An anal fissure is a cut or tear in the lining of the anus.
An anal fissure can occur when someone passes a large or hard stool (poop), which stretches the lining of the anus until it tears. It also can happen when frequent diarrhea irritates the lining.
An anal fissure can cause pain or itching in the area, especially during and after bowel movements. You may also see blood on the stool, baby wipes, or toilet tissue.
In infants, anal fissures are very common and tend to heal completely with basic care, including soaks and ointment. In older kids and teens, the cuts can take several weeks or longer to heal and sometimes tear open again.
Preventing constipation and keeping the area clean can help anal fissures heal. Drinking plenty of fluids, taking stool softeners, eating foods with fiber, and exercising regularly can help treat and prevent fissures by making bowel movements easier to pass. Keeping the area clean and applying ointments can relieve pain and speed healing.
Rarely, a fissure doesn't heal. In this case, the doctor may recommend surgery.
All A to Z dictionary entries are regularly reviewed by KidsHealth medical experts.
|American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) The AAP is committed to the health and well-being of infants, adolescents, and young adults. The website offers news articles and tips on health for families.|
|American Academy of Family Physicians This site, operated by the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), provides information on family physicians and health care, a directory of family physicians, and resources on health conditions.|
|Toilet Teaching Your Child Even before your child is ready to try the potty, you can prepare your little one by teaching about the process. Here are some tips.|
|How Do You Treat Pregnancy Hemorrhoids and Constipation? Find out what the experts have to say.|
|Fiber Some of the best and most delicious foods have loads of fiber. Find out how to get your fill of fiber without sacrificing good taste!|
|Fiber and Your Child Many appetizing foods are also good sources of fiber - from fruits to whole-grain cereals. Here are ways to help kids get more fiber in their everyday diets.|
|Constipation Constipation is a very common problem that usually happens because a person's diet doesn't include enough fluids and fiber. In most cases, making simple changes can help you feel better.|
|Constipation Constipation is a very common problem among kids, and it usually occurs because a child's diet doesn't include enough fluids and fiber. In most cases, simple changes can help kids go.|
|A to Z: Procidentia Learn about conditions that affect the rectum, anus, and digestive system.|
|A to Z: Rectal Prolapse Learn about conditions that affect the rectum, anus, and digestive system.|
|Diarrhea Most kids battle diarrhea from time to time, so it's important to know what to do to relieve and even prevent it.|
|Word! Constipation Sometimes your bowel movements - you know, the stuff inside your intestines we call poop - might be hard and dry.|
|Word! Diarrhea If you've ever had a bad time in the bathroom, then you know what this is.|
|Word! Fiber Foods with fiber are really good for you and your bowels!|
|Constipation If you aren't pooping like usual, you could be constipated.|
|Soiling (Encopresis) If your child has bowel movements in places other than the toilet, you know how frustrating it can be. Many kids who soil beyond the years of toilet teaching have a condition known as encopresis.|
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