What is the treatment for a perineal abscess?

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Anthony L. Komaroff, MD
Internal Medicine
Perineal refers to the area between the genitals and anus.

There are tiny glands just inside the opening of the anal canal. They are too small to notice, but they can be the origin of an infection. This can lead to an abscess (a small pocket of pus). We don't know why some people get abscesses and others do not.

When an abscess forms in an anal gland, the abscess slowly enlarges. The pus inside the abscess tends to move toward the anal opening. When this happens, the person notices a painful swelling in the area.

Sometimes this abscess breaks open on its own and drains pus and blood. Other times, the person may see a doctor to have the abscess drained.

After an abscess drains, the person usually feels better quickly. The infected area will usually heal, although it may take a few weeks. Sometimes, the path that the infection created between the anal canal and the outside anal skin remains. This is called an anal fistula.
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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.