A fissure is a small tear or cut in the lining of the anal canal that can cause pain and discomfort during bowel movements. Fissures can occur in people of all ages, but they are more common in young adults and older adults.
The symptoms of a fissure can vary depending on the severity of the condition. Some common symptoms include:
- Pain and discomfort during bowel movements
- Bright red blood on toilet paper or in the toilet bowl
- Itching or burning in the anal area
- A small lump or swelling near the anus
- Fecal incontinence in severe cases
The exact cause of a fissure is not known, but it is believed to be caused by a combination of factors, including:
- Constipation: Straining during bowel movements can cause a tear in the lining of the anal canal.
- Diarrhea: Frequent diarrhea can irritate the lining of the anal canal and increase the risk of developing a fissure.
- Anal sex: Anal sex can cause trauma to the anal canal and increase the risk of developing a fissure.
- Childbirth: Women who have recently given birth are at an increased risk of developing a fissure.
The treatment for a fissure varies depending on the severity of the condition. Some common treatments include:
- Medications: Over-the-counter pain relievers and stool softeners can help reduce pain and discomfort during bowel movements.
- Topical treatments: Creams and ointments containing lidocaine or nitroglycerin can help reduce pain and promote healing.
- Fiber supplements: Adding fiber to your diet can help soften stool and reduce the risk of developing a fissure.
- Surgery: In severe cases, surgery may be required to repair the fissure. This procedure involves removing the damaged tissue and repositioning the anal sphincter muscle.