What is it?
An anal fissure is a small cut or tear in the lining of the anus. The crack in the skin causes severe pain and some bright red bleeding during and after bowel movements. At times the fissure is deep enough to expose the muscle tissue underneath. The main cause of anal fissure is constipation.
What are the symptoms?
- A visible tear in the skin around your anus
- A skin tag, or small lump of skin, next to the tear
- Sharp pain in the anal area during bowel movements
- Streaks of blood on stools or on tissue paper after wiping
- Burning or itching in the anal area
- Mix equal amounts of olive oil, honey and beeswax in a bowl. Warm it in a microwave until the beeswax melts completely. Let it to cool and apply it on the affected area. Repeat a few times daily.
- Cut off one leaf of an aloe vera plant. Slice it lengthwise and use a spoon to scrape out the gel. Apply some of this gel on the affected area a few times a day.
- Add a few drops of lavender essential oil in a bathtub full of warm water and stir well. Sit still in the bathtub up to your waist for 15 to 20 minutes. Take this sitz bath 2 to 3 times a day.
- Apply coconut oil to the anal sphincter 2 or 3 times a day. In cases of chronic anal fissures, apply coconut oil several times a day.
- Mix 1 to 2 tablespoons of raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar in a glass of water, add some raw honey to it and drink it twice daily.
- Mix 1 tablespoon of flaxseed powder in a glass of water. Drink it once daily before going to bed. This will regulate your bowel movements.
- After each bowel movement, wipe the area with soft toilet paper. Avoid using rough and scented toilet papers, which can cause irritation.
- Wear loose-fitting clothing and cotton underwear to allow air to circulate.
- Do not sit in the same position for long periods of time, as it may lead to a buildup of moisture in the anal area.
- Avoid straining during bowel movements, as it can open a healing tear or cause a new tear to develop.
- Avoid constipating foods, such as bananas, white rice, cheese and other dairy products, chocolate, large amounts of red meat, chips and fried foods.
Things to watch out for
See your GP if you think you have an anal fissure. Most anal fissures get better without treatment, but your GP will want to rule out other conditions with similar symptoms, such as piles (haemorrhoids). Your GP can also tell you about self-help measures and treatments that can relieve your symptoms and reduce the risk of fissures recurring.