Anal Fissure

Anal Fissure

An anal fissure is a shallow tear or crack in the skin at the opening of the anus. More than 90% of children with blood in their stools have an anal fissure. The main symptoms are as follows:

  • The blood is bright red.
  • The blood is only a few streaks or flecks.
  • The blood is on the surface of the stool or on the toilet tissue after wiping.
  • Your child usually passes a large or hard bowel movement just before the bleeding starts.
  • You may see a shallow tear at the opening of the anus when the buttocks are spread apart, usually at 6 or 12 o’clock. (A tear cannot always be seen.)
  • Touching the tear causes mild pain.

Anal Fissure Cause

Trauma to the anal canal during constipation is the usual cause of anal fissures.

Expected Course

Bleeding from a fissure stops on its own in 5 or 10 minutes.

Home Care

Warm Saline Baths. Give your child warm baths for 20 minutes, 3 times each day. Have turn sit in a basin or tub of warm water with about 2 ounces of table salt or baking soda added. Don’t use any soap on the irritated area. Then gently dry the anal area.

Ointments. If the anus seems irritated, you can apply 1% hydrocortisone ointment (nonprescription). If the pain is severe, apply 2 1/2% Xylocaine or 1 % Nupercainal ointment (no prescription needed) 3 times each day for a few days to numb the area.

Diet. The most important aspect of treatment is to keep your child on a non-constipating diet. Increase the amounts of fresh fruits and vegetables, beans, and bran products that your child eats. Reduce the amounts of milk products your child eats or drinks.

Occasionally, a stool softener (such as mineral oil) is needed temporarily.

CALL OUR OFFICE During regular hours if:

  • The bleeding increases in amount.
  • The bleeding occurs more than two times after treatment begins.
  • You have other concerns or questions.