It is possible to develop a pimple almost anywhere on the body, including on the anus.
Before applying acne medication to the anus, people should check with a doctor first to make sure the product is safe to use around this sensitive area.
In this article, we discuss the appearance and treatment of pimples on the anus.
We also look at other causes of growths on the anus, such as hemorrhoids, abscesses, and warts. These can look similar to pimples but require different care.
Pimples on the anus are usually the same types of pimples that people develop on other parts of their body, such as the face. According to the American Academy of Dermatology Association, they can appear as papules, pustules, or nodules. Sometimes, people may develop blackheads or whiteheads.
Whiteheads are often the same color as a person’s skin, or slightly lighter, and occur when debris and bacteria clog the pore. This causes a bump to form.
If the pimple is inflamed, swollen, or feels like sandpaper, a person may have papules on the anus.
Some pimples are pus-filled. Doctors call this type of pimple a pustule. Sometimes people will notice a yellow or white center.
People should avoid popping the pimples because it can break the skin and possibly cause an infection or scarring.
Nodules are acne blemishes that penetrate deep in the skin and may leave a scar.
Pimples on the anus are typically not painful, but passing a stool may irritate them.
When doctors examine a bump on the anus, they will consider other possible conditions as a pimple may be due to other conditions that have similar signs.
Other causes of a bump on the anus include:
External hemorrhoids are lumps of tissue that develop within the anal canal. These growths are enlarged blood vessels.
The skin around the blood vessels is very sensitive. People can get hemorrhoids due to:
- chronic constipation
- straining during bowel movements
- faulty bowel function
- toilet habits (e.g., spending too much time sitting on the toilet)
According to the American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons (ASCRS), symptoms of hemorrhoids include:
- bleeding during bowel movements
- protrusion of the skin during bowel movements
- itching in the anal area
- pain in the anal area
- sensitive lumps
Anal abscess or fistula
An anal abscess is an acute infection of a cavity near the anus or rectum. An abscess occurs when an anal gland becomes clogged with bacteria, fecal matter, and foreign bodies.
The ASCRS indicate that anal abscesses may cause:
- redness of the skin
- a fever
- rectal bleeding
- difficulty urinating
- painful urination
A fistula may develop from a previous or current abscess. A fistula is a tunnel that forms under the skin that connects the clogged anal gland to the abscess.
Symptoms of an anal fistula include:
- history of a previously drained anal abscess
- anorectal pain
- drainage from the perianal skin
- irritation of the perianal skin
- rectal bleeding
A pilonidal cyst disease is an infection of the hair follicles in the crease of the buttocks near the tailbone.
The ASCRS indicate that males are more likely to develop pilonidal cysts than females. Some people may develop a small dimple at the top of the buttocks; others a large painful mass.
Other symptoms may include:
- clear, cloudy, or bloody fluid drainage from the affected area
- inflamed and tender skin
- foul-smelling pus
- a fever
Anal warts typically appear as tiny growths on the anus, as small as a pinhead. Some people may have larger warts that cover the entire area, and others may develop warts inside the anus.
Often, people may not realize they have anal warts because they are painless. Anal warts are usually soft, moist bumps that are light-brown or the same color as a person’s skin.
If anal warts cause irritation, they may lead to:
- mucus discharge
- a lump near the anus
- pain or pressure in the area around the anus
- itching or discharge from the anus
- bleeding from the anus
- a change in bowel movements
A lump may appear during stage 1 of anal cancer. People with stage 1 anal cancer may have a tumor measuring about 2 centimeters or less.
Larger tumors indicate later and more advanced stages of cancer.
It is vital to note that there are many far more likely causes of a lump on the anus, including pimples and cysts.
Although some papules may respond to over-the-counter (OTC) medications or disappear with time, the person should see a doctor if they have lots of pimples or they do not go away.
Doctors do not recommend popping a pimple on the anus because it can lead to an infection.
People with many pustules or who have nodules on the anus should speak with a doctor. Anyone with a fever or pus coming out of the anal growth should also seek medical advice.
People who are unsure why there is a growth on their anus should speak with a doctor, even if they do not notice any other symptoms, such as pain or discharge.
Before recommending treatment for pimples on the anus, a doctor will examine the skin to be sure of the diagnosis.
Several acne medications that people usually use for treating pimples on the face and back are effective for pimples on the anus.
Before using any OTC pimple treatment on the anus, check with a doctor to ensure the product is safe to apply to such a sensitive area.
For clogged pores, dermatologists recommend using a retinoid cream, such as adapalene.
A benzoyl peroxide wash may also help because it can get destroy the bacteria that cause acne.
Sometimes a doctor may recommend comedo extraction techniques or prescription-strength acne treatments.
Pimples can appear anywhere on the skin, even on the anus. Like facial acne, pimples on the anus are not typically painful, but larger nodules can be.
Many different conditions may resemble a pimple, so doctors will examine the area to confirm the diagnosis.
Similar treatments for facial acne can help get rid of pimples on the anus. People should speak with a doctor before using any acne product on the anus to ensure it is safe.