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How should skin tags be treated?
The first step in their management is accurate diagnosis by a specialist colorectal surgeon. Following this, reassurance and conservative management may be appropriate for those with minimal symptoms, such as judicious use of steroid creams when painful and swollen, barrier creams etc. If more symptomatic they can be surgically removed under deep sedation with local anaesthetic in the operating theatre under sterile conditions. Recovery is usually less than a week. The rare but recognised risks of surgical removal include:
- Pain (up to 7 days typically)
- Delayed wound healing (>6 weeks)
- Failure to heal (Chronic fissure)
What are the main indicators of haemorrhoids?
External haemorrhoids (piles), also known as 4th degree piles, are swellings comprised of blood vessels rather than simple skin. These usually have an internal anchorage and can pop out either after bowel movement, or sometimes spontaneously. They can often be pushed back inside. Discomfort and rectal bleeding are usually more prominent with 4th degree piles compared with simple skin tags. For symptoms and management of piles please read this article.
Written by Mr Jonathan Wilson, Consultant Colorectal and General Surgeon at OneWelbeck Digestive Health.