An anal fissure is an injury usually in the form of small cuts or tears in the lining of the anus. Passing hard or large stools is a major reason that causes an anal fissure in the lining canal. The fissures can cause severe pain and, in some cases, the tear can result in bleeding in the anal cavity. Fissures are very common among new-born babies and young children under the age of 10, the problems usually tend to decline as the child grows. Adults over the age of 60 years are also prone to fissures, which causes problems like constipation and trauma in the anal cavity.
Acute fissures or short-term fissures is not a serious condition and can heal on its own within four to five weeks. The doctors usually prescribe soft creams to heal the cuts. In cases where the tear does not heal on its own and persists beyond eight weeks, it can be considered chronic but can be healed with light medication for stool softening, and in some cases, one might have to go under certain treatment procedures to promote torn healing and relieve discomfort. In rare cases, if medications or treatment procedures don’t work, one might have to go under fissure surgery operation.
Before we get to the symptoms and treatment, it is important to understand what causes anal fissures. While the causes may vary with different age groups and lifestyles, the most common cause for these fissures is damage to the back passage and overstretching. Constipation can also because of small cuts, which is quite common among the elderly. Other causes of anal tear can be childbirth and medical conditions like the underactive thyroid gland.Â
Below are a few symptoms of anal fissures, one must be aware of to prepare themselves for any precautionary measures:
- An injury in the form of cut or tear in the anus
- Sharp and burning pain in the anal region
- Anal bleeding
- Blood on stool surface
- A small lump of skin near the torn area
While the acute fissures heal on their own within 4-8 weeks, below are the treatment methods to ease up the pain, and get relief faster:
- Warm baths to soothe the back passage
- Regular application of the anesthetic ointments prescribed by the doctor on the torn area
- Wash the area carefully with water
- Eat plenty of nutritious food, especially the ones with fiber
- Drink plenty of water
For chronic fissures, the healing takes time, and in some cases, fissure surgery might also be required, where the fissure related scar tissue or a thin slice of muscle is manually removed, which helps ease up the anal area, and the muscle doesn’t interfere with the sphincter control. The surgical operation is termed as lateral internal sphincterotomy.
Anal fissures are quite common among people. Most of the people face it at some point in their lives, but there isn’t anything to be afraid of. The medical advancements done in the last decade have made the treatment of any kind of fissure simpler, be it a small cut treatment through ointments or even complex cases where fissure surgery may be required. The surgeries have a 95% success rate, but it is only required if other treatment methods, which is less likely in most cases. One must practice healthy eating habits, and a regular exercise regime to keep fissures at a distance.