What are Anal Abscesses?

Anal abscesses are painful, pus-filled sores located within the anus or rectum. There are two different types: the perirectal abscess and the perianal abscess. The perianal abscess is indicated by a pooling of pus directly underneath the skin’s surface at the opening to the anus. While this is a severe medical condition requiring treatment, it is not as problematic as the perirectal abscess that affects the deepest tissue in the anal region and rectum. Perirectal abscesses are typically severely infected.

In addition to soreness and pain, anal abscesses cause fatigue, discharge from the rectum and are often accompanied by a fever. If left untreated, anal abscesses can develop into fistulas. Anal abscesses that are allowed to continue may break through to the skin’s surface. When this occurs, surgery may be the only viable treatment option. Proactive treatment is the best way to resolve anal abscesses before surgery becomes necessary.

Anal Abscess Symptoms

The most common complaint from anal abscess sufferers is persistent pain and throbbing in the anal region. Swelling of the area is often associated with anal abscesses, and many patients indicate that they experience an increase in pain and soreness with each of their bowel movements.
Among the most typically seen symptoms indicating an anal abscess are:

  • Fatigue
  • Constipation
  • Discharge from the rectum
  • Rectal bleeding
  • Swelling of the tissue around the anus
  • Sore anal skin
  • Fever

In some cases, a nodule or lump may appear at the entry to the anus. This lump may be red and is often swollen and tender to the touch. Fever will often accompany an anal abscess and can leave the patient feeling chilled. Rectal bleeding is a commonly seen symptom, and in some cases, patients may struggle to urinate.

Anal abscesses do not always appear at the entrance to the anus. Sometimes, they will be found deeper within the rectal cavity. This problem is most often seen in patients suffering from ongoing inflammation of the bowel. In these cases, abdominal discomfort is not uncommon.

Anal abscesses can also occur in young children. The main signs seen are discomfort, pain, and irritability.

What Causes Anal Abscesses?

Several different things can lead to an anal abscess. Among the most common issues leading to this problem are:

  • Sexually transmitted diseases
  • Infected anal fissures
  • Blocked anal glands

Certain conditions make some people more at risk for developing anal abscesses. These include:

  • Crohn’s Disease
  • Ulcerative Colitis
  • Diabetes
  • A compromised immune system
  • Anal sex
  • Steroid use
  • Chemotherapy
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Toddlers with recurring anal fissures

Our Treatment

The N.A. Hemorrhoids Centre (North American Hemorrhoids Centre) approach to successfully treating anal abscesses hinges on these two protocols:

Guoyi Proctology Therapy

An herbal ointment known as Bazhisan helps to provide relief and healing for anal abscesses. The clinic prepares this ointment according to the principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine. Its purpose is multi-fold. It offers the following benefits to our patients:

  1. It relieves pain.
  2. It helps stop rectal bleeding.
  3. It promotes new tissue growth.
  4. It detoxifies blocked blood flow causing hemorrhoid death.
Microsurgery & Naturopathic Treatment

If the anal abscess is severe and will not respond to Ba Zhi San ointment, microsurgery will be performed to treat the abscess.

This approach is typically reserved for long-term sufferers with anal abscesses or hemorrhoids. When the inflammation of the affected area becomes too great, and the veins begin to swell, microsurgery is the most effective means of providing relief. If this problem is not treated, the anal abscesses can become infected, or the wounds may deepen, requiring more invasive treatment options.


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