Hemerrhoids vs Skin Tag or STD? Let’s Figure Out Which Is Which.

Anal discomfort can be caused by a lot of different conditions, and it is often accompanied by a visible lump on the skin around the anus. It is definitely a reason for concern, as without proper medical screening we can not tell whether it is something serious that can be detrimental to our long-term health. If you are an adult, there are a lot of things that can cause irritation and appearance of the alien looking bump on your skin around the anus. It can be things like external hemorrhoid, skin tag, some sort of STI, contact dermatitis or in rare cases a skin cancer.

In this specific article, we will describe and cover the difference between hemorrhoids, a skin tag and few STD’s that can infect your skin.

What is a Skin Tag?

Skin tags are very common small skin growths that are soft and look like balloons. They occur when bits of dark or flesh-colored pigmented tissue gets projected (pedunculated) from a very small and narrow stalk onto the surrounding skin causing the build up. Skin tags are often very hard to notice, especially during their early stages.

They are harmless by nature but tend to be very irritating. Man and women are both just as prone to develop one. The vast majority of people will develop some type of skin tag somewhere on their body, at some point during their life. In some instance, the less developed skin tags will dry out and spontaneously fall off at some point, whereas the ones that are more formed and developed will most likely persist and hold on. There is currently no strong evidence that skin tags are contagious and can be passed from one person to another.

skin tags on neck

This skin overgrowth can appear anywhere on our body where we can find skin. With that being said, the two most common areas for them to appear are our armpits and neck. Also our groins, upper chest, buttocks and even eyelids can often be affected by consistent rubbing and irritation. For example, our groins are constantly rubbing on each other when we are walking or running, or when we spend a lot of time in front of a computer or reading a book without proper lighting, we tend to habitually rub our exhausted eyes quite often.

Some health factors like obesity, diabetes, diseases that weaken our immune system, or rarely skin cancer, can also make it more likely for us to develop a skin tag.

Usually removing skin tags through a surgery or by using some type of ointments, can get rid of them for life without having to worry about them ever growing back in the same spot. Few most common ways to get rid of skin tags permanently are:

  • Freezing them off – it is a method that is very effective and fairly painless. It consists of using liquid nitrogen to freeze and remove unwanted skin tag. It is always advised this type of treatment is performed by a trained and qualified specialist, with the use of right equipment and hygiene standards. Trying to do it on your own with DIY methods is not preferable and can lead to unnecessary side effects like pain or bleeding.
  • Tying off with a thread – using some type of thin thread or a dental floss, you can tie the narrow end of a skin tag off and effectively remove it. This also should preferably be done by a skin care specialist who understands how to do it correctly and also can assure that the procedure is performed in a hygienic and disinfected environment.
  • Using a skin tag removal cream – you can find creams with a natural full plant based formula that can help your skin to naturally eliminate the excessive skin growth. Thuja Occidentalis is an example of a plant that has natural skin rejuvenating qualities and has been proven to help fight skin tags effectively.

Can STIs cause a lump to appear in the anal region?

The most common STD that can cause a lump to appear on a skin around the anus which resembles hemorrhoids or a skin tag, is Human Papillomavirus (also known as HPV 2 or Herpes). This condition is most often transmitted by getting in a very close contact with someone who recently had an outburst and their bumps are still contagious. It is quite common for the HPV virus to go away on its own, but in the cases when it does not, it can spread and develop into genital warts, or even cancer in rare cases.

std statistics


Often people who got infected by HPV virus, do not ever notice any visible symptoms, or if they do, the symptoms are usually quite mild, and can be easily mistaken for a bug bite or an acne. However, if the symptoms do occur during the first outbreak, they tend to be quite severe. This can happen anywhere from 2 days up to even 3 weeks of being infected. The common symptoms can include:

  • Fever accompanied by chills
  • Decrease in appetite
  • Feeling down and generally sick
  • Lymph nodes can appear tender and swollen
  • Muscle aches around different body parts
  • Appearance of small, painful blisters that contain some sort of fluid. This can appear on various parts on your body like your genitals, buttocks, anus, tongue, lips and inside the mouth. After the blisters break, the leave behind shallow ulcers that eventually crust over and heal in 7 to 14 days.
  • Burning, itching and tingling sensation on the skin before the blisters appear


There is no commonly known cure for herpes, the only way to heal HPV 2 virus is to wait it out. If you have any severe symptoms listed below, it is advised that you make an appointment with your doctor to get a full medical screening. You might possibly be prescribed some type of anti-viral medication to help reduce the symptoms, stimulate the healing process and prevent the outbreak from happening again.

How To Prevent:

The most effective way to prevent getting the HPV 2 virus, is to fully avoid any type of intimate or sexual contact with an infected person. As it is sexually transmitted disease, wearing a condom during the intercourse is very helpful and can significantly decrease the chance of the virus spreading. Also being monogamous and having only one sexual partner can also help, as you are not exposed to as many people.


What are hemorrhoids?

are essentially swollen veins in the rectal area, that developed  through a constant tension and irritation. That caused the skin tissue around the lower rectum area to weaken, which then allowed the blood to accumulate in that area, and develop what looks like little blown up balloons on the outer part of our skin. It can be very time-consuming and troubling to understand how to shrink a hemorrhoid skin tag. A lot of people get concerned when they develop hemorrhoids and often ask themselves a question, “can hemorrhoids be cancerous?”. In rare cases, yes, but it is not common and the chances of polyps or other cancerous cells to grow on hemorrhoid, are not higher than anywhere else on the body.

hemorrhoids or skin tagTypes:

  • Internal Hemorrhoids – appear deeper inside the rectal region and cannot be seen without proper analysis
  • External Hemorrhoids – appear more on the outside area of the anus and are often visible and can be touched


  • Consistent rectal discomfort throughout the day
  • Possible pain in the rectum, often after sitting down too long in one position or on a hard surface.
  • Irregular and odd bleeding
  • Itching and irritation


  • Over the counter or prescription creams
  • Home remedies
  • Banding
  • Surgery

Main Causes

  • Regularly spending a lot of time sat down on an uncomfortable chair, for example in the office in front of a computer or, in a supermarket as a cashier
  • Lifting heavy weights without a correct technique or enough strength
  • Chronic constipation or a diarrhea
  • Lack of regular exercises with an unhealthy diet that is high in refined sugar and preservatives, but low in vitamins, minerals, and fiber
  • Pregnancy and giving a birth to a child

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