If you have landed on this post, you are most likely experiencing some type of rectal discomfort that is bothering you. This can definitely be a major cause for concern. Most people in this situation will try to figure out on their own, what can be the possible problem, or what have they done recently that could cause the pain. If your already did some research of your own, and based on all the symptoms and descriptions of different anal health conditions that you have found you came to a conclusion that you are most likely being affected by hemorrhoid or an anal abscess, in this article we will cover how to differentiate one from another, how to distinguish different symptoms and what actions to take when it comes to a treatment.
What is an abscess?
An anal abscess is a form of a cavity that tends to get filled with pus and appears as a lump of tissue anywhere around the opening of your anus, or deep inside more towards the rectal region. Because abscess is a cavity filled with pus, not a blood, it totally differs from hemorrhoids. Buy because external hemorrhoids can also appear as a lump of tissue and give closely similar symptoms, the abscess is very often mistaken for hemorrhoid, especially by people who are not trained professionals.
There are two main types of abscess that most commonly form on a human body:
- Perirectal Abscess – it appears when the ducts of the anal glands get clogged or blocked. That tends to form an infection which causes the pus to appear and accumulate inside and progress into the anal spaces. This type of abscess is quite dangerous, and if incorrectly treated, it can potentially lead to death. This is why it is very important to get an appointment with a specialized doctor, who can perform the right type of analysis and recommend the correct treatment
- Perianal Abscess – is when a small collection of pus accumulates only under the layer of skin around the anal region. This can be very easily mistaken for external hemorrhoid by an untrained eye. Just like the perirectal abscess, it also requires an immediate attention from a specialist who can help you deal with this issue the right way.
Abscess have a bit more severe symptoms that differ from the ones of hemorrhoids. It is things like:
- Abdominal discomfort with a feeling of fatigue
- A consistent and progressive pain around the rectal region, that can be accompanied by the appearance of a lump that can be pushed around when touched
- Very painful bowel movements
- Fever with possible night sweats and severe discomfort in the rectal region
- Symptoms often appear at a sudden pace out of nowhere, whereas the symptoms of hemorrhoids take much longer time to develop.
The anal region in our body contains the clusters of glands which job is to regularly lubricate the area, which makes our bowel movements a less uncomfortable experience. When these clusters get infected by a bacteria, they tend to get blocked or damaged. When that happens, the trapped bacterium mixes with the remaining fluid forming a pus. That creates the anal abscess. If it is not treated early on, the whole lump of tissue gets more and more inflamed causing all the discomfort and pain.
What is hemorrhoid?
Hemorrhoids are swollen veins that got developed because of the tissue weakening in the lower rectum area. That allowed the blood to accumulate and develop little blown up balloons on the outer part of our skin. Hemorrhoids symptoms are often of the same nature like the ones of the abscess, but they are each a different kind of injury.
You can develop either an internal or external hemorrhoid. When it comes to pain and discomfort, they are usually associated with external hemorrhoid. That is because the sensitive tissue is more exposed to irritation or rupture.
- Internal Hemorrhoids
- External Hemorrhoid
- Consistent rectal discomfort throughout the day
- Possible pain in the rectum, often after sitting down too long in one position or on a hard surface.
- Irregular and odd bleeding
- Itching and irritation
- Over the counter or prescription creams
- Home remedies
- Regularly spending a lot of time sat down on an uncomfortable chair, for example in the office in front of a computer or, in a supermarket as a cashier
- Lifting heavy weights without a correct technique or enough strength
- Chronic constipation or a diarrhea
- Lack of regular exercises with an unhealthy diet that is high in refined sugar and preservatives, but low in vitamins, minerals, and fiber
- Pregnancy and giving a birth to a child