What is it?

An anal fissure is a small tear or crack in the skin lining the anus. This tear may cause severe pain and even bleed during and after a bowel movement. Anal fissure causes include chronic constipation, frequent diarrhea, inflammatory bowel diseases, and other conditions. Most anal fissures last up to six weeks and cure without the need for intervention. However, anal fissures can last more than eight weeks. In these cases, they are considered chronic and may need treatment.

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Additional names

This group contains additional names:
- Anal Fistula
- Anorectal fistula
- Enteroanal fistula
- Horseshoe anal fistula
- Intersphincteric fistula
- Perianal fistula
- Perianal sinus
- Rectal fistula

Signs & symptoms

Symptoms of anal fissure may include:
- Pain in the anal area during or after bowel movements.
- A sense of burn or itch around the anal area.
- Blood streaks on toilet paper after bowel movements.
- A tear or a skin tag in the lining of the anus.


Diagnosis is made by questioning and investigating the medical history and physical examination to provide additional information and exclude other diseases. Further tests may include:
- Rectal exam – in which a special device is inserted into the rectum to visualize the tear and inspect the anal area.


Most anal fissures do not require any intervention. However, treatments such as over-the-counter stool softeners, applying pain relievers on the sore skin may help the symptoms. Additionally, a sitz bath is recommended (a sitz bath is a warm, shallow bath that cleans and reliefs the rectum area). Some life changes may also be advisable, such as drinking more water, adding fibers to the diet (aid in softening stools), limiting alcohol and caffeine drinking, and working out regularly.

☝️ This is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult with your physician before making any medical decision.

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