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Medically reviewed by Lorcan Sheppard BSc MBBS FRCA, Chief Medical Officer for The Private Clinic of Harley Street, London.
Last Reviewed November 17th 2023

Anal Skin Tags

Anal skin tags, rectal skin tags or perianal skin tags are excess skin growths that can form around the anus or rectum.

They appear as fleshy, hanging skin protrusions and can often be confused for other related conditions such as haemorrhoids.

Whilst they are harmless, they can cause discomfort or embarrassment for some individuals causing them to seek anal skin tag treatment.

The Private Clinic offers fast and pain-free anal skin tag removal at our discrete and private clinics in London and Birmingham.

Consultations take place in clinic with our expert Colorectal surgeons. Following consultation, you are free to book a date for your procedure on the same day, no need to join waiting lists

What causes anal skin tags?

The precise cause of anal skin tags is not well understood. They often develop because of the following factors:

  • Genetics – Some people are more genetically prone to developing anal skin tags.
  • Friction / Rubbing – Constant rubbing or friction in the anal area, such as wearing tight clothes, exercising, or long periods of sitting.
  • Diarrhoea – Repeated loose stools can irritate the skin around the anus and more frequent wiping of the area can also increase sensitivity and the formation of skin tags.
  • Constipation – The skin around the anus is likely to stretch due to straining. If the skin does not return to its original shape after stretching, then skin tags can develop. [1]
  • Anal fissures or Haemorrhoids – Conditions like anal fissures (tears in the lining of the anus) or haemorrhoids can sometimes lead to the development of anal skin tags after treatment due to stretched out skin remaining which forms a skin tag.
  • Pregnancy and childbirth – Hormonal changes and increased pressure during pregnancy and childbirth are common contributing factors to anal skin tags.
  • Medical Conditions – Some medical conditions such as Chron’s Disease can increase your likelihood of developing anal skin tags. Anal skin tags are present in up to 70% of patients with Chron’s Disease. [2]

How do I know if I have anal skin tags?

Many people are not aware that they have anal skin tags as they are typically pain and symptom free. Most people become aware of them when they are felt during wiping after using the toilet or whilst washing.

Whilst they are not painful, over time they can become itchy or sensitive resulting in many seeking anal skin tag removal treatment. 

Do I need anal skin tag treatment?

If your anal skin tags are causing discomfort in your life, then it would be worth considering removal treatment.

Anus skin tags can become inflamed and may cause hygiene issues when wiping after using the toilet.

At The Private Clinic, our expert consultants will be able to provide their professional advice on the best course of treatment. Initially, they may look for any underlying causes of the anal skin tags before removing them to avoid recurrent skin tags.

Anal Skin Tag Removal Treatment

Our anal skin tag removal treatments include:

  • Excision – Surgical scissors or a scalpel are used to cut the anal skin tag away from the skin.
  • Electrocautery – A heated instrument is used to burn off the anal skin tag.
  • Cryotherapy – Liquid nitrogen is used to freeze the skin tag which will then fall off a few days post-treatment. [3]

What are the benefits of anal skin tag removal?

Whilst anal skin tag removal treatment may not be medically required, many people struggle with having irritated excess skin in a sensitive area.

By having anal skin tag removal treatment, we can help to improve overall quality of life.

  • Improve self-esteem and confidence
  • Ease of bowel movements
  • Improved personal hygiene
  • Improved sexual health
  • Help to reduce the risk of existing skin tags getting larger
  • Improved comfort
  • Better aesthetic appearance

Anal Skin Tags Removal Treatment at a glance

Procedure Time
20 mins

Anaesthetic Type
Local anaesthetic

Hospital Stay

Support Garment
Dressing applied for 4-6 hours

Daily & after a stool


2 – 6 Weeks

Up & Mobile
24 hours

Sexual Activity
2 weeks

Back to Work
24 hours

No heavy lifting for 2 weeks

2 weeks

Recovery Time
6 weeks

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What to Expect

Anal Skin Tag Removal Consultation

A consultation will take place with one of our colorectal surgeons who are experts in diagnosing and treating anal skin tags where appropriate.

During your consultation, the surgeon will:

  • Listen to your concerns regarding your anal skin tags
  • Review your medical history
  • A proctoscopy examination to detect tumours, polyps, inflammation and sources of rectal bleeding
  • Assess your anal skin tags
  • Discuss the best treatment plan
  • Detail the risks and complications of anal skin tag treatment
  • Detail what will happen on the day of the procedure
  • Go through the recovery and aftercare required

Following your consultation with your colorectal surgeon, you will be assigned a dedicated patient coordinator. They will be able to provide you with your detailed treatment plan along with the full cost and pricing details. You will leave our clinic feeling able to make a well-informed decision.


Anal Skin Tag Removal Pre Op

In the interests of patient safety all our patients are assessed against our patient selection criteria. Following your anal skin tag consultation and review of your medical history, the physician or pre-operative nurse will choose the pre-operative tests considered to be appropriate, most of which are routine blood tests.

You will be provided with a pre-operative instruction sheet ahead of your procedure which will help you to prepare for your anal skin tag treatment.


Anal Skin Tag Removal Procedures

There are 3 types of anal skin tag removal treatments. Your surgeon will advise on which one they feel is most effective for you.

Surgical Excision

Surgical excision treatment for anal skin tags involves cutting the skin tag away from the body using surgical scissors or a scalpel. The procedure is performed under local anaesthetic and dissolvable sutures are used to close the incision made to remove the skin tag, if required.


Electrocautery treatment for anal skin tags that involves using a high-frequency electrical current to burn off the skin tag. The heat effectively closes off / cauterises the skin tag lesion from the rest of the body. This then results in the skin tag becoming dry and discoloured. The skin tag will then either fall off immediately or within one to two weeks. The treatment is performed under local anaesthetic and no stitches are required.


Cryotherapy or Cryosurgery uses nitrogen to effectively freeze the skin tag. The frozen nitrogen is applied to the anal skin tag via a spray or swab. The skin is frozen quickly and then slowly thaws causing the skin tag to shrivel and die. Most anal skin tags will then fall off over the next few days. No anaesthetic is required.


Anal Skin Tag Removal Aftercare

You will be able to return home shortly after your anal skin tag removal procedure has been performed.

In the days following the procedure, the area where the skin tag was removed is likely to be sore and swollen. We advise using painkillers to help alleviate any discomfort.

Most patients can return to work the following day and are back to their regular activities within a week. Strenuous activities, heavy lifting and sexual activity should be avoided for two weeks.

If you have had a surgical excision, a scar may be present in the area which can take up to a year to settle and fade. Swelling and redness may be present over the scar for the first 6 weeks.

Your colorectal surgeon will advise in detail during your consultation what to expect following anal skin tag treatment.


The Private Clinic have collaborated with Chrysalis Finance to offer 0% finance for our patients.*

*Acceptance is subject to status. Terms and conditions apply.


How to prevent anal skin tags?

How can I prevent anal skin tags? / How to avoid anal skin tags?

Once you have had your anal skin tag removed, your surgeon will discuss methods to help prevent skin tags in the future. The best way to prevent further skin tags is to understand the potential cause of your existing one. Often lifestyle changes are enough to prevent future anal skin tags.

Helpful tips include:

  • Maintaining a healthy diet with plenty of fibre
  • Keeping active each day
  • Limiting time spent on the toilet
  • Regularly drinking water throughout the day
  • Wearing breathable and comfortable underwear
  • Avoid straining

Your surgeon may also recommend that you have any digestive problems diagnosed to ensure that there is no underlying condition that may be increasing your risk of developing anal skin tags.

Do anal skin tags go away on their own?

Anal skin tags will not go away on their own. If you want to remove them, you will need to have an anal skin tag removal treatment.

If you are feeling worried about anal skin tags, we recommend visiting us for a consultation. Our consultant colorectal surgeons will be able to determine if the skin tag is harmless or something to be concerned about.

Most people elect to have them surgically removed in a quick procedure performed under local anaesthetic to help improve comfort and any feeling of self-consciousness. 

Can the NHS treat anal skin tags?

Anal skin tag removal treatment is not routinely commissioned or funded on the NHS. This is because it is deemed to be a cosmetic procedure and not medically necessary.

At The Private Clinic, we understand that anal skin tags can still cause discomfort and concern for many people which is why we offer private self-pay treatment for anal skin tag removal.

Consultations are available for fast and pain-free anal skin tag removal at our private and discreet clinics in London and Birmingham.

Are anal skin tags the same as haemorrhoids?

No, anal skin tags are a different condition from haemorrhoids. The most noticeable difference between the two conditions is that haemorrhoids usually cause more pain and discomfort.

Haemorrhoids are swollen veins whereas anal skin tags are small sections of excess skin.

Haemorrhoids both external and internal cause swelling in the area. As the swelling reduces, excess skin that was previously stretched may not shrink back which can then cause skin tags to develop. This is why the two conditions are often interlinked with many patients developing anal skin tags following haemorrhoid removal treatment.

Do I have a haemorrhoid or anal skin tag?

If you are unsure if you have haemorrhoids or anal skin tags, visit us for a no-obligatory consultation where our expert colorectal surgeons will be able to accurately diagnose your anal condition and advise on the best treatment to suit you.

What do anal skin tags look like?

Anal skin tags often look like skin tags that form on other areas of the body. They are bits of excess tissue that protrude from the surface of the skin.

On the anus, skin tags are more difficult to see. They may feel like small bumps or raised areas on the anus which is why many confuse them with haemorrhoids especially when it is difficult to be able to see them clearly.

Most anal skin tags will be the same colour as your natural skin tone, but in some instances, they may appear slightly darker in colour.

Does anal skin tag removal treatment hurt?

Is anal skin tag removal painful?

Our anal skin tag removal treatments are designed to be as painless as possible.

Surgical excision of anal skin tags is performed under local anaesthetic or sedation if preferred. We will ensure that you are feeling comfortable throughout the procedure.

The area treated may be painful following treatment once the anaesthetic has worn off. This is usually easily managed with painkillers and will only last for a few days.

Book a consultation to find out more about our fast and pain-free anal skin tag removal treatments.

Am I suitable for anal skin tag removal treatment?

The best way to find out if you are suitable for anal skin tag surgery is to visit us for a consultation. Our expert surgeons will perform an examination to ensure that there are no other anal conditions such as haemorrhoids or anal fissures present.

If it is anal skin tags, as long as you are in good health with no contraindications – you will be a good candidate for treatment.

How much does private anal skin tag removal cost?

Consultations with our Expert Colorectal Consultant Surgeons is £200 which includes a which includes a proctoscopy examination.

A consultation is the best way to determine your suitability for anal skin tag removal treatment. Our surgeons are proctology specialists and will be able to assess the condition properly and give the most appropriate advice.

Anal skin tag removal prices start from £450 for surgical excision

Prices may vary depending on complexity.

Once you have had a consultation, a more accurate cost can be provided so you are able to make a fully informed decision.

Anal skin tag consultations are available at our private and discreet clinics in London and Birmingham.

Can I use over the counter or home remedy skin tag removal methods for anal skin tags?

We do not recommend skin tag home remedies for anal skin tag removal.  There is no guarantee of full skin tag removal and in many instances, the solutions are too strong for sensitive skin on the anus. They risk causing more irritation or infection.

Visit us in clinic to find out more about the safest and most effective skin tag removal treatments available.

Can you get internal anal skin tags?

Anal skin tags are always found externally. If you have lumps or bumps inside the anus, this may be another condition.

If unsure, we recommend visiting us for a consultation where our expert consultant colorectal surgeons can perform a proctoscopy examination to diagnose the condition.

Can I have my anal skin tag treatment on the same day as my consultation?

We do not offer same day treatment for anal skin tag removal.

Our consultant colorectal surgeons will see you first for a consultation. This allows them the time for them to advise on the most suitable treatment following a thorough examination and diagnose you before rushing ahead with a procedure. There may be other medical concerns such as haemorrhoids or anal fissures to consider.

If we were to book same day treatment, you may be going in for the wrong treatment without being properly assessed by our surgeons before. This could result in your treatment being ineffective, unnecessary or cancelled. This is why we do not offer same day treatment.

However, we can provide available treatment dates for you to consider following your consultation. We do not operate a waiting list process and all patients will be able to book a date and time suitable for them following their consultation. Our expert patient coordinators will be your point of contact throughout your treatment journey and will assist you with booking your treatment date and any follow-up appointments.

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