An anal fissure, otherwise termed an anal ulcer, is a very commonly occurring condition in men and women of all age groups, wherein a tear or rupture develops in the thin, moist tissues i.e. mucosa lining the anus. This condition invariably induces pain and discomfort while passing stools and can even present with bleeding during bowel movements. Cramping and spasms can also take place occasionally in the ring of muscles situated at the edge of the anus known as the anal sphincter.
In the majority of instances, anal fissures display only minor symptoms and resolve on their own in a few weeks with simple remedies and fiber-rich diets, but at times, they require prescription medications or even surgery to repair the anal tissues and reduce pain during bowel motions.
Causes Of Anal Fissures:
The predominant factors that trigger an anal fissure are constipation, chronic diarrhoea, having anal intercourse, elimination of stools that are large in size and hard in texture, besides the phase of childbirth in women. Although anal fissures arise in people of all ages, infants and middle-aged individuals are more prone to this disorder.
Furthermore, in rare situations, underlying chronic conditions can also induce anal fissures, such as inflammatory bowel disease, ulcerative colitis, anal cancer, tuberculosis, syphilis, chlamydia and HIV infections.
The distinct indications associated with anal fissures consist of:
- Intense pain and discomfort during bowel movements
- Uneasiness and burning sensation in the anal regions after elimination of stools that persists for a few fours
- Bleeding while passing stool
- Damage, tearing and rupturing in the skin of the anus and surrounding tissues
- Tiny lumps and skin tags in the vicinity of the anal fissure
- Difficulty and painful sensations while passing urine, like in dysuria
- Unpleasant foul odour during the elimination of stool
The doctor records the medical history of the patient to find out if any pre-existing illnesses could be the cause of anal fissures. A thorough external analysis of the anal region is also performed to look for signs of tears and damage in the tissues.
To ascertain the cause of anal fissures, the healthcare provider carries out invasive diagnostic tests of anoscopy, colonoscopy, to examine all portions of the rectum and anus clearly.
In most situations, anal fissures exhibit only mild signs and gradually heal within a week or two. The doctor advises the patient to adhere to a wholesome balanced diet and consume more high-fiber foods and healthy fluids. A proven home remedy also recommended by medical experts is a hot water soak of the anal region for 10 – 15 minutes after bowel movements, to unwind the sphincter muscles and speed up tissue repair processes.
However, if the painful indications prolong and the anal fissures deepen inducing more tissue damage, then the doctor prescribes topical creams with analgesic traits to soothe incessant discomfort. In severe cases of anal fissures, the medical practitioner performs surgery to remove a small segment of the anal sphincter to lessen cramping, spasms and pain in the region.