Anal fissures can hurt a lot. The pain they cause can be really intense and the anal canal is one the most sensitive areas of the human body with a multitude of nerve endings. Due to bowel evacuation, the anal canal does not get a chance to heal, thus it can be a really bad experience for those who have to endure it. Anal fissures can surface during situations such as childbirth, diarrhea, constipation, etc. Keep reading to know more about what anal fissures are, and how you can prevent them.
Anal fissures are cracks or disruptions on the surface of skin around the anus. Anal fissures can be compared to small wounds that may be the cause of acute or chronic pain, irritations, itching and difficulties while defecating. These fissures are present inside the anus, mainly in the area where the skin within the rectum meets the skin of the anus. Now that you know what anal fissures are, you would also want to know what causes them.
Anal fissures can be a consequence of breakdown within the anal wall, just like a split lip which is undeniably very painful and tough to treat. If you are suspicious about an having anal fissure, you should look for the symptoms. Possible signs of problem can arise when you see a visible tear in the skin that is around your anus. Other signs include severe pain in the anal area especially during bowel movements, streaks of blood on your stools and burning sensation in your anal or the surrounding area. A small lump of skin next to the skin tear may also be suspicious.
Chronic constipation or frequent diarrhea has been identified as one of the major causes of anal fissures. Due to repeated bowel movement and the pressure exerted, a tear is bound to occur, thus, causing a fissure. In other words, these are caused when the anal mucosa is stretched beyond its capability. Chronic diarrhea is equally responsible. Keeping bowel movements soft is, therefore, important and that is why you should be drinking sufficient amounts of water. Also include lot of fiber in your diet. During childbirth women can develop this condition, however, it naturally heals itself in time after delivery of the baby.
Anal fissures can be common during infancy, though older adults can also be prone to it as a result of decreased blood flow in the anorectal area. Some recent studies have revealed that a weak immune system, HIV infection, tuberculosis and syphilis too can be a cause. And sometimes even anal cancer can manifest within these cracks.
Anal fissures can be corrected through surgery which usually involves a small operation where a part of the anal sphincter muscle is cut. This helps the fissure to heal. The operation should not worry you as this will not cause any problems with your ability to control bowel movements. Within a few days the pain of the fissure will disappear, but complete healing will still take a few weeks. Studies also indicate that people who opted for surgery had no more severe problems with anal fissures.
An anal fissure is usually diagnosed by a doctor by examining the area around the anus. If continuous anal fissures occur, the doctor may deduce that muscle spasms or internal scarring to be the problems. Sometimes a rectal exam is used to confirm the diagnosis. Though many rely on steroids and antibiotics for curing, in many instances these may not really work. We would always advise you to look for an experienced doctor as soon as you discover any symptoms of anal fissures on your body.