An anal fissure is a small split or tear in the lining of the anal canal. Anal fissures may be caused by constipation, the passing of large, hard stools, or by prolonged diarrhea. An Anal fissure may occur secondary to decreased blood flow or trauma to the area.
Anal fissures are also common in women after childbirth and persons with Crohn’s disease.
An Anal fissure may cause painful bowel movements and bleeding. There may be blood on the outside of the stool or on the toilet tissue following a bowel movement.
Diagnosis and Treatment
To diagnose, your health care provider will perform a gentle inspection of the anus.
Home care treatments:
- A diet high in fiber
- Increased hydration
- Numbing cream, if pain interferes with normal bowel movement
- Warm sitz baths
- Stool softeners
Physician treatments may involve:
- Botox injections into muscle in the anus (anal sphincter)
- Different prescription topical medications
- Surgery if the fissure fails to heal
To prevent fissures:
- Take a fiber supplement daily
- Keep the anal area dry
- Wipe with soft materials or a moistened cloth or cotton pad