Anal and perianal (or anorectal) abscesses

An anal, anorectal or perianal abscess is a bacterial infection in the area around the anus.

Overview

An anal, anorectal or perianal abscess is a bacterial infection in the area around the anus. It is particularly painful during a bowel movement or when sitting, and patients can also suffer from fever and a general feeling of being unwell. Usually the pus has to be drained during a small operation.

Symptoms

Main symptoms

  • Palpable protrusion or hardening in the anal area
  • Reddened skin at or next to the anus
  • Dull persistent pain
  • Pain intensifies when the abscess is touched, during a bowel movement or when sitting

Other symptoms

  • General feeling of being unwell
  • Chills and high fever

Causes and treatment

Causes

The most common cause is blocked glands in the anal area, causing the rapid multiplication of bacteria and the formation of a collection of pus (abscess).

Further treatment by your doctor / in hospital

Possible tests
  • Endoscopy of the rectum (proctoscopy)
  • Ultrasound (sonography)
Possible therapies
  • Small incision to open the abscess and drain the pus

What can I do myself?

  • High-fibre diet (regular bowel movements, preventive)
  • Post-defecation hygiene (e.g. using wet wipes)

When to see a doctor?

  • If you experience severe pain in the anal area, in particular during a bowel movement or when sitting

Synonyms

abscess, Anal abscesses, perianal, abscesses

Exclusion of liability

CSS offers no guarantee for the accuracy and completeness of the information. The information published is no substitute for professional advice from a doctor or pharmacist.

CSS – your health partner

Being healthy, getting well or living with illness: as your health partner, CSS is by your side on your journey through life.

Well looked