Injuries to certain parts of the body can be troublesome. Not only that these injuries are hard to observe, which limits both symptom checking and medication application, but also cause unexplained pain. Minor tears, cuts, and ulcers may be located in some “hidden” body parts, the anus, for instance. Anus is delicate and can be easily tore and injured. Its location and characteristics make it essential to get rid of these wounds as quick as possible in order to prevent bacterial infection. Tear of the anus, or what is commonly referred as fissure is quite common in humans. Although chronic fissure is rare, treating it properly should not be delayed.
What is anal fissure and what are the symptoms?
An anal fissure is a split or tear of the lining of the anus. This injury might be suffered by adults, children, and even infants. The anal mucosa is injured, causing pain and discomfort in the anus especially during bowel movements. Anal fissures are often confused with other anal discomfort, such as hemorrhoids. However, a major difference between the two is that an anal fissure is an injury to the skin surrounding the rectum—the tear of inner lining of the anus, while hemorrhoid is a swollen vein occurring in the lower rectum or the canal of the anus. An anal fissure causes sharp pain, which occurs during and after toilet time. Women are said to be more susceptible to the problem of anal fissure—and hemorrhoid, especially when they are pregnant.
Various risk factors trigger the occurrence of anal fissure.
- Passing large or hard stools.
- Straining and pushing during bowel movements.
- Constipation’s and overweight.
- Chronic or continuous diarrhea.
- Inflammation of the area of the anus.
Anal fissure commonly involve noticeable symptoms which differentiate it from hemorrhoids, such as:
- Stinging and sharp pain during and after going to the bathroom. Pain caused by anal fissure is felt while urinating as well as defecating.
- Bright red blood from the anus which is seen on the stool or on the toilet paper.
- Burning sensation.
How dangerous is anal fissure?
Commonly, anal fissure lasts for a short period of time, although in few cases, it may turn into a chronic condition, which is continuous and lasts for a long period of time. While minor anal fissure is not usually harmful, the chronic one may trigger another anal issue, such as the occurrence of sentinel pile or skin tag, as well as an extra juice in the anal canal. Few cases of tumors and cancers also involve anal fissure as its initial symptom. When an anal fissure becomes chronic, it does not only carry some health issues, but also is difficult to treat and heal.
Will it heal on its own?
Mostly, anal fissure is a common injury which happens daily and is triggered by certain risk factors. In many cases, the issue is not dangerous and can be healed using typical home remedies or no remedies at all. Despite the pain it causes, which makes patients afraid of having a bowel movement or avoid defecation, anal fissure does not affect major parts of the anus. Generally, anal fissure also does not require very specific treatments and medications. Changing the daily lifestyle is one of the most effective method of both healing and preventing further anal fissure occurrence.
Some ways to do during anal fissure healing include:
- Drink water sufficiently—or more than your usual daily amount when suffering from anal fissure. Eight glasses of water a day is highly recommended, and more amount will work beneficially.
- Eat more fruits and vegetables which will provide you with plenty amount of natural fiber. This will decrease the risk of constipation and being overweight, so that anal fissure can be prevented.
- Avoid excessive pushing and straining when having bowel movements. Go to the toilet when the urge cannot be held any longer. This will minimize straining and pushing when defecating.
- If needed, you can apply some topical anesthetics for reducing the pain. Having a warm tub bath after bowel movement may be beneficial in reducing the pain, as well.