An Introduction To Anal Fissure Condition
An anal fissure is a small tear or cracks in the lining of the anus. This can cause bleeding and intense burning pain after bowel movements. It’s a common condition, especially in young infants, but it can also occur in adults. Anal fissures often result from constipation, the passage of hardened stool during a bowel movement, or chronic diarrhea. Other causes include inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) such as Crohn’s Disease or infection.
According to the American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons, about 3.2 out of every 1000 people suffer from anal fissures. This means that approximately 0.3% of the population gets anal fissures. Of these cases, approximately 80% happen by chronic constipation or hard stools; the remaining 20% happen by bacterial infections or other medical conditions. Additionally, women tend to be more prone to developing anal fissures than men due to the different anatomy of their reproductive systems.
What Is The Cause?
It most commonly happens to trauma from passing through hard, dry stools, constipation, and childbirth. Other causes of an anal fissure can include Crohn’s disease, pelvic floor dysfunction, cancer of the rectum, radiation therapy to the area, reaction to certain medications, and chronic diarrhea. Certain medical conditions such as diabetes may also cause anal fissures due to poor circulation in the area leading to decreased healing time for the affected tissue
How To Diagnosis It?
To diagnose an anal fissure, your doctor will first perform a physical examination to check for any signs of inflammation, swelling, or stiffness around the anus. They may also visually inspect the area with a bright light and magnifying lens. Your doctor may then do a digital rectal exam to help confirm their findings and examine any tenderness in the area.
If your doctor suspects an anal fissure is present, they may order additional tests such as an X-ray or CT scan to confirm the diagnosis. Depending on your medical history and symptoms, your doctor may also recommend that you have other tests done such as a colonoscopy or biopsy to rule out other conditions like cancer or inflammatory bowel disease.
After successfully diagnosing your condition, your doctor will come up with an appropriate treatment plan depending on the nature and severity of your case.
What Are The Symptoms?
- Pain and discomfort during bowel movements (which can be severe)
- Bleeding from the anus
- Itching or burning around the anus
- Discharge that may have an unpleasant odor
- Hard lumps near the torn area (sentinel piles)
- Difficulty controlling bowel movements
- Feeling of incomplete bowel emptying after a bowel movement
What Are The Treatment Options?
The first step to treating an anal fissure is usually making changes to your diet to reduce constipation. Eating more fiber-rich foods like fruits and vegetables can help to create softer stools that are easier to pass without straining too much. Increasing water intake is also encouraging for proper hydration and flushing out your system—ideally, you should aim for 6-8 glasses per day. If diet alone isn’t enough, laxatives along with bulking agents like psyllium husk may be prescribed by your health care provider depending on what’s causing the issue and how severe it is.
Applying topical ointments may also help alleviate symptoms associated with an anal fissure while they heal over time including pramoxine hydrochloride cream and polyethylene glycol ointment especially if there are signs of infection present such as redness, swelling, and/or oozing pus. Additionally, local anesthesia injections around the area may provide temporary relief from discomfort due to muscular spasms in this delicate region
- Lateral Internal Sphincterotomy (LIS): This is a procedure that reduces sphincter spasms and increases blood supply to the fissure area by cutting some of the fibers of the anal sphincter muscle near the site of the fissure. This surgery results in pain reduction for most patients and helps to heal the fissure.
- Fissurectomy: The surgical removal of a fissure, usually done with laser surgery or a scalpel. The procedure removes all of the injured tissue around the anus where an anal fissure has occurred, thus eliminating further discomfort and ensuring quick healing time for the area.
- Botox injection: Botox injection into or around the anus is one of the newer methods used to treat chronic anal fissures. It works by reducing muscle tension in and around the anus, relaxing muscle spasms, which helps improve blood flow to assist with healing. Botox injections are a short-term treatment option but must be repeated regularly if symptoms of anal fissure persist.
- Anal Dilation: Also known as ‘stretching’ or ‘dilatation’, it is sometimes recommended as an alternative therapy when the above-mentioned treatments fail to provide relief from symptoms associated with anal fissures. This is typically performed by inserting large dilators through increasingly wider diameters into your rectum in order to stretch out scarred tissue at the site of an anal fissure so that it is easier for bowel movements to pass without any obstruction resulting in less painful bowel movements overall.
- Surgery/Angioplasty: In some cases, more complex surgeries may be recommended such as creating flaps in your anus or even creating artificial channels that help ease stool passage further bypassing any existing scar tissue present at the site of an anal fissure while avoiding constipation-related issues or inflammation rates due injury caused during slicing damaged tissue off prior healing process has begun naturally (Angioplasty).
Overall it is important to seek medical attention immediately when seeking relief from anal or rectal pain or irritation as these areas are prone to infection if left untreated for extended periods of time.
Home Remedies To Treat Anal Fissure
- Coconut Oil: Coconut oil is an effective home remedy for treating an anal fissure. it is a natural skin soother and lubricator. It helps reduce inflammation, aids healing, and can provide quick relief for anal pain due to fissures. Apply a small amount of coconut oil directly on the affected area twice daily for the best results.
- Apple Cider Vinegar: Apple cider vinegar has anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties which help reduce swelling and aid in healing anal fissures. Simply mix equal parts of apple cider vinegar with water and use this solution to clean the affected area twice daily until your condition improves.
- Aloe Vera Gel: Aloe vera gel helps to heal anal fissures quickly due to its natural soothing, cooling, moisturizing, and antibacterial properties. Apply freshly extracted aloe vera gel directly over the affected area several times a day to reduce swelling and soothe discomfort caused by the fissure.
- Sitz Baths: A sitz bath is a treatment that involves sitting in warm water up to your hips, which helps promote blood flow in the rectal area and helps reduce pain associated with anal fissure wounds. For extra healing power add 2 tablespoons of either salt or baking soda for better results. Soak for about 10 minutes twice per day until you fully recover from your symptoms ё
- Diet modifications: It is important to make dietary changes when trying to heal from an anal fissure as some foods can aggravate or worsen it further such as spicy foods, coffee, hard-to-digest fats, etc., therefore you should stay away from these types of food while you are trying to treat your condition. One should increase dietary fiber through sources including vegetables, fruits, and whole grain products such as oatmeal and brown rice. It may also include nuts; legumes; avocados; black beans; etc., as dietary fiber. This will help keep stools soft ensuring easier bowel movements.
Is It Possible To Get Colon Cancer Due To Anal Fissure?
No, an anal fissure is not linked to an increased risk of developing colon cancer. Anal fissures are small tears in the lining of the anus or anal canal. While many people experience them without knowing it, they can cause unpleasant symptoms. Such as intense pain with bowel movements and itching around the anus.
Are Anal Fissures Preventable?
Yes, it is possible to prevent the onset of anal fissures. You can do it by maintaining a healthy lifestyle and adopting healthful bowel habits. Eating a balanced diet that’s high in fiber and low in fat. Also by drinking plenty of water, and exercising regularly. Also not straining during bowel movements are all important steps to help reduce the risk of developing an anal fissure. Additionally, avoiding constipation by taking measures such as sitting on an exercise ball or using a footrest for support while attempting to have a bowel movement can help alleviate straining and reduce the risk of developing fissures.