Tearing of the skin lining the anus and the anal canal is known as anal fissure. Anal Fissure can be either acute or chronic. Those that heal within few days or weeks are termed as acute fissure and those that become problematic without healing in six weeks are considered as chronic fissures. They can develop at any age irrespective of sex. Fissures are extremely painful. They may be so bad that the patient hesitates to pass the bowels.
Anal fissure remedies should be chosen depending on the severity of the condition. Mild cases can often be treated with simple home remedies even without using drugs. Majority of the chronic cases can be treated with medications. Anal fissures that do not respond to home remedies or medications are treated surgically.
Fissure Home Remedies
Most anal fissure can be easily avoided and healed using home remedies and some lifestyle changes. Here is the list of the same:
Changing the dietary habits: Low fiber and fat rich diet is the major cause for indigestion and constipation that results in formation of hard stools. Hence, by increasing the fiber intake it is possible to increase the bulk of the stools that can be passed easily without straining. Consider taking fresh fruits and vegetables such as broccoli, apples and berries as well as whole grain foods to increase the bulk of stools. Avoid taking processed foods such as cakes.
Use fiber supplements: If your diet is not offering required fiber then take fiber supplements such as psyllium under the supervision of the physician. If you are taking fiber supplements take plenty of water to avoid constipation.
Drink plenty of water: Take about 8-10 glasses of water daily. The amount of water intake should be slightly more than what you generally require. This aids in softening the stools that can be passed easily without further hurting the damaged anal lining. Avoid taking dehydrating drinks such as caffeinated drinks, alcohol and sodas
Use stool softeners: If increased water intake does not help then take stool softeners available over the counter. But, avoid using laxatives or enema to ease the defecation process. Enema tips cause further damage to the irritated anal lining. Laxatives cause dehydration and worsen constipation. Keep in mind that laxatives should not be used for prolonged duration.
Quit sedentary lifestyle: Being lethargic all the time reduces gastro intestinal activity and results in constipation. Hence, make it a habit to practice simple exercises every day. Simple workouts such as swimming, walking and jogging will do. Exercising regularly helps promote bowel movements, increases blood flow and also strengthens the tissues. Increasing the blood flow to the lower anal region promotes faster healing of the anal fissures.
Maintain healthy bowel habits: Allot time to empty the bowels. If rush during defecation it will cause straining that tears the anal lining. Making a daily routine for passing bowels will be helpful. Clean the anal region gently using moist wipes or water. Rubbing hard with dry tissue can cause further damage creating new cuts.
Sitz baths: sitting in warm water mixed with very little amount of Epsom salt for about twenty minutes helps to reduce the pain. Taking sitz baths three to four times a day reduces inflammation. Epsom salts help to soothe irritated skin and cleanse the anal region.
Generally, fissures heal automatically without causing any complications. Before using any of the fissure remedies or medication, consult the physician to confirm the tearing of anoderm as conditions such as hemorrhoids, colon cancer also result in bleeding and pain during bowel movements. Conditions other than fissures need medical treatment in addition to home remedies.
If anal fissure remedies that can be used at home do not work then medicated creams containing nitroglycerin, calcium channel blocking agents and anesthetics should be used along with home remedies. Low doses of Botox injections also help in relieving the sphincter pressure.
Surgical treatment using lateral internal sphincterotomy is one of the fissure remedies that can be used to treat complex fissures.