Have you noticed a bump, or multiple bumps around your anus? Depending on what you're personally most worried about, you are likely to immediately jump to the conclusion that you might have cancer or a sexually transmitted disease.
Bumps around the anus certainly do a good job of letting you know that a doctor's visit would be in order, especially if they are accompanied by other nasty symptoms like pain and anal bleeding. Don't go into full-on panic mode, though, because you could be dealing with a benign condition. If it is indeed something more serious, timely diagnosis and treatment will always help rather than hinder you.
Here's an overview of the most common causes of bumps on or around the anus.
Hemorrhoids — inflamed, swollen veins inside the anus and bulging out from your rectum — are quite common, but can also be rather uncomfortable. While internal hemorrhoids may produce bleeding that results in blood-stained stools, they won't feature a bump near the anus so we won't cover them here in any detail.
External hemorrhoids may:
- Feel like squishy bumps
- Have a pink color to them that looks rather different from the surrounding skin on inspection
- Cause pain
- Lead to bright red blood on your toilet paper
They're often the result of excessive straining, and associated with constipation. Symptoms usually subside on their own before you know it, but if you're dealing with anal bleeding of any kind, you're still best off running it by your healthcare provider.
Bumps or lumps around the anus can also, along with bleeding, pain, and itching, be a sign of anal cancer. This form of cancer is rare and more likely to occur in folks over 50, those who have had multiple sexual partners, those who practice anal sex, and smokers. Don't panic right away, but do take the possibility of anal cancer as a sign that you really ought to consult a doctor when something's up in that area.
Genital warts are caused by the human papillomavirus (yup, HPV) and they can appear anywhere on or near the genitals, including the anus. They may appear alone or in clusters, and grow quite large. Many people describe them as having a cauliflower-like appearance, but they really come in all sorts of shapes. Genital warts will not usually cause pain or bleeding, and are typically diagnosed via a physical examination, after which you can have them removed.
Molluscum Contagiosum is another viral skin disease that can cause bumps, including near the anus. Though they are not an STD (athletes may get them from skin-to-skin contact, for example), these bumps are indeed, as the name suggests, contagious.
If you're reading this, you're wondering what's wrong with you and are attempting to self-diagnose. I would, too, because there's value in having more information sooner rather than later, but the bottom line here is that you need to get answers from a doctor. Physical observation of the bump(s) on your anus will often allow your doctor to make a diagnosis really quickly, and if a biopsy is needed, you'll be able to get one there, too.
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