Anal Skin Tags


Anal skin tags are small, usually harmless bits of excess skin around the anus. Often they are the remnants of shrivelled haemorrhoids; sometimes they can be caused by inflammation, or develop as a result of an anal fissure (‘sentinel tags’).

Fibroepithelial polyps are similar structures which are found within rather than outside the anal canal and are often treated in the same way. Anal skin tags are not contagious, though some growths which are thought to be anal tags may actually be warts which come from viral infection (Human Papilloma Virus).


Removal of skin tags is largely done for cosmetic reasons. However sometimes they can cause a problem in maintaining hygiene and may rub on clothing, causing irritation. Even if you choose not to remove them, you should always have them checked by a GP or surgeon to ensure that they are harmless tags, as occasionally small growths can be cancerous. It is common for warts, haemorrhoids and tags to be misdiagnosed.


Treatment depends on their size, shape and location. They can be removed surgically, under local or general anaesthetic. Recovery is usually, but not always, fairly pain-free and quick. Laxatives, warm baths and painkillers may help to relieve any discomfort. It is important to keep the area clean whilst healing takes place to prevent infection. Unfortunately some anal tags do regrow after excision.

Please be advised that the information on this website is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment