Anal fissure is a condition commonly affecting both men and women, especially individuals older than 20 and younger than 40. Usually, this condition is mistaken for hemorrhoids, due to similar symptoms these two condition manifest through. However, the two are not the same and have distinctive features. An anal fissure is located either at the rear of the anus or at the front.
Types of Anal Fissures
If an anal fissure is present for less than six weeks, during which it heals, the condition is considered to be acute. However, if it remains prevalent even after this period, the anal fissure is referred to as chronic.
Acute occurrences of this problem are easily treatable and many times they go away on their own. On the other hand, chronic anal fissure bothers a person over a longer period of time, not necessarily escalating or getting worse.
Manifestations of Anal Fissure
Sharp burning or searing pain appearing around your anus is a common sign of an anal fissure, especially when it affects you immediately after a bowel movement. The pain may remain prevalent for more than a couple of hours, becoming more painful. Drops of blood may appear on the toilet paper or the toilet bowl itself. Finally, a sentinel pile may form on the edge of the anus, right below the fissure, having nothing to do with hemorrhoids whatsoever.
If you notice any of the above mentioned symptoms, seek medical assistance as soon as possible.
When an anal fissure fails to heal, it becomes chronic. Then, the tear extends into the ring of an anal muscle involved in the closing procedure of your anus. Once this happens, the pain from the fissure may trigger a spasm in the muscle, closing the anus, making the whole bowel movement process even more complicated. Yet, people should not strain themselves during bowel movements, especially if they suffer from anal fissures, since this can only make matters worse.
Causes and Treatment for Anal Fissure
Constipation and overstraining during the process of passing stool can damage your anal area, leading to anal fissure formation. Chronic diarrhea may have the same effect. Additionally, Crohn's disease, STDs, the third trimester of pregnancy, labor, diabetes, HIV or certain medications, all may lead to creation of an anal fissure.
The treatment may involve consuming foods rich in fiber and having a balanced diet altogether, preventing dehydration by consuming plenty of water and exercising regularly, promoting overall health and well-being, bettering your digestive processes.
If these steps fail, your doctor may treat this problem with certain medications or schedule a surgery which will relieve the pressure in your anal area, preventing the anal muscle from contracting during bowel movements.