I apologize if this is a bit esoteric. Due to vagaries of my excretory system, I'm prone to the occasional anal abscess, basically a swelling around the anus that's itchy and painful to the touch. They develop and disappear within about a week. The catch is that I was starting to get up to a decent 5k pace lately and the last time I ran with an abscess, it got much worse for a few days, presumably because it was getting rubbed by the repetitive motion. I'd prefer not to take time off, particularly since sometimes this does last weeks. I'm using a cream to reduce swelling, but I would appreciate any input on how I could reduce the impact of the running on my ailment.

I found some useful advice at How to run with hemorrhoids?, but it largely seemed to be about preventing hemorrhoids rather than how to cope with them.

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    Baby powder might help reduce friction in the area. Have you spoken to a medical professional at all about this?
    – Alex L
    Apr 12, 2016 at 4:15
  • @AlexL: Not about running with it, but I did go to my doctor last time, as it was the first time I'd had more severe swelling, not to mention the first time that I could get an appointment set up before the condition fixed itself. All I really got out of it was that it was probably the result of anal fissures and to get more fiber in my diet.
    – Sean Duggan
    Apr 12, 2016 at 4:37
  • Do other aerobic activities aggravate it?
    – Alex L
    Apr 12, 2016 at 5:49
  • @AlexL: Honestly, that seems to be the only one so far. Capoeira and aerobics have gone fine.
    – Sean Duggan
    Apr 12, 2016 at 10:26
  • Still figuring this one out. It does seem to cause a flare-up. Having a spare set of dry underwear to change into does help. Otherwise, it seems I just have to grin and lump it.
    – Sean Duggan
    Apr 19, 2016 at 13:09

2 Answers 2


Don't run through an injury. It is something everyone ignores but see the right person, a doctor in this case. I don't know what top and shorts you have but ensure they are breathable and not adding to sweat. Tea tree can help around the front but before you put anything the other side medical advice. Might be worth trying some bike rides as.a control test to see if it is running rubs or sweat. Narrow it down a bit. End of the day doctors...


I have the same issue and I stopped running because an abscess gave me blood poisoning and fever and I needed an emergency operation which took many weeks to recover from. I’m back running and within 2 weeks an abscess has returned.

My problem is that I am very hairy. The friction from running is causing ingrown hairs and hence the abscess. I’m going to try hair removal from my behind with some Vaseline when running to prevent the friction.


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