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This article was published on July 16, 2012, and was last updated on May 1st, 2019 in Hemorrhoid Banding.
While skin tags are quite common, and the majority of them raise no real cause for concern. These tags can form naturally, but in some cases, they may point to a more serious condition.
Skin tags are just what they sound like, little flaps of skin. In most cases, these small tags will appear on various areas of the body. Women frequently get them under their breasts, in the fold, or where an underwire bra may cause chafing. These tags are typically quite harmless.
Anal skin tags can occur after a bout of hemorrhoids, or as a result of a minor injury. These little flaps of skin may be present in large numbers, or a patient may have only one. There are also anal skin tags that are referred to as “sentinel” tags. This means that they are formed over the site of an old injury, fissure or hemorrhoid and serve as a protective barrier for that sensitive skin.
Most skin tags do not cause any discomfort. However, there are times when they will “flare up.” This is referred to as symptomatic. Symptoms may include itching, tenderness or redness of the tag and surrounding skin. This can be very uncomfortable and many patients feel ashamed. There is no cause for shame, but symptomatic skin tags should be examined to determine if there is a larger problem causing the irritation.
Due to the location of anal skin tags, there is some risk of infection or irritation. Tags causing these types of problems may need to be removed, particularly if they are symptomatic or if your physician feels that they might be related to a more significant problem.