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Will an Anal Fissure Heal on Its Own?

Will an Anal Fissure Heal on Its Own?

With proper care and steering clear of constipation, your anal fissure can heal on its own. The most significant problem you may face during the healing process is the pain during and after a bowel movement.   

But you don’t have to suffer through the healing process. Our anorectal disorder specialist, Dr. Betsy Clemens, at Midwest Hemorrhoid Treatment Center in Town and Country, Missouri, specializes in the medical management of anal fissures. 

Here, we want to share with you how an anal fissure heals on its own and how you can help the process.

Anal fissure basics

An anal fissure is a benign condition but can cause excruciating anal pain during and after a bowel movement. It’s a tiny tear in the skin that lines the anus, the last part of the digestive system made up of a tight ring of muscles that opens during a bowel movement, allowing stool to pass through.

A tear in the skin occurs from trauma, like the passage of hard stool, prolonged diarrhea, or excessive wiping. Pain triggered by a bowel movement that lasts several minutes or hours is one of the tell-tale signs of an anal fissure. It may also cause blood in stool or toilet paper after wiping. 

Other than the pain, an anal fissure isn’t a serious medical condition and can heal on its own within days or weeks. 

Healing your anal fissure

Preventing constipation is one of the primary treatments for an anal fissure. Continuing to pass dry and hard stool may reinjure the tissue and delay healing. 

We may recommend a stool softener, eating more high-fiber foods, and drinking plenty of water to soften your stool and help you stay regular.  We may also prescribe topical pain relievers to minimize anal discomfort.

Sitz baths, in which you soak your bottom in warm water for 10 minutes, also alleviate pain by relaxing the sphincter muscle. You should also gently clean the area after a bowel movement or take a shower to remove stool debris to avoid aggressive wiping. 

If your anal fissure persists for eight weeks or more, we may prescribe medications that relax the anal sphincter muscles, like a calcium channel blocker. Anal fissures that fail to respond to medical interventions may require surgery.

Preventing a recurrence

Unfortunately, anal fissures can recur, usually from the passage of hard stool. Good bowel habits, eating more fiber, and drinking enough fluids may prevent the hard stool that causes a recurrence of the anal fissure.

Anal fissures are common. Though it can cause unbearable pain, it’s not a harmful condition and can heal on its own quickly. We don’t recommend self-diagnosing and treating anal pain on your own, especially if your pain includes other symptoms like bloody stools. Many people mistakenly treat their anal fissure like a hemorrhoid

We’re experts at diagnosing and treating anorectal disorders like anal fissures. Let us help you get the correct diagnosis and treatment plan for your pain so you heal fast. Call our office at 314-669-2758 today to schedule an appointment with Dr. Clemens. 

 

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