Anal Fissure – Symptoms, Causes, Risk Factors and Prevention


An anal fissure is a tear in the lining of the lower rectum that causes pain during bowel movements. Anal fissures don’t lead to more serious problems.

Most anal fissures recover after a few days or weeks with home care. Those are known as short-term (acute) anal fissures. When you have an anal fissure that hasn’t healed after 8 to 12 weeks, it is known as a long-term (chronic) fissure. A chronic fissure may need medical treatment.

Anal fissures are a common problem. They affect people of all ages, particularly the young and otherwise healthy.


Signs and symptoms of an anal fissure include:

  • While bowel movement having pain
  • Constipation
  • Dark red bleeding while passing the stools.
  • Blood on toilet tissue or wipes
  • A noticeable tear or crack in the anus or anal canal
  • Urinary pain, excessive urination or failure to urinate
  • Burning and itching that may be painful
  • Foul-smelling discharge

What causes an anal fissure?

Most commonly an anal fissure occurs when large or hard stools pass. Chronic constipation or frequent diarrhea can also rip your anus skin. Other common causes include:

  • Straining during childbirth or bowel movements
  • Decreased blood flow to the anorectal area
  • Overly tight or spastic anal sphincter muscles

In scarce cases, an anal fissure may develop due to some of these reasons:

  • Anal Cancer
  • HIV
  • Tuberculosis
  • Syphilis
  • Herpes

Risk factors

People of any age can affect with anal fissures or sex equally. It is the most common cause of rectal bleeding in babies and children. Some kids can find it distressing to see bright red blood in stools, and toilet paper.

Anal fissures mostly resolve without the need for medical treatment or surgery. Topical creams, suppositories, or both, and OTC will help with symptoms. Some people, however, may experience chronic problems if the lesion fails to heal correctly.

An anal fissure that lasts under 6 weeks is called an acute anal fissure. A chronic anal fissure has symptoms over 6 weeks. There is no known cause for a primary anal fissure when a secondary anal fissure has an identifiable cause.


Complications of anal fissure can include:

Failure to heal:  An anal fissure not healed within eight weeks is considered chronic and may need further care.

Recurrence: You are susceptible to getting another one after you have undergone an anal fissure.

A tear that extends to surrounding muscles:  An anal fissure can extend into the ring of the muscle that holds your anus closed (internal anal sphincter), making healing of your anal fissure more difficult. An unhealed fissure can cause a period of discomfort that can require medication or surgery to relieve pain and fix or remove the fissure.

Home Remedies for Anal Fissures

You can try the following natural remedies:

Initial anal fissure treatments, which are often very successful, are designed to make the stool softer, easier to pass, and prevent constipation.

Drinking more fluids and eating a high fiber diet may be supplemented by stool softeners and bulking agents.

Occasionally laxatives may be used to help promote a bowel movement but their long-term use is not always appropriate.

Reduction of anal sphincter spasm is the second treatment strategy. Often all that is needed are regular hot sitz baths, sitting in a warm tub of water that allows the muscle to relax and will reduce the pain, swelling, and itching in the infected areas.

Coconut oil may also be used to treat anal fissures naturally. Because coconut oil contains medium-chain triglycerides that can quickly move through the skin and keep lubricating the affected area. On the anal sphincter apply coconut oil many times a day to treat and heal anal fissures

Ointments are available and may be prescribed to help decrease sphincter spasm if basic treatments fail.


Here are some preventing tips for anal fissure:

Keep stools soft – eat a well-balanced diet with plenty of fiber. Make sure liquid intake is enough; remember that water is the best fluid.

Don’t delay using the bathroom – Go to the bathroom when you feel the urge. Waiting means that when stools eventually come through, they will be larger and harder, which is something to be avoided.

Babies – change diapers of baby frequently will decrease the chances of anal fissures developing in babies.

“Sharp” foods – food which is not well-digested try to avoid that type of food. For example nuts and popcorn, tortilla chips

Wiping – when a person is susceptible, it may be helpful to use moistened cloths or cotton pads to clean after bathroom use. Keep away from toilet paper which is rough or perfumed.

Exercise – if you exercise regularly then you can reduce the risk of developing constipation, which results in a lower risk of anal fissures. Stay well hydrated during and after exercise.

Straining – avoid straining and sitting on the toilet for a long time.

Related posts

Leave a Comment