An anal fissure is a split in the skin just inside the bottom. Anal fissures are common and frequently cause symptoms of pain and rectal bleeding . An anal fissure can usually be diagnosed in the clinic without any special tests. It is important that you are seen by a doctor as there are several other disorders which can give similar symptoms.
What causes an anal fissure?
It is not know what exactly causes an anal fissure, Sometimes being constipated can start off an anal fissure, however many people with an anal fissure have a normal bowel habit or even diarrhoea. Most commonly, anal fissures are found at the back of the bottom. The skin is this area has a worse blood supply than elsewhere in the bottom. We know that in people with anal fissure, the anal sphincters are often hyperactive and this stops a fissure from healing up.
How are anal fissures treated?
Most anal fissures will heal up on their own within an few days or weeks and these don’t need any particular treatment. If a fissure last for longer than 6 weeks, it is unlikely to heal up on it’s own.
Most fissures will be treated with a cream (either GTN ointment or diltiazem cream) in the first instance. It is important to use the cream twice a day for at least 6 weeks.