Aside from being a very painful problem, anal fissure can also be a very embarrassing one. This condition is common in infants but anyone at any age can actually suffer from it. Usually, an anal fissure heals on its own within 4 to 6 weeks. Otherwise, someone who is suffering from it may have to undergo medical treatment. There are also a handful of home remedies effective for the painful and embarrassing problem.
Basically, an anal fissure is a tear in the lining of the anus. This is usually brought about by constipation due to the passing of large and/or hard stools. Naturally, it causes pain during and after bowel movements. It’s not unlikely for bleeding to occur. The anal area may also suffer from itchiness and irritation.
Other than constipation, some other probable causes of an anal fissure include chronic diarrhea, inflammatory bowel disease, anal cancer, syphilis, herpes, HIV and tuberculosis.
As earlier mentioned, it’s likely for an anal fissure to heal within 4 to 6 weeks even without any intervention. However, this is not always the case. Untreated after the said time duration, it may cause complications such as tearing of the surrounding muscles and chronic anal fissure. Do take note that you are prone to having subsequent anal fissures if you had one.
The following are some of the medical treatments for anal fissures:
- Laxatives or stool softeners – The administration of laxatives helps in dealing with constipation, which is one of the main causes of anal fissures. On the other hand, stool softeners help make the defecation a less painful experience.
- Externally-applied nitroglycerin – This medication helps promote blood flow to the affected area, thus speeding up the healing of the fissure. The application of nitroglycerin externally is one of the primary treatments of choice if other conservative remedies fail.
- Medications for high blood pressure – In case the application of nitroglycerine proves to be ineffective or the side effects like headache and nausea are unbearable, blood pressure medications may be prescribed for oral intake or external application.
- Steroid creams – Applying this medication on the anal fissure helps in providing relief from the pain and discomfort, both of which are common symptoms of the problem.
- Botox injection – The same treatment for fine lines and wrinkles on the face may also be used for anal fissure. It is done to help make the muscles of the anal sphincter paralyzed, thus putting an end to the muscle spasms in the anal area that usually occur most especially after a bowel movement.
- Surgery – A doctor may recommend surgery if you are suffering from an anal fissure that is resistant to the above treatments or causes severe symptoms.
The following are a few effective home remedies for anal fissures:
- Consume fiber-rich foods – It’s no secret that increasing your fiber intake can ward off constipation. Including lots of fruits and vegetables in your diet can help in regulating your bowel movement, preventing anal fissures.
- Drink plenty of water – You should guzzle down 8 to 12 glasses of water daily. Aside from increasing your fiber intake, drinking lots of water is also very important for preventing constipation.
- Exercise regularly – Insufficient physical activity can cause constipation. That is why exercising for at least 30 minutes not less than 5 times a week can be beneficial if you are prone to having an anal fissure. It can be something as simple as walking or something as fun as dancing or playing badminton.
- Apply petroleum jelly or olive oil in the rectum – Doing this before moving your bowels provides much-needed lubrication, thus making the passing of stool less painful even with the presence of a fissure.
- Take a warm bath – After a bowel movement, it is a good idea to sit in a tub filled with warm water for around 15 minutes to attain relief from muscle spasm and pain.