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Anal Skin Tags


About Anal Skin Tags (AST)

Anal Skin Tags (AST) are common in Inflammatory Bowel Disease. Patients who seek treatment for Anal Skin Tags and who have a family history of IBD should be evaluated for Crohn's Disease diagnosis. Anal Skin Tags are also found in patients with Ulcerative Colitis but much less frequently. [1]

Anal Skin Tags in Crohn's Disease patients can (rarely) become cancerous.[2][3]

Types of Anal Skin Tags

Type 1 Anal Skin Tags "Elephant Ears"
Type 1 Anal Skin Tags can be of any size and are usually not painful. They may be present singly or in clusters of multiple skin tags. Type 1 ASTs are skin colored, flat or round in shape, and are soft and pliable.

Type 1 ASTs are more often found in Crohn's patients with Colitis than patients with Ileitis or Ileocolitis
Type 2 Anal Skin Tags
Type 2 Anal Skin Tags are often painful and tissue is often swollen with fluid (Edema). Type 2 ASTs are often larger than Type 1 ASTs and can be red or blue in color. Type 2 ASTs usually arise from a previous Hemorrhoids , Fistulas, or other Sores / Lesions.


The first course of action for Anal Skin Tags is to keep the area hygenic and keep inflammation of the perianal region in check (i.e. control Crohn's Disease flare). Sitz bath and/or barrier creams may be recommended.[3]

Surgical removal of Type 1 (Elephant Ear) Anal Skin Tags may be performed. Surgical removal of these ASTs may be warranted especially if they grow very large and cause hygeine problems.[4]

Surgery is not often performed for Type 2 Anal Skin Tags due to the risk of Anal Incontinence and Poor Wound Healing.[4]


1. Bonheur JL, Braunstein J, Korelitz BI, Panagopoulos G. Anal skin tags in inflammatory bowel disease: New observations and a clinical review. Inflammatory Bowel Diseases. 2008; 14(8): 1236-1239.




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