Anal Fissures – Treatment & Diagnosis | MedStar Health

Definition & symptoms

Anal fissures are tears that occur along the lining of the anal canal. This occurs due to trauma while passing hard stools. A patient may feel anal pain and experience bleeding from the tear.

Risk factors

Risk factors include constipation and straining.


A provider may diagnose this condition by visual examination on rectal exam. Occasionally, an anoscope can be used to visualize how far the fissure extends into the body.

Treatment of anal fissures

Fissures can be prevented by avoidance of constipation with a diet high in fiber and sufficient in water intake. This helps add bulk and softens stools. Many fissures will heal on their own if stools are soft.

A sitz bath may be recommended for symptom relief. Some fissures may heal if laxatives or fiber supplements are prescribed. Additionally, medicated creams may be used. In rare and severe cases, injections and surgery may be indicated.

Our providers

Gastroenterologist examines the stomach of the patient on the table

Expert gastroenterology care

Getting the care you need starts with seeing one of our gastroenterologists.