Anal Abscess – What it is, Symptoms and Treatments of this dangerous condition. Also, Anal Abscess occurs when a cavity in the anus fills with pus. In addition to extreme pain, the abscess can cause fatigue , rectal discharge, and fever.
In some cases, anal abscesses can result in painful anal fistulas. This occurs when the abscess does not heal and opens on the surface of the skin . If an Anal Abscess does not heal properly, it can cause a lot of pain and ultimately require surgery.
Causes of Anal Abscess: A blocked anal gland, a sexually transmitted infection (STI) or an infected anal fissure can cause Anal Abscess . Some other risk factors for anal abscesses include:
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- Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis, which are inflammatory bowel diseases that cause the body to attack healthy tissue
- compromised immune system due to illnesses such as HIV or AIDS
- Anal sex, which can increase the risk of anal abscesses in men and women
- Use of the medication prednisone or other steroids
- Current or recent chemotherapy
- Children with a history of anal fissures (tears in the anal sphincter) are also at a higher risk of developing anal abscesses later on. Such anal fissures can occur in children with a history of constipation.
Anal Abscess Symptoms: A constant throbbing pain in the anal area is probably one of the most common and immediately noticeable symptoms of Anal Abscess . The pain is usually accompanied by swelling in the anal area and increased pain during bowel movements.
Other common signs of an Anal Abscess include:
Some people may feel a lump or lump that is red, swollen, and tender at the edge of the anus. Fever and chills can result from the infection . You may also have rectal bleeding or urinary symptoms, such as difficulty urinating.
Anal abscesses can also occur deeper into the rectum, most often in those who suffer from inflammatory bowel disease. This can result in some pain or discomfort in the abdominal area.
Among children, however, there are usually not many symptoms other than signs of discomfort or pain, which can irritate the child. A lump or lump may also be visible or felt around the anal area.
Anal Abscess Diagnoses: Anal Abscess is most often diagnosed through a physical exam where your doctor checks the area for characteristic lumps. They will also look for pain, redness, and swelling in the anal area.
In some people, there may be no visible signs of the abscess on the surface of the skin around the anus. Instead, your doctor will use an instrument called an anoscope to look inside the anal canal and lower rectum.
In some cases, the abscess may be deeper than a physical exam can find, so your doctor may order an MRI or ultrasound to get a better appearance.
More testing may be needed to ensure that Crohn’s disease is not a contributing factor. In these cases, a blood test , X-rays and a colonoscopy may be necessary. During a colonoscopy, your doctor will use a lighted, flexible scope to examine your colon.
Anal Abscess Treatments: Anal abscess rarely goes away without treatment. The most common and simple treatment is for your doctor to drain the pus from the infected area. This can usually be done in the doctor’s office. Your doctor will use a medication to numb the immediate area. Any uncomfortable pressure should be relieved, allowing the tissue to begin to heal properly.
If Anal Abscess is left untreated, it turns into painful anal fistulas that may require more extensive surgical treatment. According to the American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons (ASCRS), about 50 percent of people who have an Anal Abscess will eventually develop an anal fistula. A fistula is an abnormal opening in the skin near the anus. A fistula usually requires surgery to close it and correct the problem.
If there is an extremely large Anal Abscess , surgery may be necessary. In some cases, a catheter may be used to ensure that the abscess approaches completely.
Abscesses that have been drained are usually left open and do not require stitches. If you have diabetes or a compromised immune system , your doctor may ask you to stay in the hospital for a few days to check for an infection .
Once your surgery is done, it is recommended that you take warm (not hot) baths. Sitting in warm water will help reduce swelling and allow for the drainage the abscess may need. Your doctor may also prescribe antibiotics if you have a compromised immune system or if the infection has spread.
Preventing Anal Abscess: Not much is known about how to prevent Anal Abscess , but there are some steps you can take. Protection from STIs and prompt treatment are important for any infection .
Condom use, especially during anal sex, is critical in preventing STIs that can cause anal abscesses. Good hygiene and cleanliness in the anal area is an important safeguard for children and adults.
Anal abscesses can cause complications, but they are treatable. Understand risk factors and be sure to closely monitor and manage any health conditions that could put you at increased risk. If you notice any anal problems, be sure to contact your doctor to get treatment and prevent them from getting worse.