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Anal abscess Symptoms, Signs Causes and Treatments

Anal abscesses are a common medical condition that can cause significant discomfort and pain. It is essential to understand the symptoms, causes, and treatments associated with anal abscesses to seek appropriate medical attention and prevent complications. By gaining knowledge about this condition, individuals can make informed decisions about their health and well-being.

By Able Health I Medically reviewed by Dr. Alireza Estedlal

Page last reviewed: February 2024 I Next review due: February 2026

Anal Abscess

Anal abscess refers to an infected, painful pus filled cavity close to the anus. Also known as perianal abscess, it usually develops when any glands close to anus become infected. It appears similar to a boil, but they can also develop deep in the tissue making it less noticeable.


Anal abscess usually present with the one or more of the following syumptoms:

Superficial anal abscess can make you experience:

  • Throbbing and constant pain made worse by bowel movements
  • Pus discharge
  • Tenderness, redness, swelling and skin irritation around the anus
  • Constipation

Deep anal abscess will lead to:

  • Malaise
  • Fatigue
  • Chills
  • Fever

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Anal abscess has a number of causes. They are:

  • Blocked anal glands
  • Sexually transmitted infections
  • Anal tear that becomes infected
  • Anal sex (receptive partner)

Several health conditions can put you at higher risk of developing an anal abscess:

  • Weak immune system from drug abuse, malnutrition and illness
  • Diabetes
  • Diverticulitis
  • Inflamitory bowel diseases such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease

Some medical treatments can result in anal abscess and they are:

  • Recent or current chemotherapy
  • Corticostroid medications


If you leave an anal abscess untreated for too long, then,on rare occasion, the abscess may result in severe complications such as:

  • Fournier’s gangrene, a rare life-threatening infection
  • Sepsis


A GP will perform a clinical evaluation. If needed, some exams may be conducted under anaesthesia.


Dental abscess treatment may involve minor surgery and drainage of the are of pus. After drainage, treatment options of anal abscess are:

  • Medication- Antibiotics will help to clear any residual infection
  • Fibre supplements or laxatives- After the treatment, doctor may prescribe some fibre supplements or laxatives to avoid constipation.
  • Follow-up appointments- There is a chance of anal abscess's recurring. This must be monitored strictly

Sometimes, surgery may be required for severe abscess and in such instances anaesthesia is used.