A perianal abscess – or anal abscess – is an anorectal disorder where an infected area located near the anus or rectum is filled with pus. Sometimes, a perianal fistula – or anal fistula – can result from an abscess. A fistula, or fistula-in-ano, is a small tract that runs from the anal canal to the skin surrounding the anus and can contribute to abscess formation.

Symptoms of Perianal Abscess or Perianal Fistula

Signs and symptoms of a perianal abscess or fistula are:

  • Chills
  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Pain
  • Redness
  • Swelling
  • Unusual drainage from the anal area

When to see a doctor

Your child should see a doctor if they have any of the above symptoms. Prescription antibiotic medication is often the first option to treat the infection that causes these symptoms. However, most often, these abscesses require surgery.

Causes of Perianal Abscess or Fistula

Abscesses can develop due to anal glands becoming clogged with bacteria, feces or other foreign material, and becoming infected.

Who’s at risk

Children who have the following conditions or have undergone the following procedures are at an increased risk of developing perianal abscesses or fistulas:

  • Cancer
  • Crohn’s disease (a painful type of inflammatory bowel disease)
  • Infrequent or inadequate bathing
  • Radiation therapy
  • Trauma

Request an Appointment

Contact an Orlando Health doctor

If you suspect that your child may have a perianal abscess or fistula, make an appointment with an Orlando Health pediatrician today so your child can start on the road to improved health.