An anal fistula is a tunnel between the end of the bowel and the skin near the anus. Symptoms include pain and permanent discharge from the opening of the fistula. Preventive measures include a high-fibre diet and good post-defecation hygiene.
- There is a red nodule (similar to a pimple) near the anus which
- can be painful when touched
- sometimes oozes a foul-smelling liquid
- The surrounding skin is irritated / reddened / painful
The symptoms usually persist until the fistula is treated by a doctor.
Causes and treatment
- Anal abscesses
- Chronic inflammatory bowel diseases (e.g. Crohn’s disease)
- Sexually transmitted diseases
- Diabetes mellitus
Further treatment by your doctor / in hospital
- Endoscopy of the rectum (proctoscopy)
- Ultrasound (sonography)
- Operation (fistulotomy)
What can I do myself?
- High-fibre diet to encourage soft stools
- Sufficient exercise
- Good post-defecation hygiene