Anal abscesses are infections that form in the glands surrounding the anus.
When infection plugs up the anal gland, it fills with pus. Once filled, the gland may burst inward and spread infection to the spaces around the rectum and anus. The discharged pus causes the abscess to form. Anal abscesses need immediate attention, because a delay in treatment may worsen the condition and cause unnecessary complications.
Signs and symptoms of abscesses include:
- Pain in the anal area or buttocks
- A lump in the anal area
- Painful bowel movements
- Lower abdominal pain
- Swelling in the anal area or buttocks
- Drainage from the anal area or buttock
Abscesses are more likely to appear in people with specific medical problems, which include:
- AIDS or HIV infection with low white blood cell counts
- Crohn's disease
- Persons on medications that suppress the body's immune system, such as steroids or those undergoing chemotherapy for cancer