Anal Abscess And Hemroids

Published: 24th March 2010
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An anal abscess can be a dangerous health condition, but how can you easily tell it from a hemorrhoid when both are lumps right under the skin? While this confusion may lead to problems for many people, there are a few telling differences to pay attention to.

External hemorrhoids look like lumps just under the skin right around the anal sphincter. They may be brownish in color due to the normal slightly darker coloration of the skin in that area. In addition, when palpitated or felt by hand, they are generally relatively hard and quite firmly anchored in their location. In addition, while they may itch, burn, or hurt, they usually don't send shooting pains into your midsection unless quite severe, in which case they need to be seen by a doctor anyway.

Anal abcesses, on the other hand, usually look like lumps located a bit more deeply in the tissue surrounding the anal sphincter, and can even appear further out in the deep muscular tissue surrounding the area. Most notably, they are generally easier to push into, although this will probably hurt like the dickens when attempted. An anal abscess will also grow much more quickly than an external hemorrhoid, gaining rapidly in size within two to three days. In addition, an anal abscess will often send shooting pains that can be extremely severe. Another notable symptom is sudden pain when you change body position. Unlike hemorrhoids, abscesses are full of pressurized liquid made up of immune system waste. If you cause that liquid to flow suddenly in a new direction with a body position shift, it will generally protest quite loudly.

If you suffer from fever, chills, shaking, extremely painful bowel movements, extreme pain of any kind, or persistent vomiting, get to an emergency room quickly. These symptoms mean that a systemic infection has developed throughout the body and needs to be fought off as quickly as possible. If you suspect an anal abscess but you haven't experienced any frightening symptoms yet, you can use sitz-baths and acetaminophen to control the pain until such time as you can see your normal family doctor. However, considering the danger that anal abscesses can pose, when in doubt go to the ER.

On the bright side, anal abscesses are generally reasonably simple to deal with once properly diagnosed. The abscess will be opened and drained, followed up by a round of antibiotics to eliminate any lingering infection. The incision will usually be left open in order to prevent the abscess from filling up again. The sooner an anal abscess is diagnosed and drained, the better the chances that the abscess will be a one time occurence with no long-lasting side effects.

To find out more about anal abscesses and hemroids check out our hemroids articles and hemroid treatments.

Copyright 2010. Written by Donald Urquhart. All universal rights reserved.

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