ANAL OR RECTAL PROBLEMS IN CROHN'S DISEASE
Many of those with Crohn's will have sores or swelling around their bottoms (particularly around the anus where the intestine or rectum exits). This is often referred to as perianal disease.
Tags (Extra tissue near the anus)
A beefy lump or what seems to be extra tissue at the anal area is the most common finding. These can be mistaken for hemorrhoids. But these anal tags are actually inflamed anal tissue, similar to the inflammation that's going inside. They usually aren't painful, but reflect the activity of the disease—when the disease is more active, they tend to thicken and swell, and then quiet down when the disease is in remission. As a result, they are often referred to as sentinel tags, signaling the activity level.
Abscess and Fistula
When there's a painful lump near the anus, but often a little distance away, that's usually a build up of pus and infection, known as an abscess. That can become so sore that it's too tender to sit or walk. These may need to be drained.
These infections can develop on their own, but most of the time they build up or develop from what is known as a fistula. A fistula is a tract or small passageway from the intestine to the skin (usually, the perirectal area, though these can go to other loops of intestine, to other places on the skin or even to the bladder or vagina. They usually drain intestinal contents and pus, but if the drainage can't get out, that's when an abscess forms.
It's also important to know that other conditions can also cause abscesses, tags and fistulas or look like them
- Benign Anal Fissures
- Chronic Granulomatous Disease and other immune disorders
This article, as well as all others, was reviewed and edited by a member of our Medical Advisory Board.
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