Anal fissures are common among infants and young children as they are more prone to constipation, though it affects people of all ages. It is a small tear or cut on the lining of the anus which causes bright red bleeding and severe pain during and after bowel movements. When the anal fissure deepens, it may expose the muscle tissue underneath.
In most cases, anal fissure heals on its own within two to four weeks. When the tear persists beyond eight weeks, it is considered chronic and will need medical attention.
Different things cause an anal fissure. Most of the time, it occurs as a result of passing hard and large stools. Persistent or frequent diarrhea can also tear the area around the anus. Other causes are Crohn’s disease, overly tight anal sphincter muscles, straining during bowel movement or strains when giving birth.
An anal fissure can in sporadic cases be as a result of HIV, anal cancer, syphilis, herpes, or tuberculosis.
Treatments like stool softeners and pain relievers help to promote healing and relieve discomfort to anal fissure patients. If these fail, one may need surgery or further investigations to establish the causes.
Sharp pain in the anus during bowel movements. When you experience sharp pains in the anal area during and after passing stool, it is most likely due to a tear or anal fissure. It is easy to tell as one can always feel difficulty in the bowel movement that may result in the anal fissure.
Visible tear around the anus. This may not be obvious or easily visible to the patient. However, a medic can easily see it by examining. In small children and infants, it is easy to see especially when changing the diapers. Children also become sensitive and may cry during diaper change. Check if there is any cut.
Blood on the toilet paper or stool. Witnessing blood on the stool throws most people in a panic mode. Fresh, bright red blood is mostly associated with an anal fissure and should not be a case of significant concern. It is hard to miss as pain in the anal area accompanies it.
A small lump or tag on the skin next to the tear. As a result of the cut, a small lump may form next to it or a skin tag. Though this may not be very visible, one can feel it when cleaning the anal area after a bowel movement. Be keen and avoid pressing the lump. Skin tags are as a result of a chronic anal fissure that needs the doctor’s attention.
Itchy or burning sensation in the anal area. The constant activities around the anal area may aggravate the anal fissure causing a burning sensation or itchiness. Avoid itching as this may worsen the already stressed skin and also cause infections. To relieve and prevent chronic anal itching, you can use creams such as Pranicura. You can visit their website by clicking here.
It is crucial to take measures that lower the risk of getting one, especially in children. Some steps that reduce the risk are:
- Keeping the body well hydrated by taking in enough fluids, regular exercise and eating fiber-rich foods to avoid constipation.
- Cleaning the anal area well and keeping it moisture free.
- Ensure infants diapers are changed on a regular basis
Maintaining high hygiene standards is also a great way of preventing the other complications that may arise. It is crucial to observe cleanliness and wear loose fitting cotton under wears as they keep the anal area dry and moisture free.