What is an anal fissure?

The anal fissure, also known as a rectal fissure, occurs because of a small tear in the thin, moist tissue (mucosa) lining the anus. It may happen when you pass hard or large stools during a bowel movement. During and after bowel movements, the cracked skin causes severe pain and bright red bleeding. A doctor should be consulted if you experience pain during or after bowel movements, or if you notice blood on stools or toilet paper.

Most of the time, the tear heals on its own. The fissure is considered chronic anal fissure when it persists for more than six weeks. Infants are more likely to develop anal fissures than adults, but they can also occur in adults. In general, sitz baths, fissure ointment, and increased fiber intake are some simple methods for anal tear treatment. However, if the anal tear doesn’t improve with these remedies a person might have to go through fissure surgery. Also, It is possible that your doctor will need to examine you for other disorders that may cause anal fissures.


Anal fissures are characterized by the following symptoms:

  1. When bowel movements are painful, sometimes very severe
  2. Pain that persists for several hours after bowel movements
  3. Blood on your stool or bathroom paper after a bowel movement
  4. Visible skin cracks around the anus area
  5. The skin is lumpy near the anal fissure or has a skin tag
  6. Burning or itchiness in the anal region

If you face any of these symptoms it may mean that you are facing the problem of anal fissure. If you are unsure about it, it is advised to consult a doctor since they will be able to properly examine your symptoms and guide you accordingly.


In most cases, an anal fissure appears as a result of passing hard or large stools. The skin around your anus can also be torn due to chronic constipation or diarrhoea.

Some common causes of annal fissure are:

  1. Childbirth
  2. Chronic diarrhoea
  3. Having anal sex
  4. Anal cancer
  5. Having inflammatory bowel disease
  6. HIV
  7. Constipation
  8. Syphilis
  9. Tuberculosis
  10. Herpes

Ways for anal fissure treatment:

Usually anal fissures resolve without the need of a surgery. Anal fissure surgery might be needed in case the problem gets severe. For fissure treatment without surgery you can follow these simple remedies:

    1. Special prescribed anal fissure ointment
  • Taking Anal fissure medicines
  1. Having sitz bath for anal fissure
  2. Applying anal fissure creams to the affected area
  3. Eating a high-fiber diet
  4. Consuming plent of fluids

High fiber diets are most important way to get over with anal fissures. It can aid in keeping your stools regular and easily passable. Also, drinking enough fluids can help to soften stools, make it easier to pass them and also promote a faster recovery of fissure treatment. You might be wondering about how you would know your fissure is healing once you begin the treatment? Read on about the signs a fissure is healing:

  1. Reduce in pain during bowel movement
  2. Discharge may result as fissure heals
  3. Itching can also occur
  4. Decrease in visibility of skin cracks
  5. Low anal fissure bleeding after a bowel movement

These are the fews through which you can know that your problem of anal fissure is healing. However, it is always better to get thoroughly examined by a colorectal surgeon. However, if you face no amount of pain it may mean that the fissure has healed to an extent.

Steps for anal fissure pain relief

It is common for anal fissures to cause pain. It is most noticeable when you pass stools and may remain for some time afterward. At times, fissure pains are unbearable and if you face such pain it can be extremely uncomfortable for you. In order to get some relief from the pain caused by anal fissure you can try the following steps.

Using anti-inflammatory pain relievers, such as ibuprofen, can help with pain symptoms that are more general. Topical pain relief creams, such as lidocaine creams, can also aid in getting rid of targeted relief. It is also possible to reduce some of the symptoms of pain by taking frequent baths to relax the muscles in the anus and promote healing of the fissures.

Know about anal fissure surgery

Your doctor may recommend a surgery if you suffer from chronic anal fissures that are not resolving with the help of other treatments or if you have severe symptoms. The doctors implement a procedure, lateral internal sphincterotmy (LIS) in which a portion of the anastomosis muscle is cut to reduce pain and spasm, as well as promote healing.Surgeries are one of the most effective way to solve the problem of anal fissure however, incontinence is a fissure surgery side effect.

How to prevent anal fissure?

Well while it might be difficult to completely prevent anal fissure from occuring, there is a possibility of reducing the risk of getting infected by one by following these precautions:

  1. Consulting a doctor immediately to treat diarrhea
  2. Consuming a high fiber diet, consuming plenty of fluids and exercise regularly
  3. Warm water and mild soap should be used to clean the anal area
  4. If an infant has the condition, they should have their diapers changed frequently
  5. The anal area should be kept dry


Anal fissures is a condition where you can suffer from sharp pain and passage of some amount of blood with bowel movements. It can be caused due to hard stool passage, childbirth, anal intercourse and many more other reasons. It is advised to consult doctor if the symptoms are severe or else anal fissures can usually be treated with simple treatments such as eating high-fiber food, consuming enough fluid, and maintaining good hygiene near the anal area.


  1. Is vaseline good for fissures?

Yes, petroleum jelly vaseline can be good for fissures since it helps lubricate the area.

  1. Why do I keep getting anal fissure?

Common causes include passage of hard stools, diarrhoea and constipation. If you get repeated anal fissures it is necessary to consult doctor.

  1. What happens if a fissure goes untreated?

If your fissure doesn’t resolve in 6 weeks it is a chronic anal fissure and needs to be examined immediately or else you will suffer through a lot of pain.

The discovery of an anal fissure requires immediate follow-up by an oncologist to create a treatment plan. Consult with Dr. Nivedita Pandey through our online physician chat system, as she provides nutritional counselling and teleconsultations.