Anal fissure

This text provides information in simple language on the topic: Anal fissure.

What is an anal fissure?

With an anal fissure, the skin in the anus has a crack. Anyone can develop an anal fissure. An anal fissure often occurs in people between the ages of 30 and 40 years. An anal fissure can be acute. Then it heals quickly.
But an anal fissure can also be chronic. Then changes in the anus can show:

  • An outpost fold can form. This is a thickening of the skin. The outpost fold is harmless. But it can disrupt hygiene.
  • An anal fibroma can develop. An anal fibroma is a benign nodule in the skin tissue.
  • Bulky edges may form around the anal fissure.
  • Fistula can form. Fistulous ducts are unnatural connecting ducts. For example, they lead from the intestines to the skin.

How can you recognize an anal fissure?

Signs of an anal fissure include:

  • stabbing or burning pain when defecating
  • bright red blood stains on the toilet paper
  • Itching, burning, or oozing of the anus

An anal fissure often leads to a vicious circle:

Affected people are in severe pain. That's why they avoid going to the toilet. Constipation occurs. The hard stool irritates the wound. Therefore, the anal fissure can get worse. The affected people then have even more pain. The sphincter tenses and the anal canal is poorly supplied with blood. So the wound cannot heal.

Note: Do you have problems with bowel movements? Then talk to your doctor. The doctor will examine you and give you all the important information.

What are the causes of an anal fissure?

Causes of an anal fissure can be:

  • Constipation
  • strong pressing when defecating
  • Diarrhea or mushy stools
  • hemorrhoids
  • Inflammation of the rectum
  • lower blood flow to the anal skin
  • cramped sphincter muscles in the anus
  • Crohn's disease

What can you do about an anal fissure?

Do you have an acute anal fissure? Then the doctor can prescribe various things for you:

  • Swelling agent. Swelling agents make the stool soft. The affected people should drink enough. Lots of fluids is especially important.
  • Anoint. The ointments contain, for example, nitroglycerin or calcium channel blockers. The ointment is rubbed on the spot three times a day. Treatment with ointment lasts about 7 weeks.

Note: Talk to your doctor or pharmacist. Read the medication package insert.

Do you have a chronic anal fissure? Then surgery may be necessary. Talk to your doctor. The doctor will give you all the important information.

How can you prevent an anal fissure?

Would you like to reduce your own risk of an anal fissure? Then there are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Do not push too hard when you have a bowel movement.
  • Eat lots of fiber. Dietary fiber stimulates digestion and makes you full longer. For example, fiber is found in fruits and vegetables. Whole grain products are also high in fiber.
  • Drink plenty of water or unsweetened tea. Warning: Some people with heart disease or kidney disease are only allowed to drink a certain amount. These people should therefore speak to their doctor beforehand.
  • Move around a lot. Exercising a lot can help prevent constipation.

Where can you get more information?

Would you like to read more about the anal fissure? You can find more information about the anal fissure here. Attention: This link leads out of our simple language offer. The information is then no longer in plain language.

Attention: This text only contains general information. The text does not replace a visit to the doctor. Only a doctor can give you accurate information. Are you feeling sick? Or do you have questions about an illness? Then you should always see a doctor.

We wrote the texts together with the Light Language Research Center. The light language research center is at the University of Hildesheim.