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FAQ Frequently asked questions
What is an anal fissure?
An anal fissure is a small tear or open sore in the lining of the anus which often spreads to include the anal sphincter. The anal sphincter then tends to go into spasm, causing further pain and more damage.
What are the symptoms of an anal fissure?
Symptoms of anal fissure include pain and some bleeding when passing a bowel movement, especially hard or large stools. Often the pain can last for hours. It can sometimes radiate down the back of your leg.
Who gets an anal fissure?
Anal fissures happen in all ages and sexes, even to young children. Constipation is the common denominator. People with inflammatory bowel diseases are also at higher risk.
How is an anal fissure treated?
It usually heals itself over a few weeks, with the advice being to avoid constipation by following a high-fiber diet and using laxatives. Medications to reduce muscle spasms and provide pain relief can also be used.
Will an anal fissure clear on its own?
Most anal fissures will clear up on their own but some will need medical intervention.
What can be done at home to treat an anal fissure?
Sitting in a Sitz bath (a shallow bath covering just the hips and buttocks) is suggested to help relax your anal sphincter and reduce pain. Eating a high-fiber diet, drinking lots of water, using creams to numb the area and laxatives to …
Will an anal fissure keep coming back?
Anal fissures tend to be recurring, especially if they are caused by constipation that is not resolved. If you change your diet, they tend to heal up and stay away.
Is an anal fissure serious?
Most anal fissures are not serious, but they can be extremely painful and embarrassing. Also, anal fissures can mimic the signs and symptoms of anal or rectal cancer and other serious conditions so these must always be ruled out by your doctor.
About this article
Author: Karen McCloskey BHSc
First answered: 23 Sep 2014
Last reviewed: 19 May 2018
Rating: 4.9 out of 5
Votes: 998 (Click smiley face below left to rate)
Category: Anal fissure