Bowel

National Continence Helpline

8am - 8pm Monday to Friday AEST Talk to a continence nurse

Lumps around the anus

Get help from a health care professional, or talk to your supervisor or care coordinator if the person:

  • is bleeding from the anus (bottom)
  • feels dizzy, lightheaded or faint.

Important

Lumps around the anus are not normal. A number of different things can cause them.  It's important that the person sees their general practitioner (GP) or other health care professional if you notice lumps, any signs of bleeding from the anus, or any sudden change in how often the person passes bowel motions.

What should you do if you see or feel lumps around the anus?

  • Put on some non-latex gloves. Have a look at the lumps and see how big they are. Do not touch the lumps. Remember to ask permission first and let the person know what you are doing and why.
  • You need to work out if something has changed or become worse, so you can let the GP know.
  • Ask the person (or other support workers or their family) if:
    • they know about the lumps, and if they do, how long they have been there
    • the lumps are painful
    • they have haemorrhoids
    • they have talked about the lumps with their GP.

How should you support someone with lumps around their anus?

If the person has lumps around their anus:

  • Check their care plan to see if it has any toileting instructions.
  • Use wet wipes rather than toilet paper after they use the toilet. Pat rather than rub the skin clean. Be very gentle so you don't cause pain or bleeding.
  • Check the skin between the buttocks and around the anus. If there is a rash, talk to their GP, your supervisor or their care coordinator.
  • Don't leave the person sitting for a long time on the toilet or a hard surface, as this can make the lumps worse.
  • If the person is straining or pushing to pass a bowel motion, arrange for a review by their GP, a continence nurse advisor or a disability nurse advisor.
  • Check that the person has cotton underwear, as they are usually more comfortable.

If the person you support has a spinal injury above T6, make sure you know the signs and symptoms of autonomic dysreflexia.

Need more help? Call the National Continence Helpline on 18OO 33 OO 66 and talk to a continence nurse advisor.

This information is not a substitute for independent professional advice.