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Anal Fissure

Anal fissures are small tears in the mucosa (lining of the gut) at the anus when you pass large and hard stools.  They are common in young children or any age where there is constipation associated with poor diet choices or unhealthy lifestyle and being overweight.   Sometimes, it can also occur during persistent bad diarrhoea, traumatic childbirth or rough sexual anal intercourse.  Rarely, it is associated with inflammatory bowel disease or anal cancer.

Symptoms

  • Pain on passing motions
  • Pain which persist even after passing motion
  • Blood on the stool
  • Muscle spasms at the anus
  • Skin tag around the anus

Click to view MedicalCentric video on Anal fissures

Treatment

1. Prevention of constipation is the best form of treatment.  This involves healthy lifestyle with

  • Adequate gentle exercise aiming for 150 minutes per week
  • Maintaining a suitable weight for your age and height
  • Diet with good amounts of fibre (more than 30 gm per day) and vegetables
  • Consider fibre supplements if you cannot get access to fresh vegetables
  • Staying hydrated with lots of water
  • Defecating regularly and avoid delaying going to toilet when the urge comes
  • Sitting in a warm bath for 10-20 minutes helps to relax any anal muscle spasm and provide some pain relief especially after passing motion

2. Medication is usually topical ointment or gel which can be purchased from the pharmacy

  • Anaesthetic gel or ointment
  • Stool softeners such as Duphalac, Lactul or Forlax

3. Surgery for anal fissures may be required if they do not heal after 6-8 weeks

Most anal fissures heal by themselves after 4-6 weeks.  The most important take home message from this article is to adopt a more healthy lifestyle as well diet high in fibre to prevent recurrence fissures occurring in the future.

See your doctor if you have these symptoms


Disclaimer. TELEME blog posts contains general information about health conditions and treatments. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. The information is not advice and should not be treated as such. 

If you think you may be suffering from any medical condition, you should seek immediate medical attention from your doctor or other professional healthcare providers. You should never delay seeking medical advice, disregard medical advice, or discontinue medical treatment because of information on this website.