1. What is an anal fissure?
An anal fissure is a condition in which the thin and moist mucosal (tissue) lining of the anus may be disrupted by a small tear. It is commonly encountered in young infants (although individuals from any age group can be affected).
2. How do I know if I am suffering from anal fissure?
You can check for the following symptoms to see if you are suffering from anal fissures:
• Spasmodic pain (sometimes severe) and bleeding while passing motions which could even last for some hours later.
• Bright reddish staining on toilet paper after passing stools.
• The skin surrounding the anus shows a visible crack, along with a skin tag, or a small lump.
3. What causes an anal fissure?
The various causes of an anal fissure include:
• Passage of hard or large stools
• Constipation or long-standing diarrhoea
• Bowel movements causing straining
• Inflammatory bowel disease such as Crohn's disease
• Conditions such as syphilis, anal cancer, HIV, and tuberculosis
• Anal intercourse
4. What are the risk factors for developing anal fissures?
The following factors can increase the risk of you developing an anal fissure:
• Age (mainly middle-aged adults and infants)
• Anal sex
• Crohn's disease
5. How are anal fissures diagnosed?
The following can be done for the diagnosis:
• Medical history and physical examination (including anal examination) by the physician
• Anoscopy by the physician to visualize the rectum and anus.
• Flexible sigmoidoscopy