Last Updated on 07/12/2023 by Liz @ HealthTenfold
Passing stool without any pain or discomfort is a luxury that many people may take for granted. It’s not until you develop a condition like anus fissures and moving your stool becomes a nightmare, that you realize you had it easy before. If you have anus fissures and wondering how to treat anus fissures, then look no further.
What are Anus Fissures?
An anus or anal fissure is a small tear or cut in the tissue lining of the anus and it can extend up the anal canal. 250, 000 new cases of anal fissures are diagnosed annually and it affects people of all ages, mostly infants and children.
The symptoms of anal fissures include:
- Severe pain during bowel movements
- Pain may last for several hours after a bowel movement
- Blood on the toilet paper or in the toilet after passing stool
- A skin tag or lump on the skin next to the anal fissure
- A burning or itching sensation in the anal area
- An apparent tear in the skin around the asmoothnus
- Spasms in the anal sphincter
- An unpleasant-smelling discharge out of the anus
If these symptoms last after 8-12 weeks, it is considered as a chronic anal fissure.
What Causes Anal Fissures?
Anal fissures mainly occur when the anus or anal canal experiences trauma. The trauma may be caused when you pass hard or large stool, strain during bowel movements because of constipation, chronic diarrhea, childbirth, anal intercourse, or unusually tight sphincter muscles that can easily be torn when tension is exerted.
Other non-trauma causes of anal fissures are:
- Inflammatory bowel diseases such as Crohn’s diseases
- Having a sexually transmitted infection such as herpes and HIV that can cause ulceration and infect the anus
- Anal cancer
- Less blood flow to the anal and rectal areas
Fissures vs Hemorrhoids, What’s the Difference?
Hemorrhoids and anal fissures both occur in the rectal and anal regions mostly because of chronic constipation. However, they are quite different. While anal fissures are tears, hemorrhoids are swollen blood vessels that are caused by immense pressure in the anal and rectal areas that hinders blood flow.
Hemorrhoids also cause pain, bleeding, and discomfort during bowel movements but unlike anal fissures, this pain doesn’t last several hours; it goes away soon after. The blood that you notice in the toilet when you have hemorrhoids is in the stool while that of anal fissures is usually separate from the stool and it is bright red.
Hemorrhoids that occur in the lower part of the rectum are painless because the rectum doesn’t have pain receptors but anal fissures are very painful because the lining of the anus has pain receptors. For this reason, you will immediately know when an anal fissure occurs but hemorrhoids can go or several years undetected.
With all the above treatment options, you don’t have to wallow in the pain and misery of anal fissures. Choose whichever works for you and you can get back to passing stool painlessly!
How to Treat Anus Fissures
An anal fissure is not a very serious condition and like other cuts on the body, it can heal on its own in 4-6 weeks. However, that’s a long time for you to be in such pain so treatment can help you heal much quicker and relieve the symptoms.
The treatment options for anal fissures include trying home remedies, taking prescribed and over-the-counter medicines, or undergoing surgical procedures.
Home Remedies for Anal Fissures
Here’s how to treat anus fissures at home using easily-available items and ingredients:
Increase Your Water Intake
Water hydrates you and helps along with the digestive functions. It softens stool so that you don’t have to struggle to pass it and cause tears. Drink 6 to 8 glasses of water every day.
Increase Your Fibre Intake
Fiber helps in softening stool and adding its bulk so that it passes out smoothly and easily. You should include foods that are rich in fiber into your diet like fruits, vegetables, nuts, beans, wholemeal grains, and wholemeal flour.
A sitz bath is a small bath with warm water that you can sit in to relieve the pain of anal fissures. It also relaxes the sphincter muscle so that passing stool doesn’t stretch it too much and cause a tear. Moreover, warm water improves blood circulation to the anal and rectal region and promotes quicker healing. Soak in the bath 2 to 3 times a day for 20 minutes.
Exercising helps with improving the digestion process and stimulating bowel function. Therefore, exercise daily to prevent constipation.
Make an ice pack by placing ice cubes inside a towel and press it on the anal fissure. It will soothe the pain and irritation by shrinking the blood vessels.
Don’t Delay Going to the Toilet
When you ignore the urge to move your bowel, stool gets hard so when you eventually go to the toilet, you struggle to pass it. This can lead to anal fissure or aggravation of the condition.
Aloe vera gel has wonderful soothing and antimicrobial properties. Applying it to the anal fissure will reduce the pain, itchiness, and promote healing.
The normal toilet paper is rough on injured skin. After you move your bowels, use baby wipes or wipes made with anti-inflammatory ingredients like witch hazel to soothe the irritated skin.
H-Fissure Formula is a natural treatment that provides relief against anal fissure symptoms. It has homeopathic ingredients that give it anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. You only need to apply a few drops on the fissure and you can move your bowels without pain and discomfort. What’s more, it safe on your skin since it’s 100% natural.
If symptoms persist after home remedies, you can resort to medicine or surgical procedures.
If the pain during and after bowel movements is too much, you could take painkillers like ibuprofen or paracetamol to numb it. You can buy these over-the-counter and ensure you follow the recommended dosage.
This is a medicine that either softens stool or stimulates the production of more water in the bowels so that stool is easier to pass. You should seek your doctor’s advice on how to use these because they can be harmful if used incorrectly.
Calcium Channel Blockers
Calcium channel blockers are actually hypertension medicine but they can be used to treat anal fissures. When you apply them topically on the anus, they increase the blood flow to the anal fissure and thereby relax the sphincter muscles. Beware of side effects like itchiness and burning in the area as well as headaches and dizziness which will disappear after a few days.
When treatments don’t work, surgery is your next step where various techniques can be undertaken:
The spasming of the sphincter muscle is what makes healing of anal fissures so difficult. This procedure involves making a small cut on this sphincter to reduce the tension and spasms. This allows the fissure to heal and prevent more fissures from occurring.
Lateral sphincterotomy will require that you be put under general anesthesia, however, its a short procedure.
Advancement Anal Flaps
In this procedure, the surgeon takes healthy tissue from elsewhere in your body and uses it to close up and repair the anal fissure. This also improves its blood circulation so healing occurs much faster.
Advancement anal flap is used to treat chronic anal fissures.