Rectal Burning can be a sign
of many different problems

Rectal Burning can manifest as a symptom in many situations

Although the rectum does not have the ability to feel anything, burning sensations high up in the anal canal are often thought to be coming from the rectum.

There are numerous conditions where a burning sensation in the rectum is sometimes a symptom.


Hemorrhoids are probably one of the biggest reasons why a person would experience rectal burning. There are two types of hemorrhoids that can be troublesome. They are referred to as internal hemorrhoids and external hemorrhoids.

Both internal hemorrhoids and external hemorrhoids form as a result of enlarged and inflamed blood vessels that supply the mucous membrane that lines the anal canal. For more information about how and why they from please visit the what causes hemorrhoids page.

Anal Fissures

Anal Fissures are another reason why a person might experience rectal burning. This is a fairly common condition where the lining of the anal canal becomes torn. This can happen when a large and very hard stool is passed.

During a subsequent bowel movement when the area is stretched or expanded pain or burning is felt in the area of the tear.

Presence of an anal fissure can be detected by a physician during an anoscopy as well as determining the extent of the tear.

Most fissures will heal within several weeks, but may need to be surgically closed if pain and burning persist.

Anal Abscess/Fistula

When a blockage of the anal glands that lie just inside the anus occurs it forms an abscess. An abscess is a cavity filled with pus. Often a connective tunnel is formed by the body between the blocked gland and the buttocks which is referred to as a fistula.

This opening at the buttocks will generally be near the anal opening. Significant itching and burning can be felt in the infected area. Treatment of an anal abscess and the resulting fistula will normally require some surgical intervention to open the blocked gland.

Fecal Incontinence

When proper bowel control is impaired because of fecal incontinence, varying amounts of fecal matter from small to large may pass out of the anus involuntarily. This can cause rectal burning because of the large degree of fecal matter and bowel bacteria that are present.

Proper hygiene may not happen when the person is not aware they have had an event. Inadequate wiping and bathing causes the anal mucosa to become irritated and can cause secondary skin infections.

Other Bowel problems

Rectal Burning can be caused by a number of diseases that affect the colon, rectum and anus. Inflammation or ulceration of the bowel can produce a host of symptoms like rectal bleeding, pelvic pain, abdominal pain and mucus in the stool.

Abnormal bowel movements like diarrhea and constipation may also contribute to rectal burning and can lead to problems with hemorrhoids, anal fissures or incontinence.

Skin diseases and Infections

Other possible causes of a burning sensation in the rectum which may or may not be associated with bowel movements might include skin diseases such as eczema, seborrheic dermatitis, psoriasis or pilonidal cysts. Infections that are sexually transmitted such as genital herpes, gonorrhea, or Chlamydia can result in the sensation of burning in the rectum.

Intestinal parasites, candida, streptococcal dermatitis, or fungal infections might also produce the burning sensation.

The odds

Over half of the time, especially for people who are beyond 50 years of age, hemorrhoids is the number one culprit for rectal burning symptoms.

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