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Perianal abscess: causes and treatment

by Alivia Nyhan
Published: Last Updated on

Inside the canal, glands are located that if they become inflamed and infected, accumulating purulent material, can give rise to what is called perianal or anorectal abscess. When the pus does not drain on its own, it is important to undergo a small surgical intervention to allow it to escape and that the lesion can heal favorably. It is important to undergo such surgery quickly to avoid possible complications, such as an anal fistula, and so that the pain is not severe and continuous. In addition to this, it will be necessary to follow an anti-constipation diet and some hygiene measures that help to heal the wound. To learn more about this condition, keep reading this FastlyHealarticle in which we explain what the causes and treatment of perianal abscess are.

Causes of perianal abscess

The perianal abscesses in 90% of cases result from inflammation of the anal glands , which are located in the wall thickness of the anus. These glands can become clogged and infected, accumulating purulent material inside that is impossible to drain, thus giving rise to the formation of the abscess. Among the main causes that can cause this drainage not to occur are inflammation of the anal canal due to constipation, increased tone of the anal sphincter, obstruction due to diarrhea and swelling as a result of some infections.

In addition to the above, there are a number of factors and conditions that can increase the risk of a perianal abscess, such as those listed below:

  • Infected anal fissures.
  • Anal sex.
  • Trauma
  • Inflammatory bowel diseases, such as ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease.
  • Diabetes.
  • Tuberculosis.
  • Receive local chemotherapy or radiotherapy treatment.
  • Taking corticosteroid medications.
  • Weakened immune system, for example due to HIV / AIDS.
  • Anal tumors

Symptoms of perianal abscess

The main symptoms of perianal abscess are the following:

  • Dull pain at first that gets worse over time and as the abscess gets bigger. The pain can be much more intense when you have a bowel movement, sit, or cough.
  • Reddish and hot lump in the anal area that causes pain when touched.
  • Constipation.
  • Pus discharge from the anus.
  • Fever.
  • General malaise.
  • Night sweats.
  • Shaking chills.

In the case of babies, the perianal abscess usually manifests as a kind of inflamed and red lump on the margin of the anus, causing restlessness and irritability in the little one.

Complications of perianal abscess

Anorectal abscesses if not medically treated early can lead to some complications such as those shown below:

  • Formation of an anal fistula: abnormal connection between the anus and another structure.
  • Sepsis: An infection that has spread to the blood.
  • Severe and ongoing pain.
  • Reappearance of the problem.
  • Appearance of scars.

Diagnosis of perianal abscess

The diagnosis of perianal abscess is simple, since the symptoms indicated by the patient and a rectal examination are usually sufficient to confirm the presence of said lesion.

Although they are not usually necessary, if the abscess is deep enough, anoscopy, transrectal ultrasound, or CT scan may be performed in some cases.

Treatment of perianal abscess

The treatment of perianal abscess should always be surgical , since they rarely drain and heal on their own. Surgical intervention consists of opening the abscess to allow all the purulent material accumulated inside it to escape. It is usually carried out on an outpatient basis under local anesthesia in the event that the lesion is not large or too deep.

Only in those cases in which the abscess is large and the accumulation of purulent material is deep, will it be necessary to proceed to a surgical intervention with general anesthesia. Your doctor may also prescribe some pain relievers or antibiotics.

Once the intervention is performed, a gauze or drain is usually placed inside the abscess so that all the pus comes out. When it has completely emptied, the wound will close on its own. In any case, it is important that some measures are carried out at home to promote healing:

  • Perform sitz baths in a bowl of warm water to decrease swelling and reduce pain.
  • Use stool softeners if necessary.
  • Avoid constipation by following a balanced, healthy diet rich in fiber. In the following article you can see what are the foods to prevent constipation .
  • Drink plenty of water during the day.
  • Maintain good hygiene in the rectal area.
  • Always use a soft toilet paper, avoiding those with perfumes or dyes.
  • Prevent the damaged region from remaining damp.
  • Do not touch the lesion with your hands or scratch with your nails.

Measures to prevent a perianal abscess

Among the measures to prevent a perianal abscess , we can point out: following a diet rich in fiber that prevents constipation, maintaining good daily intimate hygiene and using a condom during anal intercourse.

For infants and young children, changing diapers frequently and maintaining good hygiene in their intimate area are important in reducing the chances of perianal abscesses.

This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.

If you want to read more articles similar to Perianal abscess: causes and treatment , we recommend that you enter our Digestive System category .

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