Anal Abscess: Causes, Symptoms, Treatment

Fistula complications are common in anal abscess patients, and develops in about 50% of cases. 

 Onlymyhealth Staff Writer
Written by: Onlymyhealth Staff WriterUpdated at: Nov 14, 2022 19:38 IST
Anal Abscess: Causes, Symptoms, Treatment

A painful ailment known as an anal abscess occurs when a pus-filled mass forms close to the anus. In most of the case anal abscesses are caused due to the infection of small anal glands. 

Perianal abscess is the most common type of abscess. This often appears as a painful boil-like inflammation near the anus. It appears to be red in color and warm to the touch. 

Surgical incision and drainage is the most common treatment for all types of anal abscesses. 

Fistula complications are common in anal abscess patients, and develops in about 50% of cases. A fistula is a tiny channel that connects the skin with the location of the abscess abnormally.

An anal fistula may occasionally result in ongoing discharge. Recurrent anal abscesses occurs in different situations, where the exterior part of the tunnel aperture closes.

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Causes of Anal Abscesses

  • Following are the potential causes of anal abscess:
  • A tear in the anal canal, that becomes infected. 
  • Infections that are transmitted sexually. 
  • Blocked anal glands.
  • Adults should use condoms during sexual intercourse, including anal intercourse or risk infection.
  • Frequent diaper changes and proper cleaning can prevent anal fistula in toddlers.

Symptoms of Anal Abscesses

  • Superficial anal abscesses are often associated with:
  • Constant pain, throbbing, and worse when sitting down
  • Skin irritation around the anus followed by swelling, redness, and tenderness
  • Discharge of pus
  • Deeper anal abscesses may also be followed by:
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Malaise

Treatment of Anal Abscesses

Ideally before the abscess ruptures, it's critical to do surgical drainage right away. A local anesthesia can be used to drain superficial anal abscesses at a medical professional's office. Anesthesiologist assistance and hospitalisation may be needed for larger or deeper anal abscesses.

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Post surgery, most people are prescribed medicines for pain relief. However, some people, notably diabetic or weakened immune systems, may need to take antibiotics. Fistula surgery and abscess surgery may occasionally be done concurrently. Fistulas, however, frequently appear four to six weeks after the drainage of an abscess. A fistula may occasionally not develop for several months or even years. Therefore, fistula surgery is typically an independent treatment that can be completed either as an outpatient or with a brief hospital stay. Painkillers might be used to manage any discomfort following abscess or fistula surgery.

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