What is an Anal Fissure?
According to the American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons, an anal fissure is a small tear in the skin that lines the opening of the anus. It is normally oval shaped and causes severe pain and bleeding especially while passing bowels.
Fissures are common among people and sometimes are mistaken for other conditions such as haemorrhoids, anal itch and anal skin tags.
It is estimated that around 10 % people get anal fissures. It is common equally in both sexes.
They affect people of all ages both young and old and even healthy.
Generally, it affects people of all ages, but there are some conflicting views regarding its occurrence with relation to age. For instance, Mayo Clinic says that aging is one of its causes among adults. However, according to the National Institute of Health and U.S National Library of Medicine, anal fissures are very common in young infants and its rate drops with age.
According to WebMD, it does not lead to more serious problems.
As the tear or break happens on the rectal canal, they are also called rectal fissures.
- Constipation and passing hard stool
- Constipation and hard straining
- Passing large stoolTrauma during child birth
- Anal intercourse
- Foreign object
- Crohn’s disease
- Persistent diarrhoea
- Ulcerative colitis
- Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
- Sexually transmitted diseases
According to Mayo Clinic, anal cancer, HIV, tuberculosis, syphilis and herpes are among the less common causes of anal fissures.
- Pain during and after bowel movements
- Blood in the stool
- Blood on the toilet paper
- Itching around the anus
- Irritation or inflammation around the anus
- Anal skin tags near the fissure
When to See Your Doctor?
The condition generally does not pose any serious threat or harms. Sometimes, it is may be mistaken for other conditions such as anal skin tag, haemorrhoids etc. In order to rule out the possibility of such conditions, it is advised to consult your doctor.
The doctors will examine the anal area especially the opening of the anus to look out for any tears. Your doctors may advise you about any self-help measures and advice how to avoid recurring of the condition.
Some people may find it embarrassing to be examined by the doctors because the doctor will to examine the back passage by gently parting the buttocks.
In order to find any internal tears or cuts, the doctor may also insert lubricated and gloved fingers into the anus. Apart from being embarrassing, it is also somewhat uncomfortable.
The doctor may also use a slender instrument called anoscope to examine any cuts or tears inside the rectum.
Acute and Anal Fissures
Medical doctors suggest that anal fissures heal on their own within a few weeks without obtaining any medical treatment. Such anal fissures are due to some occasional reasons and are not recurring. These are called acute anal fissures.
On the other hand, there are some people who get anal fissures more frequently because of constipation, persistent diarrhoea or any other related illness. In this case the fissures are recurring and may need medical attention or self-treatment. Such recurring fissures are known as chronic fissures.
Anal Fissures and Pregnancy
Fissures are common during pregnancy or child birth. The reasons behind this is the strain caused by pushing can lead to trauma around the anus and the anal canal. Fissures resulting from pregnancy and child birth may heal on its own. Sometimes, you may be required to use certain medication.
There are some self-help measures which can make the symptoms better and expedite the healing process.
Drink more water or soft drinks to keep yourself hydrated. De-hydration causes constipation so it is essential to drink more liquid and keep the system fully hydrated.
2. You Need More Fiber
Include fibre in your diet. One of the main causes of constipation and hard stool is the lack of fibre in your diet. Eat fibre rich food such as brownies, veggies and fresh fruit. Bran, beans, berries, whole grains, greens, nuts and seeds are among the top fiber rich foods.
You may also consider taking a fiber supplement.
3. Lubricate Your Anus
Don’t get me wrong. Lubricate it for the right reason. Apply petroleum jelly to the anus to keep it moist and lubricated.
4. Salt Bath
Taking salt bath also helps reduce pain and inflammation. Sit in lukewarm water with salt mixed for around 20 minutes.
5. Wash and Tap
Gently wash you anus after passing bowels. Use fresh water and gently pat with a soft and clean towel to wipe off afterwards. Do not use soaps, washing liquids, and rough toilet paper. Instead of wiping it off, gently pat the anal area to avoid triggering irritation and inflammation.
I had this bloody condition for the last 2 and half years. I have tried everything in the market and nothing worked. I also tried some home remedies but no avail.
I also tried Botox injections for 3 months with no healing at all.
Initially, I did not see my doctors because of a sense of sever embarrassment. Maybe if I would have seen the doctor, it would have healed then.
My advice is as soon as you suspect any anal fissure, do not wait for the self-healing process, just treat it immediately and better see your doctor.
What is Botox? Can somebody explain, please?
I know it is very embarrassing to see the doctor. I had anal itch all of a sudden which I never had before. I tried some over the counter medication but it did not work. At times, the pain and the itching would be so much that I would see stains of blood on the toilet paper.
Taking pain killers helped ease the pain but not the itch. I was so shy that I was even reluctant to show my back passage to my partner.
Anyway, things got worst and I showed it to my partner and they told it looked all normal.
I could not continue and went to see the doctor. The doctor told me that I had to be examined and that they even had to insert a gloved finger into my anus to check for any abnormalities.
I was dead of embarrassment but I had let them do it. After undergoing the embarrassment and discomfort, the doctor told me that they could not find anything but that it could be a tear!
Strangely, they did not see anything. Afterwards, they prescribed me several creams but none of them worked.
After around 2 years, it has reduced a lot for some unknown reason. It still happens but no a lot as before. How did that happen, I have no idea.
I hope it will go away altogether.
Yes, I forgot to mention that I apply some ice to the area helps reduce the itching and inflammation. Other than that I did not implement any other changes in my diet or life-style. Just normal. I am still hoping it will get better on its own. Maybe, I have a good immune system.
Go homeopathic and diet change.
I tried anousal cream and it helped the itching and pain. I do not know if had a fissure or it was simply itching for other reason.
In my opinion and experience to avoid irritating anal issues, it is very important to pay particular attention to your diet.
Some people think that spicy food is not good if your bottom itches. However, I have found it quite contrary. It helps me relieve more smoothly.
I have been suffering from chronic anal fissures for the last 5 years. Sometimes, it is so worse that I end up in crying. I can’t stand, I can sit, I can’t do nothing but crying.
When I apply coconut oil, it does help. I apply it on the rectum and gives me some soothing feeling.
I am looking for permanent solution. I might try some homeopathic treatments as there are many success stories regarding its effectiveness.
Karim K says:
The best thing is consult your doctor. Never take chances by treating it yourself. Expert medical advice is the wisest thing to do when it comes to health.
I have suffered from anal fissures for the last 8 years on and off. My doctor told me as that the reason for recurring was because they did not heal on their own completely.
He advised surgery but I am too reluctant. I have used almost any over the counter cream with not cure. Some do help but only temporarily. Anybody knows a good homeopathic product?
You may try H-Fissure. H-fissures is a homeopathic formula which most users think is very effective. Because it is natural, it takes a bit longer to show its full effect. Click here for more information.