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Understanding Perianal Abscess

A perianal abscess is an infection around your anus. The anus is the opening of your rectum. It is located between your buttocks. It’s where solid waste leaves your body.

How to say it

per-ee-AY-nuhl AB-sess

What causes a perianal abscess?

Most perianal abscesses occur when an anal gland becomes blocked. You have 8 to 10 of these glands around your anus. They can become blocked with bacteria or fecal matter. Once blocked, they may become infected. They then fill with pus.

Symptoms of a perianal abscess

A perianal abscess may appear as a red, swollen bump near the anus. If it’s inside the anal canal, you may not see it. The area may be sore to the touch.

The abscess can cause severe pain. You may feel sick and have a fever. If the abscess bursts, pus may ooze out of it.

Treatment for a perianal abscess

A perianal abscess should be treated right away. Treatment options include:

  • Incision and drainage. Cutting open the abscess allows the pus inside it to drain. This eases discomfort and pain.

  • Sitz bath. Soaking the anal area in warm water after the abscess has been drained helps it heal.

  • Medicine. In some cases, you may need antibiotics if an infection is severe. You may also need them if you have a health problem such as diabetes that may slow down healing.

When to call your healthcare provider

Call your healthcare provider right away if you have any of these:

  • Fever of 100.4°F (38°C) or higher, or as directed

  • Redness, swelling, or fluid leaking from your incision that gets worse

  • Pain that gets worse

  • Symptoms that don’t get better, or get worse

  • New symptoms

© 2000-2017 The StayWell Company, LLC. 780 Township Line Road, Yardley, PA 19067. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.