What Is Anal Fissure?
Anal fissure is basically a tiny tear or cuts in the skin lining of anal canal. As anal canal is the last p[art of large intestine located in between the rectum and bottom opening i.e the place where the stools are store and opening from where the stools passing out. Some times during pregnancy, childbirth, bouts of constipation, straining during bowel movements and diarrhea situation can all tear the anal lining. Anal fissures are generally not a cause for concern and most of the time heal up without any medical treatment or medication. However those resistant to medication and treatment may require surgery.
Symptoms Of Anal Fissures
There are many symptoms of anal fissures that are noticed but some common signs are :
- visual tear or cuts on the anus lining
- extreme burning sensation while sitting.
- uncommon pain around anus region.
- sharp pain when passing out the stool.
- unavoidable itching.
- blood clots during bowel movements.
- hard lumps noticed outside the rectum.
- inflammation around anus.
Causes Of Anal Fissures
Anal fissures are mainly caused when hard and large stool passing out from anus, the skin around the anus or anal canal can be torn or damage. Some possible causes of anal fissures are;
- Chronic constipation
- Frequent diarrhea
- Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis
- Irritable bowel movement
- Straining during pregnancy and child-birth
- Decreased blood flow in the anorectal area due to old age
- Spastic anal sphincter muscles
Very less common causes of anal fissures are;
- HIV aids
- Anal cancer
When To See Your Doctor
If you think you have anal fissures visit your health care provider or doctor specially who are specializes in digestive diseases (gastroenterologist) or rectal and colon surgeon. Don’t be embarrasses yourself in discussing your problem with doctor. Anal fissures are very common problem now a days. Mostly anal fissures settle down itself without any treatment, but your doctor will rule out other conditions with similar symptoms like hemorrhoids.
Diagnosis And Treatment
Diagnosis of anal fissures are usually done through visual examination of patient anal area and with discussing about your symptoms and type of pain you have been experiencing. However, sometimes there may be need to insert an endoscope (a digital rectal examination) to see the clear view of anal cuts or tears and feel if there are any abnormalities associated with it.
Mostly anal fissures are heal up with home treatment and self-care like adding supplements and fiber in daily diet and by taking warm bath to relax anal muscles. Soft stool can not only relieve irritation but it also increase the flow of blood in anal area.
Many ointment such as Anusol-HC and typical pain relieve gel like lidocaine can soothe some of the discomfort and pain. Your doctors also advise you for Botox injection treatment which temporarily paralyze the anal muscles.
Who Is At Risk For Developing Anal Fissures?
Anal fissures are very common now a days because people used to eat junk foods in routine diets. With an estimation 1 in every 15 people affected with anal fissures at some point in their life. It affects both sexes equally and occur at any age including very young children.
- Fissures are very common in infants by unknown reasons. But almost 80% babies faces anal fissures during their first year of life.
- During pregnancy or at the time of child-birth many women are at high risk of anal fissures due to strain.
- Those people who are suffering from inflammatory bowel disease such as Crohn’s disease are at higher risk of developing anal fissures due to inflammation in the intestinal lining, which makes the tissue more likely to tear.
- People who are suffering from chronic constipation and have strain in passing stool are experiencing anal fissures more often.
Can Anal Fissures Be Prevented
Anal fissures is not always possible to be prevented but with the help of following guideline you can generally reduce the risk of anal fissures these are;
- Avoid constipation by taking plenty of fiber and drinking plenty of water.
- Treat diarrhea quickly.
- Keep anal area clean.
- Dry the anal area.
- Not ignoring the urge to pass stools.
- Change your toilet habits.
- Utilizing warm sit bath.
- Exercise and work out daily.
- Prevent anal fissures in babies by changing their diapers frequently.
Some possible complications of anal fissure can include:
- Failure to heal. Those anal fissure that fails to heal with in six weeks is considered chronic and may need further treatment and medication.
- Recurrence. When once you have experienced an anal fissure, you are prone to having another one with in very short time frame.
- A tear that extends to surrounding muscles. An anal fissure may extend into the ring of muscle that holds your anus closed (internal anal sphincter), making it more difficult for your anal fissure to heal. An unhealed fissure can trigger a cycle of discomfort that may require medications or surgery to reduce the pain and to repair or remove the fissure
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