How To Remove Hemorrhoid Skin Tags

While hemorrhoid skin tags are often painless and inconspicuous, removal of these tags can improve cleanliness or be done for cosmetic purposes. 

In this article, we cover what skin tags are, the causes and symptoms of these tags, and ways to treat and remove them safely. 

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What are skin tags?

Skin tags are defined as skin growths that are usually not harmful in nature. Researchers estimate that around 50–60% of adults will develop at least one skin tag in their lifetime. 

Skin tags are generally small and soft, varying in size from 1–5mm, although larger-sized ones can occur. Skin tags can be commonly found around the neck, underarms, and in the groin area — but they can also be found on almost every part of the skin.¹

Anal skin tags are excess skin that usually develops after scarring, like healing from an anal fissure or external hemorrhoids. Like most skin tags, anal skin tags are often benign in nature but can be a source of inconvenience to the individual. 


There are several possible causes for the formation of skin tags. While the presence of these conditions may increase the risk of developing skin tags, other individuals can develop them for no apparent reason. Causes include:

  • Type 2 diabetes 

  • Cardiovascular disease

  • Genetic factors

  • Obesity 

  • Pregnancy 

In particular, obesity can encourage the formation of skin tags due to frequent irritation or chafing of the skin. With regard to pregnancy, researchers believe that hormonal imbalances may also be trigger factors for skin growth.

Anal skin tags are usually due to previously swollen hemorrhoids. Once the hemorrhoid shrinks down, loose skin may be left behind, which results in anal skin tags. However, they can also be caused by other factors, including:

  • Chronic bowel problems (like Crohn's disease)

  • Anal injury or trauma

  • An inflammatory lesion

Symptoms of anal skin tags 

Hemorrhoids are associated with symptoms such as pain, bleeding, itchiness, and swelling. However, most cases of anal skin tags are benign, meaning they are harmless or have no significant effect. 

In most cases, the individual with the skin tag may not realize they have one, especially if it doesn’t affect the passing of stool — as skin tags do not cause pain or bleeding. 

Because the main difference between anal skin tags and hemorrhoids is the absence of pain, it’s best to reach out to your health professional so they can properly determine if the skin tag needs to be removed or not. 

In some cases, anal skin tags can be uncomfortable due to the excess skin. Other reported symptoms include itching and difficulty with anal cleaning. 

Diagnosing anal skin tags

While anal skin tags are generally harmless, it’s worth getting them checked out by a health professional. This will rule out any underlying causes. 

The doctor will usually conduct a brief physical examination, including checking around the anus area for signs of a skin tag. In some cases, they may also perform a rectal exam, which involves feeling for masses inside the rectum. 


All treatments for skin tags involve removal. In most cases, treatment usually consists of excision using the following techniques:

  • Snip excision 

  • Cautery

  • Cryosurgery

  • Radiocautery

Smaller skin tags can also be removed using lasers. To minimize pain, the individual will be given a local anesthetic via topical application or injection. 

Treatment for skin tag removal is generally low-risk, but in some cases bleeding or infection post-surgery can occur. This can be minimized by proper after-care post-surgery. Do not attempt to remove the skin tag yourself, as this can increase the risk of infection.

How to prevent anal skin tags 

Because anal skin tags can form after hemorrhoids, you can reduce your chances of getting a skin tag by preventing the formation of hemorrhoids. This includes:

  • Increasing the intake of dietary fiber

  • Reducing the consumption of fats

  • Improving anal hygiene

  • Abstaining from straining or sitting for long periods of time on the toilet

  • Exercising regularly

The lowdown 

Hemorrhoid skin tags, also known as anal skin tags, are harmless skin growths that occur in the rectal area. While they are generally painless, they can be removed for cosmetic purposes.

Anal skin tags are usually caused by excess skin that is formed after scarring, including after hemorrhoids. Because of this, you can lessen your chances of developing anal skin tags by reducing your chances of developing hemorrhoids.

People also ask

What should I expect during the removal of anal skin tags?

The procedure is generally painless as the doctor will inject a numbing medication around the external anal skin tag to reduce pain. They may also provide a sedative, depending on the treatment. Before removal, the anal area will be cleaned thoroughly. 

What’s the difference between a skin tag and a hemorrhoid?

While skin tags and hemorrhoids can look similar and are both located in the anal area, there are several differences that set them apart. 

Anal skin tags are generally painless, while a common symptom of hemorrhoids is pain. Skin tags are usually similar in color to your skin, while hemorrhoids can range from purple to red. Anal skin tags also are unlikely to bleed, while hemorrhoids can bleed during defecation or itching.

How do you get rid of hemorrhoid skin tags naturally?

There are very few evidence-based recommendations on how to remove skin tags naturally. Because of this, it’s best to reach out to a health professional for the effective removal of anal skin tags. 

Popular at-home remedies, such as applying tea tree oil or apple cider vinegar to the skin tags, are not recommended. These topical products may increase the risk of infections, skin irritation, and further complications. Also, you should never cut off a skin tag yourself. 

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