What are anal skin tags?

Anal skin tags are excess pieces of skin at the external opening of the anal canal. They often occur as a result of another anal condition, such as haemorrhoids or an anal fissure. They commonly cause no problem to the patient, but can lead to symptoms related to difficulty keeping the perianal area clean, namely pruritis (anal itch) and soreness. They can also bleed and catch on clothes.

Surgical treatment to remove perianal skin tags is usually performed as a day case, either under local or general anaesthetic. Prior to considering surgery, your specialist will ensure there is no other more serious underlying cause. Once skin tags are removed, the wound is either left open to heal over the course of a few weeks, or closed with sutures. It is important post-operatively to maintain a soft bowel consistency to decrease local irritation.

Recent restrictions to NHS funding have lead to surgery for anal skin tags being declined for most patients. Therefore, if you are troubled by this condition, please contact The Birmingham Colorectal Clinic for an appointment to discuss surgical options.


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