Skin Tags Versus Hemorrhoids: How Do You Tell the Difference?

Finding some extra skin in your anus might surprise you. But before you worry, you need to know first if they’re hemorrhoids or anal skin tags because those two are different. Aside from the noticeable difference in their appearance, they have different causes and treatments, as well. 

So how do you know if what you have are hemorrhoids or skin tags? Here are the most common differences.

Appearance

Skin Tags 

Usually, skin tags will look like small flaps or skin folds. In terms of color, skin tags can be brown, or similar to your skin tone. They are generally smooth and small. Usually, they won’t go beyond the size of your fingernails. And more often than not, they’re round, too, like a grape. 

Although skin tags won’t go away unless you treat them, they’re not dangerous. They cause no harm, and they’re not even painful. 

Hemorrhoids 

Compared to skin tags, hemorrhoids are usually bigger. They typically appear like a lump. In terms of color, they could go from dark blue to purple. They trap blood in the strained veins making the lump to appear. So in terms of appearance, hemorrhoids look very different from skin tags. 

Hemorrhoids are very painful, too, unlike skin tags, which are not painful at all. And unlike skin tags, hemorrhoids may bleed. They may even cause internal bleeding. They irritate, too, unlike skin tags that do not itch unless you scratch them. 

Causes

Skin Tags 

Skin tags are pretty common among people, and chances are, you even have one or two of them without even noticing. As for the causes, although there isn’t a direct answer to what causes skin tags, some studies say they are caused by continually rubbing your skin. This is probably true since skin tags are usually present in areas where skin always rubbed against each other. They are typically present in the neck areas or around the armpit, where skin friction is constant. 

Hemorrhoids

Unlike skin tags, hemorrhoids are not that common. Only a few people have them. Hemorrhoids are caused by swollen veins that are found in the canal of the anus. External hemorrhoids are easy to spot. However, they can be internal, as well. In that case, they are hard to notice. 

These lumps appear due to the increase of blood pressure in those veins. It is also essential that you take care of any wound in your anus as they sometimes lead to hemorrhoids.

Treatments

Skin Tags

You don’t need to treat skin tags because first, they’re not harmful. Second, they’re not even painful. But somehow, since they are an eyesore, especially if they are pretty visible, people who have them opt to get rid of them. However, if you have them in your anal area, it is okay to leave them alone. Although, if you opt to get rid of them, there are a lot of options available. You can choose from over-the-counter medicines or natural remedies. 

The remedies to get rid of skin tags commonly involve cutting off the flow of oxygen to the skin. This will cause the skin tags to fall off by themselves. These remedies may take a while to work, though. This is why some prefer to have them removed by doctors, especially if they are a bit large.

Doctors remove skin tags through three options. One is through surgeries, the second option is through laser treatment, and then the last option is by freezing them first before removing them. All these three processes are pretty standard today, and they’re all safe. 

(Anus with big lumps of hemorrhoid.)

Hemorrhoid

As for hemorrhoids, they are uncomfortable and even painful to have. This is why those who have them seek ways to treat them. Although there are available over-the-counter creams and topical ointments, they can only reduce the symptoms and the pain that comes with hemorrhoids. If you want them removed, you will need to seek medical help. 

If the hemorrhoids are not that big, the doctor may advise you to change your diet. However, if the lumps are pretty big, they would suggest that you undergo surgery to remove them. 

These healing processes may include injection to block off blood flow to the hemorrhoids. Another option is by putting a band around them, which also cuts off the blood supply. But for even bigger lumps, they have to be removed through surgeries. This is probably the most invasive option available. 

In conclusion, skin tags are smaller, less painful, and easier to remove. Hemorrhoids, on the other hand, are noticeably more prominent in sizes, more uncomfortable, and even painful. Unlike skin tags, they are dangerous since they cause bleeding. And more often than not, you will need to seek medical help to treat them. Sometimes, they require surgery to be removed.