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An Anal Fissure is best described as small cut or tear in the skin surrounding the anus, as well as extending upward into the anal canal. The small opening can be very painful, and will generally cause bleeding, and can cause very uncomfortable bowel movements. Anal fissures count for about 15% of visits to colonic surgeons, and are very common in both the young and elderly. Anal fissures are actually the most common cause of bleeding in the rectum in infants.
Anal Fissures occur in a skin area that is referred to as 'anoderm.' Anoderm is not normal skin, as it does not have sweat glands, oil glands, or grow hair. An anoderm contains multiple sensory nerves, and is therefore very sensitive; this would explain why anal fissures are so painful.
What are the Symptoms of an Anal Fissure?
An anal fissure is most commonly referred to as a torn rectum. An anal fissure is very painful as mentioned previously, because of the location of the cut. Bleeding will frequently occur, even during bowel movements. Some people will end up trying to avoid having a bowel movement because the pain is so severe. This unfortunately leads to constipation and further problems. If a person becomes constipated and has an anal fissure, this will make the pain much more severe when stool is finally passed, as constipation usually leads to hardening of the stool. The pain caused by an anal fissure can also lead to painful urination or even frequent urination.
The affected area can also become intensely irritated and itchy. A pus discharge can also occur from the opening of the wound, as well as bleeding. Bleeding is very common in infants with anal fissures.
Does an Anal Fissure Lead to Cancer?
Some people believe that anal fissures can lead to cancer, this is almost always untrue, an anal fissure is a very simple condition, and as mentioned previously is nothing more than a cut in the anal area. Unfortunately there are many symptoms that surround the anal fissure, but the fissure does not lead to long-term problems, however anal fissures do have a tendency to recur no matter how they are treated.
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