An anal fissure is a small tear in the lining of the anus. It can cause really nasty pain and bleeding during and after bowel movements. In some cases, the fissure can be deep enough to expose the tissue of the muscle underneath.
Usually, an anal fissure is not a serious condition. Everybody can get it, no matter the age, since constipation is a common problem. The tear heals on its own within 4 to 6 weeks. If the fissure persists beyond 8 weeks, it is considered chronic.
You can help the process of healing by applying certain treatments, which can relieve discomfort for example stool softeners or some ointments such as Pranicura. If those don’t help you, then you might need surgery.
An anal fissure may cause some of the following symptoms:
- a small lump of skin next to the tear
- a visible tear in the skin on the anal area
- sharp pain in the area of the anus during pooping
- burning and itching around your anus
- blood on your stool or on the toilet paper
Passing large or hard stools is the most common reason for anal fissure. Chronic diarrhea and constipation may tear the skin around your anus, too. Here are some other possible causes:
- decreased blood flow to the anorectal area
- straining during childbirth or bowel movements
- inflammatory bowel disease
- in rear cases – anal cancer, syphilis, herpes, HIV, tuberculosis
Who is most vulnerable?
Anal fissures are usual during infancy. Due to decreased blood flow in the anorectal area, adults are also inclined to anal fissures. Another group at risk are women, during and after childbirth, due to straining during delivery.
People with IBD (Inflammatory bowel disease) and those frequently experiencing constipation are at increased risk for anal fissures, too.
An anal fissure is usually diagnosed by examining the area around the anus and a rectal exam (during this exam the doctor inserts anoscope into the rectum, which makes it easier to see the tear).
There are certain home remedies that can help promote healing and relieve discomfort. Check them out:
- drinking more fluids
- using stool softeners
- applying topical treatment – pain relievers, creams, and ointments
- adding more fiber to your diet – you can do that by eating more fruits, vegetables, and grains.
Make sure to see your doctor, if your symptoms are not relieved within two weeks.
You can reduce your risk of getting anal fissure by taking those preventive measures:
- treat diarrhea immediately
- keep the anal area dry
- drink plenty of fluids, exercise regularly, and eat fibrous foods
- cleanse the anal area gently
An anal fissure is an unpleasant experience that may cause sharp pain and bleeding. But there are ways to prevent its appearance or to help the healing process. Make sure you eat plenty of fibrous food, exercise on a regular basis, and keep good hygiene down there.