What Can You Do About Anal Fissures?
You may become confused about the difference between ANAL FISSURES and HEMORRHOIDS.
The symptoms are similar with pain, bleeding and itching in the rectal area but there is a difference:
- Anal fissures are ulcers or breaks in the skin.
- Hemorrhoids are generally swollen veins.
The good news is that some 60% of anal fissures heal within a few weeks.
What is an anal fissure?
An anal fissure is a small cut or tear in the lining of the anus. The crack in the skin causes severe pain and some bright red bleeding during and after bowel movements. At times, the fissure can be deep enough to expose the muscle tissue underneath.
An anal fissure usually isn’t a serious condition. It can affect people of all ages, and it’s often seen in infants and young children since constipation is a common problem in these age groups.
In most cases, the tear heals on its own within four to six weeks. In cases where the fissure persists beyond eight weeks, it’s considered chronic.
Certain treatments can promote healing and help relieve discomfort, including stool softeners and topical pain relievers.
If an anal fissure doesn’t improve with these treatments, you may need surgery. Or your doctor may need to look for other underlying disorders that can cause anal fissures.
What causes anal fissures?
These tears or ulcers in the lining of the anal canal are most often caused by trauma such as a hard bowel movement. The anal opening was not made to accommodate a large hard stool which can tear at the anal canal.
If you are prone to such stools or constipation, changing to a diet rich in fiber and fluids that can produce soft bowel movements is the ideal solution. Include good fats in your diet (such as coconut oil, grass fed butter, avocados or olive oil) as these are good lubricants that keep your digestive tract functioning properly.
In addition, take a natural over-the-counter stool softener to avoid hard, dry bowel movements. Keeping things flowing through your body can help you avoid fissures. This is often good advice after childbirth too.
How will I know if I have an anal fissure?
- a visible tear in the skin around your anus
- a skin tag, or small lump of skin, next to the tear
- sharp pain in the anal area during bowel movements
- discomfort when sitting
- streaks of blood on stools or on toilet paper after wiping
- burning or itching in the anal area
How can I treat a fissure, naturally?
While less severe cases will often heal on their own, in more severe cases while surgery can come with considerable risks, some will respond to Botox injections eliminating the need for surgery. The Botox basically paralyzes the muscle to prevent spasms and allow the fissure to heal.
- You can also protect your anal canal by lubricating it before each bowel movement. A dab of petroleum jelly inserted about a 1/2 inch into the rectum may help the stool pass without causing any further damage. Look for a more natural type of jelly.
- Be wary of using wet wipes as many of them contain alcohol, which is the last thing you want to use if you have a fissure.
- Avoid diarrhea which can be just as damaging as hard, constipated stools. Watery stools can soften the tissues around them, and they also contain acid that can burn the raw anal area. To get rid of this risk of loose stools, take fiber supplements with a minimum of water to firm up your stools.
- Anal fissures may be itchy as well as painful, but resist the temptation to scratch with sharp fingernails which can further aggravate the tender skin.
- Losing weight is another solution as the more weight carried, the higher the risk of perspiration. Perspiration in your anal area irritates the skin and slows the healing of fissures. Obviously, keep the area as cool as possible.
- Soaking in warm water can help relax the muscles of the anal sphincter, increasing blood flow, and reducing much of the discomfort of fissures. This can be done several times a day with good results.
- Discomfort can be relieved by applying ice packs to the area whenever needed.
- Some foods may irritate the tissues of the anal canal including hot, spicy foods as well as caffeine.
- Anal intercourse should be avoided because this too can cause tears.
- While those donut shaped pillows are not recommended as they restrict blood flow to the area, sitting on a soft or gel-filled pillow can be helpful.
- You may be tempted to sit on the toilet reading but there are two reasons for not doing this: one is that the toilet seat itself has a constricting effect and the other is that prolonged sitting causes engorgement of the blood vessels. Keep your visits to the toilet as short as possible.
- When wiping after going to the toilet, use only white, unscented and top quality paper so as not to cause irritation. It can help if you soften the toilet paper first by moistening with some water. Another idea is to use facial tissues which are the softest of all especially if they are coated with a natural moisturizer. When drying the area after washing, a shower or a bath just dab gently with a soft towel.
- If you have access to a bidet, this is an even better way to clean the area.
And top of the list of natural remedies is the use of H-Fissures Formula
The homeopathic ingredients in H-Fissures Formula have been carefully selected to counteract the uncomfortable symptoms of fissures with healing agents and anti-inflammatory and antibacterial constituents. When used as directed, it will help reduce swelling associated with anal fissures while alleviating the extreme pain that often accompanies anal fissures.
H-Fissures Formula is applied topically to the condition. Simply use a cotton swab or your finger to apply directly to the fissure when the unique formula will begin to work immediately. Only a few drops are necessary.
The product is formulated to work within a short period of time. Typically, this takes a week or two (a little longer for severe cases) and because this product is all natural, it works gently and painlessly.
When should I be concerned about fissures?
If you have fissures that have not healed within four to eight weeks, it is advisable to seek medical attention. A fissure that does not heal could be something more serious. In addition, if you notice a mucus discharge from your anus, have it checked out by a doctor.
For more information on fissures, go here for health articles.
Feldman M, et al.(2021), eds. Anal diseases. In: Sleisenger and Fordtran's Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease: Pathophysiology, Diagnosis, Management. 11th ed. Elsevier.https://www.clinicalkey.com. (Accessed February 9, 2021).
Anal fissure. American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons. https://fascrs.org/patients/diseases-and-conditions/a-z/anal-fissure-expanded-information (Accessed February 2021)
Nasr M, et al. (2010). Botulinum toxin injection versus lateral internal sphincterotomy in the treatment of chronic anal fissure: A randomized controlled trial. (Accessed February 10,2021)