A Very sensitive subject – Anal Fissures

If you or someone you know has experienced the agony accompanied with an  anal fissure, the seriousness of its pain and unpleasantness is rather clear. There may be concerns with information surrounding this diagnosis; therefore it is imperative to know the basics regarding anal fissures.

Anal fissures are generally defined as a cut or tear in the tissue inside and/or surrounding the anus. The tear, or cut, generally extends into the internal anal sphincter. An anal fissure can be chronic or acute depending on the individual’s case. 

A chronic anal fissure generally lasts longer than a month and will most likely require medical attention and/or treatment, a chronic fissure also recurs after treatment.  An acute anal fissure is smaller and shallower in placement and can often heal without treatment. Once the fissure is developed, the internal anal sphincter starts to spasm which causes further tearing and results in excruciating pain and a longer healing process. 

Unfortunately due to the unpleasantness of anal fissures, many cases aren’t discussed with healthcare providers, which in turn may lead to inaccurate numbers of how many individuals may suffer from a fissure. Some studies however, do suggest that there are as many as one in five persons who develop a fissure during their lifetime.  It is important to not let your fear of embarrassment or discomfort hinder you from getting the treatment needed.

Generally, anal fissures are caused by trauma which leads to the stretching of the anal canal. Common causes of anal fissures are known to be due to hard and/or large feces, generally when one is constipated or when one may have a serious case of diarrhea or chronic diarrhea. The spasms which occur due to the stretching in the muscle around the anus (anal sphincter) are thought to cause the tear. There are in fact anal fissure occurrences during childbirth. There are other cases where the fissure occurs due (or as a symptom) of another condition so it is important to be seen by a medical professional whom will ease your mind as well as provide more information regarding your specific case. 

Patients who suffer from an anal fissure may notice bleeding accompanied by the sensation of burning or even tearing following a bowel movement. Once a fissure does develop, symptoms can occur after every bowel movement and pain has been known to last several minutes to several hours. It’s always important to find information and read more about  fissures and treatment remedies. 

Bleeding associated with a fissure generally comes in a small amount that can be seen on toilet paper but the bleeding may also be visible and discolor the toilet bowl (water). With chronic fissures, the bleeding may actually be reduced but the pain generally persists.

When treating anal fissures and reducing or stopping a bleeding fissure the main goal is to relieve the pain associated with the fissure while healing it as well. Some mild anal fissures can heal without special treatment; however those who are suffering from chronic anal fissures generally will require additional treatment. When treating an anal fissure (bleeding fissure) keep in mind that eliminating constipation while softening stools are key in order to reduce the anal sphincter spasm. Fiber therapy and stool softeners are among remedies used to treat anal fissures.

There are successful treatments and remedies available to relieve any pain or discomfort associated with fissures, it is important to find the cause and treatment appropriate for every individual case.