An anal abscess (also known as an anal/rectal abscess, peri-rectal/peri-anal abscess, or ano-rectal abscess) is an abscess (a large pocket of infection) adjacent to the anus.
The condition invariably becomes extremely painful, and usually worsens over the course of just a few days. The pain may be limited and sporadic at first, but invariably worsens to a constant pain which can become very severe when body position is changed (e.g., when standing up, rolling over, and so forth). Depending upon the exact location of the abscess, there can also be excruciating pain during bowel movements, though this is not always the case. This condition may occur in isolation, but is frequently indicative of another underlying disorder, such as Crohn's disease.
Abscesses are caused by a high density infection of (usually) common bacteria which collect in one place or another for any variety of reasons. All abscesses can progress to serious generalized infections requiring lengthy hospitalizations if not treated.
Historically, many rectal abscesses are caused by bacteria common in the digestive system, such as E. coli.
Anal abscesses, unfortunately, cannot be treated by a simple course of antibiotics or other medications.
Generally speaking, a fairly small but deep incision is performed close to the root of the abscess, and Kshar-varti is applied to the wound which curates the internal wall of abscess and heals the wound in the course of time. The incision is not closed (stitched), as the damaged tissues must heal from the inside toward the skin over a period of time.
The patient is instructed to perform several 'sitz baths' per day, whereby a small basin (which usually fits over a toilet) is filled with warm water (and possibly, salts) and the affected area is soaked for a period of time.