the procedure to minimize discomfort. They will likely recommend a liquid diet and laxatives during recovery to prevent constipation and reduce the chance of an infection in the area.