Treatment of anal skin tags

In most cases, anal skin tags do not cause symptoms and treatment is not necessary. The skin folds are harmless and doctors do not normally have to remove them. However, anal skin tags can become inflamed when irritating factors affect the sensitive anal skin.

Anal skin tags: treat inflammation yourself

Sometimes anal skin tags can become inflamed and cause unpleasant symptoms, such as itching, burning or oozing. There are therefore a few tips on how you can prevent or treat infections and inflammations:

  • Ensure regular and thorough anal hygiene. Only use clean water and do not use soap, shower gels or bath additives. The ingredients can irritate the skin.
  • But don’t overdo anal hygiene, otherwise you will achieve exactly the opposite. You mechanically stress the skin and trigger inflammation.
  • Anti-inflammatory creams or sitz baths, for example with camomile or oak bark, can alleviate the symptoms.
  • A soft zinc paste can alleviate the symptoms – but only use it for a short time.

Anal skin tag surgery: when removal is advisable

In rare cases, we recommend having the skin tags surgically removed. Surgery is recommended if the skin tags are very nodular, coarse or large. Pressure and friction can cause neighboring or opposite skin regions to become inflamed. Before the operation, we must always rule out or treat other diseases of the anal canal. Any existing inflammation should also have subsided before the operation.

The skin tag operation can be described as follows:

  • The operation can be performed on an outpatient basis in the doctor’s surgery or clinic – you can go home immediately after the procedure.
  • Anal skin tags can be removed under local anesthesia (regional or local anesthesia). General or spinal anesthesia is also possible. Today, we usually use an electric knife for the operation. We always try to leave as much skin as possible so that the anal skin remains sensitive. In addition, constrictions can otherwise form at the anal opening after the operation.
  • We only cover the wound loosely with compresses instead of closing it with stitches. The reason is that the anal region is home to countless germs of all kinds. Infections and abscesses can be the result.
  • The operation itself only takes ten to 20 minutes.
  • The wound usually heals quickly within a few days – provided you leave it alone.
  • You should not go to work for about three to seven days.

Side effects are possible

The operation can be accompanied by some side effects, but these are usually only of a temporary nature. Examples are:

  • Bruising: Sometimes a bruise (hematoma) occurs after the operation, but this disappears within a few days.
  • Wound pain: Smaller wounds usually cause little or no pain. If the skin damage is more extensive, the pain can be more severe and last longer. The body needs time to repair defects. Painkillers, for example from the group of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), are helpful. These include ibuprofen and diclofenac.

Pathologists then always examine the removed tissue under a microscope. This enables them to determine the type and nature of the cells and rule out other (more serious) diseases. Anal skin tags are soft and the epidermis is keratinized. In addition, anal skin tags have loose connective tissue and are permeated by blood vessels. This makes it easy to distinguish them from other diseases.

Anal skin tag surgery: tips for afterwards

  • To help the wound heal, you should shower the anal region with lukewarm water only for two to three weeks. Avoid using soap, shower gel, wet wipes, ointments or disinfectants.
  • Some people try to clean the wound particularly carefully and thoroughly after the operation. They take sitz baths with disinfectant solutions, shower the anal area several times a day or use ointments and creams with disinfectant ingredients. The effect of these measures has not been scientifically proven and is likely to be counterproductive. So leave the fresh wound alone and give it time to heal.
  • Do not shower or bathe until the wound has healed sufficiently.
  • Use soft, dry toilet paper after a bowel movement and clean the anal region gently. Avoid vigorous wiping, rubbing or cleaning, otherwise you will mechanically irritate the skin and wound.

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