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What are some causes of a perianal abscess?

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Quick Answer

A perianal abscess can be caused by infection of an anal fissure, sexually transmitted infections or blocked anal glands, lists WebMD. Perianal abscesses usually present as painful areas of swelling near the anus. They can be red and warm to the touch.

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Full Answer

There are some conditions which increase the risk for developing perianal abscesses. These conditions include colitis, inflammatory bowel disease, diabetes, diverticulitis and pelvic inflammatory disease, states WebMD. Engaging in anal sex while being the receptive partner may cause anal fissures that can become infected and lead to anal abscesses. Some medications, such as prednisone, also increase the risk of anal abscesses.

Symptoms of anal abscesses include constant pain that is made worse by sitting down, skin irritation around the anus, discharge of pus and constipation. Pain during bowel movements is also a sign of superficial anal abscesses, according to WebMD. Diagnosis of anal abscesses can usually be acquired through a visual exam. In addition to this visual exam, some physicians may want the patient to be further screened for sexually transmitted infections, inflammatory bowel disease, diverticular disease or rectal cancer.

Treatment for anal abscesses includes immediate surgical drainage before the abscess erupts. If the abscess is superficial, it can be drained in the doctor's office using only local anesthesia, reports WebMD. Hospitalization and an anesthesiologist are required if the abscess is very large or deep. Pain medication is prescribed following the procedure, but antibiotics are not typically needed unless the patient has diabetes or a weakened immune system. Stool softeners are often recommended to help with discomfort during bowel movements.

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