What Are Anal Fissures?

After a few days of experiencing discomfort and sharp pains while using the washroom, you decide to visit your local hemorrhoid clinic in Calgary. Then, following a quick investigation, you are diagnosed with having anal fissures.


While having a reason for your pain is reassuring, this answer may also lead to more questions. For those who have never experienced anal fissures before, you may be wondering what, exactly, you’ve been diagnosed with and how anal fissure treatment plays out.


Therefore, let’s break down what anal fissures are below.


Defining Anal Fissures


An anal fissure is a small tear or cut in the lining of the anus. This tissue is also known as the mucosa. As it expands and contracts during bowel movements, the tear is irritated, thus resulting in pain and, at times, bleeding.


While the muscles in your anal canal allow for a fair amount of stretching, everything has its limits. A trauma to the inner lining can cause the fissure, typically due to a hard bowel movement or other extensive stretching of the anal canal. However, chronic constipation and prolonged diarrhea are common contributors as well. 

Symptoms of Anal Fissures


Anal fissures are often mistaken for hemorrhoids until a proper diagnosis, thanks to the location of the trauma. However, focusing solely on the symptoms, rather than the placement of the pain, may help distinguish the two prior to a doctor’s consultation.


The most common and apparent symptom is a sharp pain that starts during bowel movements. However, bright red blood left behind in the stool or on the toilet paper is another symptom to look out for. 


A third symptom that indicates an anal fissure is a small lump or tag of skin next to a visible tear. While the visible tear may be present immediately, the lump may not appear until a few weeks in. If you have not visited your doctor until this point, it is recommended that you do so, as this can be a sign of a chronic condition.


The Seriousness of Anal Fissures


Fortunately, anal fissures are more uncomfortable than they are dangerous. In fact, while it affects people of all ages, younger children are the most likely to develop an anal fissure. 


Anal fissures typically heal on their own within four to six weeks, and medication for anal fissure treatment is not generally needed. However, if the pain is too great, a topical cream or stool softener may be prescribed to alleviate discomfort.


That said, if the anal fissure is persistent and lasts longer than eight weeks, ensure that you visit your doctor, as further action and investigation may be required.


Award-winning, innovative and passionate, N.A. Hemorrhoids Centre is a hemorrhoid clinic in Calgary offering reliable hemorrhoid treatment. We are both a regular and emergency hemorrhoid clinic, and we devote ourselves to providing high-quality care for many anorectal diseases. As hemorrhoid specialists, we can treat anal fissures, anal fistulas, anal abscesses, anal itching and more. As a naturopathic hemorrhoid clinic with an international reach, our services are the right solution to treat your sensitive and uncomfortable concerns. Contact us today at 403-796-7551 for more information or to book your appointment.