What is an anal fissure?
According to Doctor Butler’s, an anal fissure is a kind of tear in the tissue lining of the anal canal and can be categorized as either acute or chronic. The main difference between acute and chronic anal fissures is the severity of the illness. Chronic anal fissures typically go much deeper than acute anal fissures and take much longer to heal.
Anal fissures are not an uncommon thing and usually take about six weeks to heal. This illness is most commonly found in infants and middle-age adults, but can affect people of all ages. Anal fissures are relatively easy to diagnose, as the tear is usually visible to the naked eye and closely resembles that of a paper cut. Chronic anal fissures, however, are typically deeper tears and can have possible growths around the anal canal. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms you may want to schedule an appointment with your doctor as you most likely have an anal fissure.
- Any pain (mild to severe) during bowel movements
- A visible cut around the anus
- A small lump in the skin near or around the anal fissure
- Long-lasting pain after bowel movements
- Blood in your stool or on toilet paper
What causes anal fissures?
According to the Mayo Clinic, anal fissures can be caused by a variety of things but some activities and other factors can increase a person’s risk of developing an anal fissure.
Your risk of an anal fissure increases if one or more of the following factors apply to you:
- Constipation or passing hard stool
- Crohn’s Disease – a bowel disease that causes chronic inflammation of the intestinal tract
- Chronic diarrhea
- Anal intercourse
How do you treat anal fissures?
Anal fissures can be treated at home with natural remedies or, in more serious cases, with some type of medicine or anal fissure ointment. Some natural remedies you can perform at home include:
- Change in diet: increase your fiber intake as it acts as a natural stool softener. A main treatment of anal fissures is alleviating pressure on the anal canal to help with pain and bleeding. The best way to achieve this is by softening your bowel movements.
- Stay hydrated: drinking lots of water can help loosen stool, just make sure to stay away from drinks with caffeine because it causes dehydration.
- Take a bath: Spending 20 to 30 minutes soaking in a warm bath can relax the anal muscles.
- Keep it clean: clean the affected area gently and often to help the healing process and prevent further infection
- Light physical activity: exercising daily helps with your digestive system. Make sure you don’t engage in strenuous activities, such as heavy lifting and long-distance running, as that can have the opposite of the desired effect.
If you are still experiencing the symptoms of anal fissures you may want to consult a doctor and try one of these non-surgical methods.
- Laxatives: this is an over-the-counter medicine that helps with bowel movements and stool softening. If you find that changing your diet and drinking more water is not doing the trick, laxatives are an easy way to relieve built up pressure causing discomfort or pain.
- Anal fissure ointment: you can get an anal fissure ointment from your doctor, pharmacy or even online. These hemorrhoid creams help reduce swelling and inflammation, ease pain, and treat bleeding. If you are looking for an anal fissure ointment you might consider purchasing Doctor Butler’s Hemorrhoid and Fissure Ointment.
Anal fissures are not an illness you need to stress about, as they are easily treatable. However, like most illnesses, if you do not take the proper treatment steps it could escalate into something more serious that may require surgery.