An anal fissure is a small slit or tear in the mucosal lining of the rectum. Causes of adult anal fissures include constipation, passing large stools and swelling caused by inflammatory bowel disease. MayoClinic.com reports nearly 90 percent of anal fissures heal without any treatment. Natural remedies aid in symptom relief and allow the fissure to heal quickly. Fissures that do not heal and recur should be examined by a medical professional.
Soak in the bathtub twice a day to relieve pain and itch associated with an anal fissure, suggests MayoClinic.com. Expose the area to warm water for about 15 minutes aids in relief. Do not add bubble bath or perfumed soaps to water; these substances may increase irritation.
Place the sitz bath over a toilet bowel and filled with warm water. Lower the buttocks and hips into the water and soak the rectum in the warm water. Allow any overflow of water to simply fall into the toilet. MayoClinic.com recommends a sitz baths after experiencing a bowel movement. Sitz baths are convenient, if a you are unable to take a bath.
Participate in physical activity; sedentary lifestyles may contribute to constipation and decreased blood flow. Engage in 30 minutes of physical activity daily to prevent bowel movements from hardening and becoming difficult to pass. Passing a hard bowel movement when an anal fissure is present prevents healing, and causes additional tearing. Take on daily activities such as walking the dog, washing the car and even housework such as vacuuming. Drink plenty of water to hydrate the body and decreases the risk of constipation. MayoClinic.com suggests drinking enough water until urine turns light yellow color.
Wipe petroleum jelly to the rectal area to prevent further tearing and promote healing of the anal area. Use a soft tissue to apply the thick ointment to the surrounding rectum and skin as needed for relief. The ointment lubricates and moisturizes the area. In addition to petroleum jelly, when having a bowel movement avoid sitting on the toilet or straining for long periods of time.
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An anal fissure may occur again, and lead to repetitive injuries. An anal fissure that is not healing may require surgery.