WHAT IS IT?
An anal abscess is a painful swelling in the anal region. The most common type is known as a ‘perianal abscess’, a boil-like lump near the anus which may be red, warm to the touch and may discharge pus. Abscesses can also occur in deeper tissue and these may be less visible.
WHAT CAUSES IT?
Anal abscess is the result of infection, usually of an anal gland. Many underlying health factors (eg diabetes or taking steroids) can increase risk of developing an abscess. Occasionally it can be caused by a sexually transmitted disease.
WHAT IS THE TREATMENT?
Surgical incision and drainage of the abscess is the usual treatment, along with a course of antibiotics. It is not uncommon for abscesses to recur, and unfortunately around half of all patients with this problem will develop a complication called a fistula which has to be treated separately.
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