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Swelling, a lump, a sore, or a new growth around the anus

Swelling, a lump, a sore, or a new growth around the anus

You may notice a new skin growth, sores, or minor swelling that feels like a skin growth around your anus. If swelling is the problem, it may go away on its own.

Anorectal abscess

An anorectal abscess often starts when a blocked anal gland becomes infected and forms a pocket of pus in the tissue near the anus. An abscess may also develop when an anal fissure becomes infected or may be caused by ongoing diseases, such as inflammatory bowel disease.

Symptoms of an anorectal abscess include:

  • Pain or swelling in or around the anus.
  • Drainage of pus from the anus or near the anus.
  • Fever.
  • Pain or bleeding with the passage of stool.

When an anorectal abscess is suspected, a visit to a health professional is required, and surgical drainage may be necessary.

Certain diseases may increase your risk of serious infection. People with diabetes or an impaired immune system require medical treatment at the first signs of infection.


Hemorrhoids are enlarged, swollen veins in the anus. Hemorrhoids can occur inside the anus (internal hemorrhoids) or outside of the anus (external hemorrhoids).

External hemorrhoids are often painful. Internal hemorrhoids are not usually as painful as external hemorrhoids and can range in size from a slight swelling under the wall of the anus to large, sagging veins that stick out of the anus. Internal hemorrhoids may cause painless bleeding during a bowel movement. A person may have both internal and external hemorrhoids.

When you have hemorrhoids, you may be able to feel a painful or painless lump of soft tissue outside of your anus. Home treatment may be all that is needed to relieve the discomfort of minor hemorrhoids.

Rectal prolapse

Rectal prolapse is a condition in which loose tissue near the end of the large intestine (rectum) slides downward. The tissue may partially or completely stick out of (protrude from) the anus.

Rectal prolapse is most common in young children and older adults. Although many conditions increase the risk of rectal prolapse, it is often hard to find the exact cause.

Sexually transmitted diseases

Sexually transmitted diseases can also cause rectal problems. Painless skin growths and sores around the anus may be caused by genital warts. Genital warts may itch or bleed if they become irritated. Genital herpes can cause painful sores around the anus.


If you think you have a sexually transmitted disease:

  • Do not have sexual contact until you have been treated by a health professional.
  • Your partner may need to be treated as well.


AuthorJan Nissl, RN, BS
EditorSusan Van Houten, RN, BSN, MBA
Associate EditorTracy Landauer
Primary Medical ReviewerWilliam M. Green, MD - Emergency Medicine
Specialist Medical ReviewerH. Michael O'Connor, MD - Emergency Medicine
Last UpdatedApril 24, 2009

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