Anal fissures are painful and can negatively impact your day-to-day life. With a few at-home care steps and the help of your colorectal surgeon, you can achieve relief.
Anal fissures are small tears in lining of anal canal. They can be painful and even cause bleeding, making it difficult to pass bowel movements. They can range from minor to severe and treatment is tailored to your symptoms.
Symptoms of anal fissures can include:
- Pain during and after bowel movements
- Blood on the stool or while wiping
- Burning and itching
- A visible tear on the anus
Anal fissures can be caused by stretching or trauma to the anus. They can also be caused by:
- Straining during a bowel movement
- Poor bowel habits
- Muscle spasms or overly tight sphincter muscles
- Underlying medical concerns (Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, or anal cancer)
- Decreased blood flow
There are some steps you can take at home to alleviate painful anal fissures. They include avoiding constipation and soaking in a warm bath for 10-20 minutes to help relax the muscles. There are topical creams that can also help with the pain. In some cases, surgery may be needed to help manage anal fissures. Your colorectal surgeon can recommend your best options.
If you’re prone to anal fissures, then taking preventive steps is the best way to treat them. Make sure to eat a high-fiber diet, drink plenty of water, and take stool softeners if needed to help prevent especially hard or dry stools. Make sure to also avoid irritating the area when wiping.
How do you treat an anal fissure?
Anal fissures can be treated at home by increasing how much fluid and fiber you’re ingesting. You can also soak in warm water for 10-20 minutes every day to help relax the sphincter and promote healing. If that doesn’t work, Rectiv, topical anesthetic creams, Botox injections, and blood pressure medicine can also help with symptoms and the healing process.
What is the main cause of fissure?
Some of the most common causes of anal fissures include passing large or hard stools, constipation, chronic diarrhea, anal intercourse, and childbirth.
Is fissure a serious problem?
While anal fissures don’t typically lead to serious issues, they can cause quite a bit of pain and discomfort for those who have them. Because of this, it’s better to get them treated and heal as soon as possible.
What is the difference between a hemorrhoid and fissure?
A hemorrhoid is when a vein in the anus becomes swollen while a fissure is a tear or crack in the anus. Both conditions can cause pain and bleeding, but they are two very different issues.
Can anal fissures heal on their own?
Anal fissures can heal on their own with proper self-care, but a doctor should still be consulted to ensure there are no complications and that you are taking proper care of the area. Additionally, a doctor can ensure no other conditions are causing the constipation or diarrhea that are leading to anal fissures.
How long does fissures take to heal?
Most anal fissures take between 2-4 weeks to fully heal, but, in some cases, they can take as long as six weeks. If you’re still dealing with an anal fissure after six weeks, schedule an appointment with your doctor.
You can manage anal fissures and achieve relief with the help of your colorectal expert. To meet with our team and learn more, we invite you to contact our office by calling or filling out our online contact form.
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