Anal fissures are tears that develop in the lining of the anal canal and anus. This can also be due to trauma to the anus and anal canal. In most cases, the pain and discomfort becomes severe during bowel movements. It can be caused by passing hard, large and dry stools, prolonged diarrhea and constipation. As for the elderly, it can be caused by the reduced blood flow in the area. Women during childbirth face a high risk for developing anal fissures. Maintaining good elimination habits can help lessen the discomfort and helps in the healing of the condition and prevent recurrences.
· Increase the intake of fiber in the diet in order to help facilitate bowel movement and also helps in preventing constipation. Fiber helps in making the stool soft and reduces pressure placed on the anal canal. It will also lessen the discomfort of any existing fissure and prevents the condition from getting worse. The individual should take at least 20-35 grams of fiber every day such as varieties of fruits and vegetables as well as whole grains.
· Drink plenty of liquids at least 6-8 glass every day in order to help prevent dehydration and constipation. Increased intake of fluids can make the stool softer so that the defecation is a lot easier. The fluids consumed should not contain caffeine in order to minimize dehydration.
· Perform regular exercises in order to minimize constipation and helps with the promotion of regular bowel movements. It also helps minimize the pain caused by the anal fissures as well as prevents recurrence of the condition.
· Soak the body in a warm bath for at least 10-20 minutes since it helps relax the anal muscles. Another way is soaking the body in a warm bath after a bowel movement to lessen the pain and itchiness. In addition, avoid using scented soaps in cleaning the anal area since it can make the condition worse.
· Take a Sitz bath regularly or a salt water bath for at least 20 minutes.
· Avoid straining or sitting for long periods of time on the toilet in order to prevent pressure that can cause opening of a healing tear. Wipe gently the anorectal area after a bowel movement in order to prevent further damage to the new tear.
· Apply the prescribed medicated creams or ointments that work by promoting the healing of persistent or recurring anal fissures. These specific creams help heal and relax muscles of the anal region while the prescribed anesthetic ointments lessen pain during movements.
· Apply an ice pack by wrapping a few ice cubes in a towel and press it gently on the affected area to lessen the soreness of the anus.
· Sprinkle cornstarch or talcum powder around the rectal area.
· Wear cotton underwear and clothes that are not fitting since these help promote proper circulation of air and helps soothe the affected area.
If the anal fissures become worse, it is time to schedule an appointment with a doctor for proper assessment of the condition.