Anal Tags and Lumps
In this article
What are anal tags or lumps?
Anal tags are usually excess skin growths that usually occur at the anal opening.
They are very common and are often found in connection with other anal conditions. People often mistake their skin tags for haemorrhoids which strictly speaking they are not. Haemorrhoids are however the commonest cause of skin tags. They are usually left over after a haemorrhoid which has become acutely swollen and tender gets better. Other causes of skin tags include chronic anal fissure, fibroepitheleal polyps,anal fistulae or sinuses and occasionally Crohn's disease.
What are the symptoms of anal tags?
Most anal skin tags are symptom free. People who have them only become aware of the tag when they wash / wipe themselves after using the toilet or when washing.
Some anal skin tags can cause problems, such as anal itching, soreness and difficulty cleaning. If a skin tag starts to become more painful, if bleeding or ulceration occurs, then medical advice should be sought.
How can anal tags be investigated?
When you are seen in clinic the surgeon will take a full history and carry out a clinical examination. Usually this will involve proctoscopy as well.
If you are over the age of 40 and have had any bleeding or change in bowel habit, the consultant may recommend endoscopic examination of the bowel by colonoscopy to ensure that it is otherwise healthy.