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Anal Fissure

Anal Fissure Facts

  • An anal fissure is a small tear in the skin overlying the anus that may occur when a hard stool is passed. Constipation is the most common cause of anal fissures.
  • Pain during the passage of a hard bowel movement, and sharp pain that continues afterward are the most common symptoms of an anal fissure. Sitting can be quite painful with an anal fissure.
  • A few drops of blood may be seen in the toilet bowel or when wiping. In an infant, there may be blood in the diaper.
  • The sphincter muscles that surround the anus and help prevent stool leakage may go into spasm and cause longer lasting pain with an anal fissure.
  • Diagnosis is made by history and inspection of the anus. No other tests are usually needed.
  • Treatment basics include drinking more fluid and eating a high fiber diet. Stool softeners, fiber supplements, and laxatives may be prescribed.
  • Surgery is considered only after diet and medications have failed.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 11/7/2014
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Home Remedies for Anal Fissure

Most short-term (acute) and a few long-term (chronic) anal fissures will heal with home treatment.

  • Avoid constipation:
    • Include fruits, vegetables, beans, and whole grains in your diet each day. These foods are high in fiber.
    • Drink plenty of fluids, enough so that your urine is light yellow or clear like water.
    • Get some exercise every day. Try to do moderate activity at least 2? hours a week. Or try to do vigorous activity at least 1? hours a week. It's fine to be active in blocks of 10 minutes or more throughout your day and week.
    • Take a fiber supplement, such as Citrucel or Metamucil, every day if needed. Start with a small dose and very slowly increase the dose over a month or more.
    • Schedule time each day for a bowel movement. Having a daily routine may help. Take your time and do not strain when having a bowel movement.
  • Stool softeners or laxatives can make bowel movements more comfortable. Ask your doctor how long you should take laxatives.
  • Sitting in a tub filled with a few inches of warm water (sitz bath) for 20 minutes 2 or 3 times a day soothes the torn tissue and helps relax the internal anal sphincter. This may help heal the anal fissure.

Healthwise. Anal Fissure.

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