Various factors can cause one or more bumps on the anus. These include anal fissures, hemorrhoids, and skin tags.

The anus is the endpoint of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. It is where stool exits the body.

People may wish to better understand their symptoms by touching the anus and surrounding area. It is crucial to wash the hands before and after doing so to prevent the spread of bacteria.

Anal fissures are small cuts or tears in or on the anus. They may result from passing hard stool, which can tear the delicate skin of the anus.

When a fissure starts to heal, it can form a skin tag that may feel like a lump.

An anal fissure may cause:

  • rectal bleeding, often after passing hard stool
  • a burning or tearing sensation during a bowel movement
  • pain, which may last several days after passing hard stool

Learn more about anal fissures.

Hemorrhoids are enlargements of anal tissue. They result from swollen veins in the rectum and anus. These enlargements may be internal or external.

Hemorrhoids are common, affecting 1 in 20 people in the United States and around half of people over the age of 50.

Symptoms of hemorrhoids include:

  • painless rectal bleeding
  • itching in the anal region
  • pain or discomfort in the anal area, especially during and after bowel movements
  • swelling around the anus that may form a lump

Pregnant people and older adults have a higher risk of developing hemorrhoids.

Learn more about hemorrhoids.

Anal skin tags are collections of excess skin around the anus. A skin tag may feel like a small lump or buildup of tissue.

These tags can occur due to hemorrhoids or healing anal fissures.

They typically do not cause symptoms. However, excessively rubbing the tags can cause discomfort or mild bleeding. Larger tags can also cause other symptoms.

Learn more about anal skin tags.

Pimples can form on the anus. This typically occurs when one or more anal pores become clogged with oil and dead skin cells. A clogged pore may fill with pus, resulting in a pimple.

An anal pimple may feel like a soft, fluid-filled bump. Irritation can cause these pimples to become sore or otherwise uncomfortable.

It is important not to pop these pimples, as doing so can result in infection.

Learn more about anal pimples.

Anal warts are tissue growths that result from a human papillomavirus (HPV) infection.

Anal warts can be small, measuring 5 millimeters or less. However, they can grow, and some spread over the anal opening. They are typically skin-colored.

Some symptoms of anal warts include:

Read more about anal warts.

Molluscum contagiosum is a viral illness that causes lesions, called papules, to form on the skin.

The bumps may be:

  • clear
  • yellow
  • flesh-colored
  • red
  • pink

They are firm and typically smooth and domed.

When a person contracts molluscum contagiosum through sex, these lesions commonly develop in the following areas:

  • lower stomach
  • upper thighs
  • anus
  • genital region

A person may have only a few papules or many that vary in size.

Learn more about molluscum contagiosum.

Anal cancer involves cancerous cells being present in the anus. The cells may collect to form a mass or lump, though this does not always happen.

Some other indications of anal cancer include:

  • changes in bowel movements, such as passing very narrow stool
  • discharge from the anal area that may be mucous
  • pain in the area
  • rectal bleeding
  • rectal itching
  • swollen lymph nodes in the groin

A person with any of these symptoms should talk with a doctor. They may refer the person to a GI specialist who can perform an examination and recommend further testing.

Learn more about anal cancer.

A person should contact a doctor if they notice:

  • unexplained changes in bowel movements
  • pain or frequent discomfort in the rectal area, particularly with bowel movements
  • pus-like discharge from an anal lump
  • symptoms of a systemic infection, such as:
    • a fever
    • swelling
    • redness or discoloration in the area
  • increasing amounts of blood on toilet paper

A doctor will ask about a person’s symptoms and perform a visual and physical examination of the anal opening.

The doctor may be able to identify the issue based on visual inspection alone, or they may need a small tissue sample for analysis.

The doctor may recommend additional tests, such as a sigmoidoscopy or colonoscopy. These procedures involve inserting a thin, lighted tube with a camera into the anal canal to look for signs of health issues.

A colonoscopy can help determine whether any abnormalities extend throughout the lower GI tract.

Below are answers to some common questions about bumps on the anus.

How do I get rid of a bump on my anus?

Treatment will depend on what is causing the bumps.

Sitting in a shallow tub of lukewarm water may help ease any discomfort. This is called taking a sitz bath.

People can also try the following to reduce discomfort from anal bumps:

  • eating a high fiber diet
  • drinking plenty of water
  • avoiding straining during bowel movements
  • not rubbing the area after bowel movements
  • avoiding the use of perfumed soaps and other products

However, it is important to contact a doctor to make a diagnosis and recommend treatment.

Will a hemorrhoid lump go away?

Hemorrhoids sometimes go away without treatment after a few days.

Doctors often recommend using over-the-counter products, such as creams, ointments, or suppositories, for 1 week. If symptoms persist or a person experiences side effects, such as dry skin, a doctor can recommend other treatments.

What does a hemorrhoid lump look like?

External hemorrhoids protrude from the anus and look small, round, and bluish-purple in color.

Is it normal to have a bump in the anus?

It is not unusual to have a bump in the anus. However, people should discuss any new lumps with a doctor.

Various issues can cause a bump to form in, on, or around the anus. Most of these causes are treatable, although some are more serious than others. A person should not ignore persistent anal bleeding or discomfort.

People who experience changes in bowel movements, anal bleeding, or severe pain should contact a doctor.