Anal sores

Reviewed by Frank Cockerill, MD, July 21, 2017

Anal sores are small, often ulcerated lesions around the anus. Anal sores normally present themselves as by causing pain and bleeding relating to bowel movements. Patients sometimes can experience spasms in the ring of muscle (sphincter) around the anus at the end of bowel movements.

We're here to help

Call (877) 457-3082(866) 660-2593 and speak to one of our Care Advisors for more information.

Can anal sores be symptoms of STDs?

Yes. Getting tested regularly is the best way to stay up-to-date on your sexual health. If you are having unprotected sex or sex with a new partner, STD testing may be the right decision for you.

Most patients are surprised to learn that anal sores can be a symptom of syphilis, herpes type 1, or herpes type 2.

Syphilis is curable with antibiotics if detected and treated early. As long as it’s treated in the early stages, long-term risks associated with Syphilis are minimal.

There is not a cure for herpes type 1 or herpes type 2. Antiviral medications can help prevent the spread and lessen the symptoms of herpes type 1 & 2 but it is not a 100% guarantee. By taking prescribed medications, using condoms and notifying their partners, patients who test positive for herpes type 1 & 2 can help reduce the risk of infecting others while being sexually active.

Untreated STDs can cause long term health problems for patients, so it’s important to get tested if you believe you’re at risk.

Before you can discuss treatment options with a doctor, you need to get tested.

What do anal sores feel like?

Anal sores can present in different ways to different people. Below are a few examples:

  • Pain/discomfort during bowel movements
  • Pain/discomfort after bowel movements
  • Bright red blood after a bowel movement, typically found after wiping with toilet paper
  • Itching/irritation/discomfort around the anus
  • A visible crack/ulcer in the skin around the anus

How common are anal sores?

Anyone can develop anal sores. In most cases, anal sores usually heal within 4 to 6 weeks.

If your anal sore doesn’t heal on its own, medical treatment or surgery usually can relieve discomfort. Getting tested is often recommended to identify the cause of your anal pain and sores.

Jump to top