Perianal Abscess

Having a boil or a painful bump around the anal opening? This may be a perianal abscess.

Abscess is a localized collection of pus any where in the body. It commonly occurs near or around the anal opening, since this area is exposed to a lot of bugs. Abscess in this location is called a perianal abscess.

Symptoms

  • Throbbing pain down there
  • A painful bump near your anus
  • The surrounding area may be red and swollen
  • Pus or blood may ooze out from the lesion
  • Discharge from or near the anal opening
  • Stained underwear
  • Fever, chills
  • Loss of energy

Causes

There can be many types of lesions that give rise to abscess near your anal opening.

Blocked Anal Glands

Blocked anal glands are, by far, the commonest cause. The opening is surrounded by plenty of tiny glands that serve to keep the anal canal lubricated. If any of these tiny glands gets blocked, its secretions keep collecting inside it, giving rise to a bump.

Since this area is exposed to plenty of germs, it’s quite likely that this blocked gland, that has food for germ to consume inside it, gets infected by a bacteria. After being infected, an abscess is gradually formed.

Anal Fissure or Fistula

Sometimes, tiny cracks may develop in the lower portion of our anal canal. These are called anal fissures.

Fissures are continuously exposed to fecal mater and may get infected to form abscess.

Who gets them?

  • This happens when we are chronically constipated
  • Have some inflammatory bowel disease affecting the lower bowels.
  • Also common in diabetics
  • Patients suffering from STDs, pelvic inflammatory diseases or HIV
  • People with reduced immunity or those on long term steroid therapy are also prone to developing such problems.
  • Those engaging in anal sex without condoms

Anal Fistula

When an abscess, developed on an infected anal fissure connects to the outside skin via a tiny tunnel, it’s called a fistula.

So, a fistula is nothing but an abscess inside the anal canal draining outside via a tunnel. It presents with continuous anal discharge, composed of infected fluid.

Furuncle

An infected hair follicle near the anal opening may form an abscess. This is called a boil or  furuncle.

Management

Whatever be the cause, the immediate treatment of all such abscess is surgical drainage.

Do not try to drain such abscess at home. They require extreme a sepsis during drainage. Also, since drainage is quite painful, you may need local or, sometimes, general anesthesia for drainage.

Home Care

  • You may take Sitz bath two to three times a day. This would soften the abscess and help in spontaneous drainage. It also relives pain and relaxes the muscles of the pelvic floor.
  • The bath should be done observing all aseptic precautions.
  • Over the counter pain medications may be taken to alleviate pain.
  • Plan to visit a surgeon and get your abscess drained out at the earliest.
  • Wear a diaper or put a medicated pad to absorb drainage from the abscess, till it gets drained. This would prevent chances of further infections over the surrounding area.

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