What Causes Fissure?

Anal fissure

An anal fissure is a small tear or crack in the lining of the anal canal, which is the last part of the rectum before the anus. These fissures are often painful and can cause discomfort during bowel movements. Several factors can contribute to the development of anal fissures:

  1. Constipation: One of the most common causes of anal fissures is hard, dry, or large stools that are difficult to pass. Straining during bowel movements and the stretching of the anal canal can lead to tears in the lining.
  2. Diarrhea: While constipation is a common cause, frequent and watery bowel movements can also irritate the anal area and contribute to the development of fissures.
  3. Trauma or injury: Physical trauma to the anal area, such as from anal sex, the insertion of foreign objects, or excessive and aggressive wiping after bowel movements, can cause anal fissures.
  4. Chronic constipation or diarrhea: Conditions that lead to persistent constipation or diarrhea, such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), can increase the risk of anal fissures due to the repeated strain on the anal canal.
  5. Anal sphincter muscle problems: Weak or tight anal sphincter muscles can contribute to anal fissures. Tight sphincter muscles can lead to excessive pressure on the anal lining during bowel movements, while weak muscles may not be able to control the passage of stool effectively.
  6. Infections: In some cases, infections in the anal area can lead to inflammation and fissures. Sexually transmitted infections and certain bacterial or fungal infections are examples.
  7. Inflammatory conditions: Inflammatory conditions like Crohn’s disease can affect the anal area and make it more prone to fissures.
  8. Anorectal disorders: Certain anorectal disorders, such as hemorrhoids or anal warts, can increase the likelihood of developing anal fissures.
  9. Age: Infants and elderly individuals are more susceptible to anal fissures. In infants, fissures can be related to diaper rash and the passage of hard stools, while in older adults, changes in the elasticity of the skin and tissues in the anal area may make them more vulnerable.

It’s important to note that anal fissures can cause discomfort, pain, and bleeding during bowel movements. If you suspect you have an anal fissure or experience these symptoms, it’s essential to seek medical attention. Treatment options may include dietary changes, stool softeners, topical ointments, and in some cases, surgical intervention to repair the fissure or address underlying issues. Managing the underlying cause, such as constipation or diarrhea, is crucial for preventing recurrent fissures.

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