What are Anal Skin Tags?
Anal skin tags (AS) are a common condition that occurs when bacteria or yeast colonize the lining of your rectum. They usually appear on one side only of your buttock, but sometimes they may spread to other parts of your body. You might not even notice them until they start growing into painful bumps. AS can cause itching, burning, and irritation in some cases. Itching can last anywhere from a few days to several months. If left untreated, it can lead to infection and scarring.
How are Anal Skin Tags Diagnosed?
Your doctor will likely order a physical exam first. Your doctor may ask if you have any allergies or sensitivities to anything in particular, such as food, medications, or the environment. These questions help determine what tests your doctor might need to perform on you before making a diagnosis of AS.
A stool sample may be taken to rule out other conditions that could be causing the symptoms you’re experiencing. A culture test is done to see if there’s something else in your system besides bacteria or yeast. The doctor may also do blood tests to look for certain proteins or antibodies that indicate which type of bacteria or yeast are responsible for creating the bumps on your skin.
The most important test your doctor may want to perform is a biopsy. A skin sample from your rash will be sent to a lab to confirm the diagnosis and rule out other conditions that could be causing your symptoms. The sample will be sent to a lab, and a pathologist will analyze the sample under a microscope. He or she will examine the cells’ appearance and the way they divide to see if they are characteristic of tags, tumors, or another skin condition.
What to Expect During Anal Skin Tag Removal?
Skin tags can be removed by a procedure called cryosurgery. During this process, the skin tag is frozen with a special instrument. This causes the skin cells to die, and your body will eventually remove the dead cells. The area will feel numb after the freezing has occurred. You may also feel some mild swelling, bruising, and redness after the procedure.
You will be able to return to your normal activities the next day. You should apply an ointment that helps the skin heal, such as petroleum jelly or A & D ointment.
During an operation, a dermatologist will cut off the skin tags with a small scalpel. The area may feel sore and tender after the procedure is complete. You may also experience some swelling and bleeding for a few days afterward. The doctor may apply stitches to close the wound.
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