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Anal skin tags (piles, Mariske etc.) are smaller or larger skin appendages hanging at the anal opening. Other than being unsightly and interfering with cleaning they are not really considered a disease. Still many patients are concerned about them and wish to get them removed.

Depending on the location, some skin tags are part of anal fissure disease. These ones tend to be in the midline, harder and more tender, and their treatment is part of the treatment for anal fissures. Majority of skin tags are however left-over expanded skin from external hemorrhoidal flare-ups or from advanced internal hemorrhoidal flare-ups.

Conservative treatment will not help with hemorrhoidal skin tags. And there is no lasting minimally invasive solution to handle them either. It is the good old cutting with the good old knife (or its modern versions, the electrocautery blade or the laser fibre) the only way to get rid of them. The full healing can take weeks, but pain/discomfort should only be a few days.

What signs and symptoms one has with this problem?

Patients with anal skin tags usually have no other symptoms than the little lump/skin “thingy” noticed in or next to their anal opening. Bleeding or pain is not part of this problem. Skin tag with bleeding and pain mostly denotes anal fissure.