Before you treat an anal fissure you should begin by understanding what it is. Medically, rectal fissure is a tear in the lining of the anus or lower rectum that causes pain during bowel movements. Good news is that there are home treatments that can do the job as fast as a few days or weeks if you only have acute anal fissure; but if it is a long-term problem or chronic, it will last more than 6 weeks. In chronic cases, you may need to have medicine intake to completely heal it.
As mentioned, home treatments usually takes 4 to 6 weeks. The pain experienced during bowel movements usually dies within a couple days of treatment. How do you treat anal fissure? Home treatment involves “Sitz” bath or sitting in warm water for 20 minutes twice or thrice a day. You can also increase fiber and fluid intake and use stool softeners or laxatives to experience pain-free bowel movements. Laxatives should be consulted with your personal doctor. Treat rectal fissure by using ointments and creams like zinc oxide, Preparation H or “Anusol“. However, evidence proves that fiber and “Sitz” baths help symptoms better than nonprescription creams. The most effective way is to remember not to separate the buttocks; this might slow the process of healing. Another tip is to avoid using toilet paper; use products that are less irritating to the rectal fissure like baby wipes or medicated pads.
Sometimes, home treatments are not the best way, particularly when it has not healed after 6 weeks. This anal fissure condition is already considered chronic and may already need additional treatment or medication. Medicines are usually used for first-line treatment for chronic fissures. Nitroglycerin cream can reduce the pressure in the internal anal muscle or sphincter. 0.2% of the said cream also allows the fissure to heal through massaging into the fissure and the surrounding area. Avoid using a large amount at one time because the cream causes headaches, “light-headedness”, or fainting from low blood pressure. It is best to use gloves when you treat anal fissure with the cream because it may cause side effects to your skin. Other medicines used to treat anal fissure includes “Nifedipine” and “Diltiazem“, which helps by reducing the pressure in the internal anal sphincter; and the “Botulinum” toxin (Botox), which when injected into the internal anal sphincter reduces muscle tension.
When medicines still do not stop the occurrence of symptoms, then it is best if you consult your doctor for possible surgery so you can treat anal fissure. The procedure usually includes the doctor cutting a part of the internal sphincter to relax the spasm that is causing the anal fissure.