Blood manifestations in the stool can warrant concern on the part of the affected individual. Although these bloody stools can mean anything from tears in the anus or gastrointestinal tract diseases. Most people will panic immediately and take this as a sign of colon cancer when in fact there are other rectal disorders out there.
It is important to note that not all blood in stool is connected with cancer. It could be other cases like anal fissure. If a person has anal fissure, it means that there is a small tear or split in the skin of his/her anus. This can be really painful and many people complain as well of finding blood in their underwear or in the toilet paper they used.
Possible causes of anal fissure
Anal fissure is caused by over-stretching of the anal mucosa. This usually happens if a person is constipated, especially if he/she is exerting too much effort to get rid of the stool. This can also happen to women who recently gave birth because child delivery causes the anal mucosa to stretch beyond its capacity. But in both adults and babies, constipation is the top cause for having anal fissure.
Aside from that, a decrease in the blood supply in the anal mucosa can also lead to anal fissure. Once blood supply is low, this can cause spasms in the anal sphincter. These spasms can put unnecessary force in the anal area, thereby resulting to tears or splits along the skin.
Anal fissures can also be caused by anal sex, tuberculosis, and syphilis, although cases coming from these causes are very rare.
Signs and symptoms
Some of the symptoms of anal fissure may include the following:
- Severe pain during bowel movement
- Lasting pain after stool passing that lasts for a couple of hours
- Red blood in the stool
- Irritation and itching along the anus area.
- Skin tag or lump near the anus
- Visible crack in the anus
If a person began to feel any of the following signs, a visit to a physician is very much advised. The doctor will prescribe medications that will address constipation, lessen the spasms, or determine if surgery is needed.
Addressing and treating anal fissure
Most of anal fissure cases go undetected during the early weeks as most people tend to dismiss the early symptoms that they feel such as pain in bowel movements. Some anal fissures are also difficult to detect because they resemble paper cut, thereby they are too small to be seen. There are also some tears that heal on their own. The following methods can heal most cases of anal fissures:
- Taking stool softeners and medications to lessen constipation
- Cleansing the affected area more frequently with the use of gentle cleansers and clean water to lessen complications
- Using muscle relaxants that can be applied on the skin
- Sitz baths may also help a lot
If anal fissures were caused by constipation, the physician will recommend certain medications to address constipation. This will help a person pass stool easily so that the pressure in the anal area will be lessened. This will help heal the tears along the anal mucosa. But for worse cases, surgery is needed to relief discomfort.
Prevention of anal fissure
Treating constipation promptly is the best way to avoid first onset of anal fissure. This condition generally heals given a few weeks time, but for some people it may lead to chronic anal fissure. Calling a health-care provider and seeking for his/her advice is needed if a person begins to feel symptoms.