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Symptoms and Signs of Anal Fissure

Doctor's Notes on Anal Fissure Symptoms, Signs, Home, Medical, and Surgery Treatment and Healing Time

An anal fissure is a tear in the skin lining of the anal canal. Signs and symptoms of an anal canal fissure is severe pain during a constipated bowel movement followed by continuing pain. Occasionally, there may be some bright red blood drops on the toilet paper or in the toilet bowl. Sitting down may also cause pain in the area. They can occur in infants, children and/or adults.

Constipation, with straining and pressure to move hard stools, is the main cause of anal fissures.

Medical Author:
Medically Reviewed on 3/11/2019

Anal Fissure Symptoms, Signs, Home, Medical, and Surgery Treatment and Healing Time Symptoms

Severe pain during a bowel movement followed by continuing pain is the classic symptom of an anal fissure. There is a vicious cycle of constipation causing pain, which makes the anal sphincter muscles go into spasm. This causes more pain and spasms, which makes having a bowel movement more difficult and worsens the constipation. The pain is significant enough to make sitting down even more painful.

There also may be a few drops of bright red blood in the toilet bowel or when wiping, but significant bleeding usually doesn't occur.

Anal Fissure Symptoms, Signs, Home, Medical, and Surgery Treatment and Healing Time Causes

The anal canal is the last part of the colon or large intestine as it exits the body. It is very short, approximately 1-2 inches long and has two circular muscles that help control the passage of bowel movements. The internal anal sphincter is not a voluntary muscle, and it is always contracted to help prevent stool from leaking out. The external anal sphincter is a voluntary muscle.

  • An anal fissure describes a tear in the skin lining of the anal canal, or trauma to the anus and anal canal. The trauma usually occurs individual strains during a bowel movement or with constipation. Often, the individual may remember the exact bowel movement during which their pain began.
  • An acute anal fissure describes a tear in the superficial layer of skin.
  • A chronic anal fissure develops over time if the superficial tear does not heal. The tear extends deeper into the mucosa or tissue that lines the muscle of the internal anal sphincter.

How to Get Rid of Hemorrhoids Causes and Treatments Slideshow

How to Get Rid of Hemorrhoids Causes and Treatments Slideshow

Hemorrhoids are clumps of dilated (enlarged) blood vessels in the anus and lower rectum. The rectum is the last area of the large intestine before it exits to the anus. The anus is the end of the digestive tract where feces leaves the body.

Sometimes hemorrhoids swell when the veins enlarge and their walls become stretched, thin, and irritated by passing stool. Hemorrhoids are classified into two general categories:

  • internal, originating in the rectum, and
  • external, originating in the anus.

Hemorrhoids (also termed piles) have caused pain and irritation throughout human history. The word comes from Greek, “haimorrhoides,” meaning veins that are liable to discharge blood. If you’ve had a bout of hemorrhoid pain, you’re not alone. It’s estimated that three out of every four people will have hemorrhoids at some point in their lives. Even Napoleon suffered from hemorrhoids, which distracted him with severe pain during his defeat at Waterloo.

Enlarged Hemorrhoid Symptoms

Enlarged hemorrhoids are associated with symptoms such as

  • itching,
  • mucus discharge,
  • burning at the anus,
  • severe pain,
  • a sensation that the bowel is not really empty, and
  • bleeding without pain.

In this article, our medical experts will explain where hemorrhoid pain comes from, what hemorrhoids feel like, and how they are diagnosed. Then you will discover the various treatments for hemorrhoids both at home and at a hospital, along with the positive attributes and drawbacks of each hemorrhoid treatment.


Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.