Realizing you have anal skin tags could put you in an awkward, uncomfortable position. Due to the location of this benign skin tumor, it could cause you a lot of pain and discomfort. Getting rid of skin tags in or around the anus could be an embarrassing experience for you. As a result, people are dissuaded from visiting a doctor for treatment. A totally wrong move.

Anal skin tags, according to a study, are common than you think. They are harmless but can cause you a truckload of pains and discomfort if irritated. You don’t have to live with such pain and uneasiness anymore.

In this ultimate guide to removing rectal skin tags, you’ll learn everything you need to know. From the different kind of methods used in getting rid of anal skin tags by doctors, their complications to their recovery time, you’ll learn everything you need to know. The probable causes for skin tags, which might have just caused yours, are also explained in this guide.

What Are Anal (or Rectal) Skin Tags?

Just as the name implies, rectal or anal skin tags are benign skin tumors that appear on the anal region of the body. There are no less different from the skin tags on your face, your hands or any other part of your body. It is also important to note that skin tags are non-malignant in nature. They are benign and pose no threat to your body or health.

The sizes of skin tags inside or around the anus vary. Just like other skin tags formed on any part of the body, they range in sizes from a fraction of an inch to as big as that of a grape. You’ll find the majority of the skin tags to be about the size of a pencil tip. They are usually soft with a smooth texture. They mostly have the same color as that of your skin.

Anal Skin tags are often mistaken for conditions such as piles because of where they appear.

What Are The Causes Of Anal Skin Tags?

The true causes of skin tags, be it anal, under the armpit, groin area, face or the back, etc. have not yet being known. The speculation so far has been

Skin Folds causing Friction

The number one plausible cause of skin tags that everyone seems to agree on is friction. Scientists believe friction is the culprit behind the appearance of skin tags on the body. This is because the tumors tend to appear in places with extra skin folds such as the eyelids, neck, groin area, armpits, etc. Areas of the body that tends to rub against clothing are also susceptible to developing skin tags.

Although there’s no clear-cut explanation or theory on how this works, some scientists believe it has to do with the collage cells being stretched and elongated.

The question now is what causes friction around the rectum/anal region of the body? Irregular movement of the bowel (constipation), and childbirth and anal intercourse. The continuous stretching, shrinking of the tissue around the anus can lead to the development of skin tags.

Hormonal Fluctuations

The irregularity of hormones is said to be responsible for the formation of skin tags. For a lot of women, their first encounter with this benign skin tumor is during their pregnancy stage. During pregnancy, there are production and spiking of various hormones in their body. Teen undergoing the stage of puberty tends to also experience hormonal fluctuation.

Hormonal fluctuation could also be caused by the use of anabolic steroids, which could lead to the development of skin tags on the body.

Hereditary / Genetics

Results from research and observation have suggested that a link exists between the skin tags on your body and genetics. You’re likely to have skin tags if you’ve noticed others in the family has it too.



While young folks tend to also have skin tags on their body, the majority of the population with skins tends to fall within the older population. The presence of skin tags is highly prevalent among the older generation. As we get older, our skin loses its elasticity and become thinner. This has been attributed to be a probable cause for the formation of skin tags.


Obesity, Weight Gain and Type 2 Diabetes

Obesity and Type 2 diabetes have been linked to the formation of skin tags on the body. Obesity and weight gain are related to overproduction of androgen in the body. Excess androgen has been said to cause the formation of skin tag on the body.

According to a study, a protein named C – reactive protein is present and more common in the blood of those with skin tags than of those without. It is not unusual to find individuals with skin tags to possess both higher levels of cholesterol and blood sugar. All of these points to a link between diabetes and skin tags.

Conditions Mistaken For Anal Skin Tags

Due to the location of skin tags that forms in the anal region of the body, it might be difficult to distinguish them from other skin conditions without help. It is also possible to misdiagnose them and have them mistaken for something else. Here are some conditions that appear similar to anal skin tags and are commonly mistaken for.

Hypertrophied Papillae: also known as fibro-epithelial polyps, they are small growths or tumors that are benign in nature. These growths are typically found inside the anus. Their shape is slightly different from that of a skin tag.

Hemorrhoids: When skin tags are irritated, they might bleed. This could lead to the quick assumption that you have hemorrhoid. Hemorrhoids are swollen veins inside the anus or the rectum. Skin tags also bleed when irritated and you might have irritated one leading to its bleeding.

Anal warts: unlike skin tags, are formed by the HPV virus. Without the proper check, they might look like skin tags. Upon close inspection, they are quite different. Anal warts are rougher whereas anal skin tags are smooth and soft.

When unsure about which skin condition you might have, we recommend you visit a doctor for the proper diagnosis. The doctors have more expertise in this area and have the tools to carry out an appropriate test for you. This will help you clear your doubts. Should the tumors found in your anus be skin tags, you can start working on how to remove them.

Methods Of Removing Anal Skin Tags

There are varieties of treatment options available for removing anal skin tags. The method you choose will finally boil down to budget, time commitment, and preference.

Skin tags can be removed via two ways: (1) using surgical procedures and (2) using non-surgical procedures.


Surgical Procedures – For Removing Anal Skin Tags

This entail cutting off the skin tags (acrochordons) through surgery to get rid of them.  This method is preferably done by a doctor as they’re in a better position to help you remove it. Trying to do it yourself might be awkward as you might not be able to see or reach the skin tags. There’s also the possibility of bleeding which might be difficult for you to stop due to its awkward position.

With surgery, you can remove all occurrences of skin tags on your anus or around it. You could also remove the extra loose skin from your body to prevent its recurrence,

Non-Surgical Procedures – For Eliminating Anal Skin Tags

Non-surgical methods are alternatives to removing benign skin tumors or bumps on your body. They are not only cheap but also effective. There are varieties of methods you can use to get rid of skin tags. They include cryotherapy (the medical term for freezing), ligation and cauterization.


Cryotherapy can be done at home or at the clinic. The method involves using liquid nitrogen or other powerful medical freezing alternatives to kill the tissues of the skin tumors.

Ligation involves tying off the skin tags at the base to starve them of blood and oxygen, leading to their deaths. Cauterization is quite similar to cryotherapy with the difference being heat. While cryotherapy uses low temperatures to get the job done while cauterization uses low or high temperatures to get the job done.

In the next section, we would discuss and explore each treatment in-depth. This will help you make the right choice as to which treatment you should go for.

How To Remove Anal / Rectal Skin Tags

The following are ways to remove skin tumors in the anus or its surrounding.

Surgical Removal

This involves the use of a sharp object usually a scalpel or scissors to cut off the skin tag at its base. This method is medically referred to as surgical excision.

The method involves the following steps –

  1. The affected area is cleaned with an antiseptic/antibacterial solution to prevent infections, followed by the use of an anesthetic to numb out those areas. The use of an anesthetic will help minimize the pain when the excision is taking place.


  1. The skin tags are cut at the base with a sterilized sharp object, usually a pair of surgical scissors. A scalpel or razor could also be used depending on which tool is suitable for the task.


  1. Once the skin tags have been gotten rid of, the wound is cleaned and sterilized to avoid the risk of infection, and a form of pressure is added to the area to help stop the bleeding. This also helps with blood clotting and quickening the healing process.


  1. Due to the location of skin tags, cleaning and sterilization of the wound are necessary to help with the healing process and prevent contaminating your injury.



Using cryotherapy to remove anal skin tags involves exposing the affected areas to extremely low temperatures. This is done with the aid of a chemical such as liquid nitrogen. It is medically safe, and what the doctor will preferably use for you if you choose this method.

Liquid nitrogen can also be used at home to remove skin tags as they are readily available for purchase in various stores. Freezing is a very popular method and a cheap alternative to visiting a doctor.

The method involves the following process

  1. The freezing agent (liquid nitrogen or alternatives) is applied directly to the affected areas with skin tag(s). The freezing agent is usually contained in a pressurized can with a spray head or a nozzle.


  1. The cold temperature causes the tissue of the skin tags to freeze. This stops the flow of blood from reaching the tissues. As a result, the skin tags start to turn a shade darker and eventually turns black due to lack of oxygen and blood. This indicate the death of the tissues. The skin tags fall off after a while.


Due to the prevention of blood to the affected area, a scab might form after the treatment. Avoid picking at the scab to avoid contaminating and infecting it. Doing this also helps you to minimize or eliminate the risk of scarring.



You can opt for using cauterization as the method for removing your anal skin tags. This method involves the use of a hot object or instrument to destroy tissue. In this case, we want to kill the tissue of the skin tags. Electrocauterization is a variation of the method that involves the use of electric current for heating up the cauterizing tool. This is safer, easily adjustable and cleaner as it uses electric current as its source of heat. Hence, it is more preferred.


The method involves the following process

  1. The affected areas are cleaned with an antiseptic/antibacterial solution to prevent infections. This is followed by the use of an anesthetic or a numbing topical cream to numb out the targeted areas. The use of an anesthetic will help minimize the pain when you cauterize the skin tags.


  1. Once the area has been numbed, an instrument with a sharp tip, e.g., a needle is heated up and used on the affected areas. This destroys the tissue and burns away the skin tags.


  1. Once the skin tags have been gotten rid of, the wound is cleaned and sterilized to avoid the risk of infection, and a form of pressure is added to the area to help stop the bleeding. This also helps with blood clotting and quickening the healing process.


  1. Due to the location of skin tags, cleaning and sterilization of the wound are necessary to help with the healing process and prevent contaminating your injury.



The use of ligation to treat skin tags involves tying them (skin tags) off to starve their tissues of oxygen and blood. This leads to the death of the tissue. Once this happens, the skin tags dry off. Eventually, the skin tags fall off in a matter of days. Quite simple, huh?

Ligation is one of the easiest method and pain-free ways of removing your benign skin growths (skin tags).


The method involves the following process

  1. The affected area(s) is/are tied off around the base with a thread ( e.g., floss). This deprives the tissues of both oxygen and the needed nutrients to survive. As a result, they eventually die.


  1. You can have a doctor help you with the process as it might be difficult to do on your own. There are also over-the-counter treatments that make this method easy. One of them is the TagBand Skin Tag Removal Kit.


Laser treatment

This is a popular but expensive alternative to traditional surgical excision. Laser treatment is used for a variety of skin conditions, skin tags (acrochordons) included.

This method involves the following process

  1. The affected areas (where they are skin growths) are numbed using an anesthetic or cream to minimize sensitivity. This helps you to reduce the pain that may arise once the treatment begins.


  1. The affected areas are treated with a laser beam. This kills off the tissues in the area immediately, cauterize and sterilize the wound.


  1. Laser treatment is much more costly than other methods, but it’s fast with the lowest possibility of scarring.


Recovery Period For Anal Skin Tags Removal

How long it takes to recover from the treatment of skin tags depends on various factors. A critical factor being the method of treatment used. Your recovery period hinges on the method you opted for.

A rundown of what to expect using various forms of treatment

  1. Surgical excision takes about two weeks for the scab left to heal properly. This might take a little longer if you have hemorrhoid as it could lead to stretching and split opening the wound again.


  1. Laser treatment, cryotherapy, and cauterization also leave scabs on affected areas treated. You might also have to wait for a period of two weeks to make the wound heal properly. Try to avoid picking at the scab to reduce the chances of scarring


  1. Ligation doesn’t need as much time as the other as they’re no wound or scab to heal. The only time needed is the time for the skin tag to fall off which takes about five days to ten days.

Side Effects / Complications of Using the Above Mentioned Treatments

As with dealing with any condition, they are bound to be complications. How often they occur though depends on who is administering the treatment, the instruments used, and the preciseness of the treatment.  How careful you’re is also a factor that determines the severity of the side effects.

The following list entails the common side effects or complications you should expect with removing skin tags from the rectum.


The size of your skin tags is a good pointer to know your chances of being scarred. The larger it is, the higher the risk of being scarred. If you choose excision as your preferred method, the precision of the cut is a factor that determines your risk of scarring. The higher the precision, the lower your risk of scarring. The same applies to other methods.



Excision ranks high in the list of methods that increase your chance of bleeding. A reason why you need to consult a doctor if you prefer cutting them off to other means.



Irrespective of the methods used, the likelihood of infection is high. Infection depends on two factors. You can as well say that they are two stages where the risk of infection is high,

The factors include

  1. The removal stage – sterilization of the tools/instruments used in the procedure. If a doctor is performing the anal skin tag removal procedure for you, you need not worry yourself. Your doctor will do that for you. Should you plan on cutting/removing them yourselves, endeavor to sterilize any instrument.


  1. The healing stage – the removal of skin tag ends with the formation of scabs. During the healing process, it is important you don’t pick at it to avoid contamination of the wound. It is paramount you ensure the area is kept clean and dry at all times. Picking at the wound not only increases the chances of infection but also scarring.



The recurring of skin tags on areas treated is low based on observations so far. Unlike warts, skin tags are not caused by a viral infection. Another factor you want to look into is the quality of efficacy of the treatment used. A treatment that removes a skin tag from its root has a lower probability of recurring.


What we’ve learned so far.

What anal skin tags are? Anal skin tags are small, soft tumors on the skin. They are benign in nature.


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