Who can forget the pain associated with anal fissures? If you’ve ever experienced the sharp pain of a fissure, it’s something you’ll most likely never forget. While there are many medical conditions that can cause anal pain, an anal fissure is usually as a result of constipation where the strain of passing hard stools can cause small tears in the skin of the anus. These fissures can oftentimes heal on their own within the matter of a few weeks, if you take the necessary steps to promote healing. Some healing methods include: increasing your fiber/fluid intake, soaking in warm water, and finding other ways to soften the stool that passes.
Home remedies can be a great first measure as a means to avoid a chronic and/or worsening condition. Before implementing any home treatment methods, it’s always best to seek the advice of a doctor. Our colorectal specialists are always happy to help patients find an effective method of treatment.
Home Treatment Remedies for Anal Fissures
The Fissure & Fistula Center of Excellence recommends the following home remedies, in an effort to minimize recurrence and avoid the need for surgical intervention:
1. Add fiber to your diet. Eating about 25 to 30 grams of fiber a day can help keep stools soft and improve fissure healing. Fiber-rich foods include fruits, vegetables, nuts and whole grains. You also can take a fiber supplement. Adding fiber may cause gas and bloating, so increase your intake gradually. Other good sources of fiber include: sesame seeds, hemp seeds, oatmeal as well as pistachios, pecan and all other varieties of raw nuts.
2. Drink adequate fluids. Fluids help prevent constipation, especially when hydrated with water. Try to avoid alcoholic drinks as they can be dehydrating.
3. Exercise regularly. Engage in 30 minutes or more of moderate physical activity, such as walking, most days of the week. Exercise promotes regular bowel movements and increases blood flow to all parts of your body, which may promote healing of an anal fissure.
4. Avoid straining during bowel movements. Straining creates pressure, which can open a healing tear or cause a new tear. Patients can soften their bowel movements by taking a mild laxative for a short time. In the event that constipation does develop, you can do the following:
- Protect your anal canal by lubricating it before each bowel movement by inserting some petroleum jelly into the rectum.
- Go to the toilet as soon as you feel the need, as putting off this action may cause bigger and harder stools to form.
- Keep the area clean by using fragrant-free baby wipes after every bowel movement.
- Use ice packs to relieve discomfort.
- Sit in bowl of warm water (you can add salt to the water) to soothe and relax the area several times a day.
- Keep the area dry. With every shower or bowel movement, gently pat dry.
5. Prevention – Even better than the need for home remedies is the possibility of avoiding anal fissures all together. In order to prevent the discomfort and pain associated with fissures, patients can take measures to prevent constipation. Eating high-fiber foods, drinking fluids, and regular exercise can keep you from having to strain during bowel movements. These simple steps can save you the trouble of anal fissures.
More Treatment Options for Anal Fissures
Our team is a collaborative effort between the Dept. of Gastroenterology and Colorectal Surgery at La Peer. Through their expertise, these doctors can educate you on what works. Call our Los Angeles office today at (888) 512-2312 to schedule an appointment with one of our anal fissure treatment specialists.