Herpes is a viral infection that can cause blisters and sores around the mouth, genitals, or anus. Herpes that affects the anus is called anal herpes. Herpes does not always cause symptoms. When it does, people with anal herpes may notice blisters or sores in or around their anus. Because the symptoms are similar, anal herpes may be confused with hemorrhoids or syphilis.
This year-old man presented with a very painful infection. There was a large abscess which was easily palpable with surrounding cellulitis. It clearly needed incision so he was admitted for this to be done under general anaesthetic. There was no obvious underlying cause, such as inflammatory bowel disease or diabetes. Following drainage, the abscess cavity required regular dressing but healed well. This man rather sheepishly requested help with the removal of this perianal lesion. It had been present for some years, but his new partner did not like it, making him seek help.
In the United States, most young, sexually active patients who have genital, anal, or perianal ulcers have either genital herpes or syphilis. The frequency of each condition differs by geographic area and population; however, genital herpes is the most prevalent of these diseases. More than one etiologic agent e. Less common infectious causes of genital, anal, or perianal ulcers include chancroid and donovanosis. Genital herpes, syphilis, and chancroid have been associated with an increased risk for HIV acquisition and transmission.
A more recent article on benign anorectal conditions is available. JOHN L. This is Part II of a two-part article on anorectal conditions. Patients with a wide variety of anorectal lesions present to family physicians.