An anal fissure is a shallow tear or crack in the skin at the opening of the anus. More than 90% of teenagers with blood in their stools have an anal fissure.
You may notice the following signs or symptoms:
Injury to the anal canal during passage of a hard or large stool is the usual cause of anal fissures. Rarely it is due to a Strep infection around the anus.
Bleeding from a fissure stops on its own in a few minutes.
Cleanse the anal area with warm water on a washcloth. If that doesn't help, sit in a tub of warm water with about 2 ounces of table salt or baking soda added. Do this 3 times a day for 1 or 2 days. Don't use any soap on the irritated area. Then gently dry the anal area.
If the anus seems irritated, you can apply 1% hydrocortisone ointment (nonprescription). If the pain is severe, apply 2.5% lidocaine (Xylocaine) or pramoxine ointment (nonprescription) a few times to numb the area.
The most important part of treatment is to more fiber and drink plenty of fluids to keep from getting constipated. Increase the amounts of fresh fruits and vegetables, beans, and bran products that you eat. Drink plenty of water. Reduce the amounts of milk products you eat or drink. Milk products are constipating.
A nonprescription stool softener (such as mineral oil, MiraLAX, or docusate) may be needed for a short time.
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