Anal Fissures

Large Bowel Conditions
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An anal fissure is a tear in the lower anal canal – bottom. Anal fissures are not a serious albeit uncomfortable condition. Anal fissures can affect people of any age but are more common in the younger age group between 20 – 40 years. The tear damage results in anal muscles spasm, which often separates the fissure edges and results in delayed healing.

Anorectal fissure
An anal fissure is a tear in the lower anal canal

Causes of anal fissures:

Although there is no definitive cause, anal stretch and trauma are attributed to the onset of anal fissures. Factors which may contribute to an anal fissure are;

  • Constipation / passing hard stools
  • Ongoing or explosive (severe) diarrhoea
  • Difficult childbirth
  • Less often anal sex and insertion of foreign objects into the back passage
  • Rarely STDs, and anal cancer


Increased pressure, tight anal muscles, and poor blood supply to anus lead to fissure development and poor healing.


Clinical Features / Symptoms of anal fissures:

Anal fissures can be the one of the most uncomfortable sensations someone can experience.

  • Burning & itching around the bottom
  • Skin tag at anal margin
  • Severe anal pain especially post defecation
  • Streak of fresh blood on the stool or on toilet paper after wiping


Treatment of anal fissures:

  • Treat the cause
  • See your GP in the first instance
  • If not relieved, seek advice from a specialist