Anal fissures and hemorrhoids: understanding the connection
While anal fissures and hemorrhoids are different issues, they share similar symptoms and can occur together. Both conditions involve discomfort in the anal area and can cause pain and bleeding.
Understanding the connection between anal fissures and hemorrhoids is crucial for proper diagnosis, treatment, and prevention.
What are anal fissures?
Anal fissures are small tears or cracks that develop in the lining of the anal canal. These fissures can occur due to various factors, including strain during bowel movements, chronic constipation, diarrhea, or childbirth.
While anal fissures can be uncomfortable, the good news is that they often heal on their own within a few weeks with proper self-care and lifestyle changes.
If symptoms persist or worsen, however, see a health care provider for evaluation and treatment.
Anal fissures vs. hemorrhoids
While anal fissures and hemorrhoids can share symptoms, they are distinct conditions with separate causes and treatments. Let’s look at the differences between the two.
Anal fissures are small tears or cracks in the lining of the anal canal. They often occur due to straining during bowel movements, chronic constipation, or diarrhea.
The most common symptoms of anal fissures include the following:
- Pain during bowel movements
- Itching or burning sensation during bowel movements
- Blood in the feces (poop)
These fissures can heal on their own with self-care measures, such as maintaining proper hygiene, using over-the-counter creams, and making dietary changes to promote regular bowel movements.
Hemorrhoids, on the other hand, are swollen blood vessels located in the lower rectum or anus.
They can develop due to increased pressure in the rectal area, which can occur during pregnancy, straining during bowel movements, or prolonged sitting.
Symptoms of hemorrhoids include the following:
- Anal itching
- Pain or discomfort, especially while sitting
- Swelling around the anus
You can manage hemorrhoids with over-the-counter creams, warm baths, and a high-fiber diet.
In some cases, medical intervention may be necessary, including minimally invasive procedures or surgery.
Consult with a health care professional at your local CityMD urgent care for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment plan.
Anal fissure and hemorrhoid treatments
No one wants to live with the discomfort of anal fissures or hemorrhoids. Fortunately, treatment options are available to help manage each condition — and sometimes both — effectively.
Anal fissure treatments
- Self-care measures. Proper anal hygiene, keeping the area clean and dry, and using over-the-counter creams or ointments are common ways to treat fissures.
- Dietary changes. A high-fiber diet, staying hydrated, and avoiding straining during bowel movements may help.
- Surgical procedures. In rarer cases, anal fissures can be treated with surgery.
- Sitz bath. Soaking in a warm bath can help ease discomfort.
- Self-care measures. These include warm sitz baths, over-the-counter creams, and moist wipes for relief and gentle cleansing.
- Lifestyle changes. A high-fiber diet, staying hydrated, and avoiding prolonged sitting or straining during bowel movements goes a long way toward healing.
- Rubber band ligation. This procedure involves placing a rubber band around the base of the hemorrhoid to cut off the blood supply and promote shrinkage.
- Sclerotherapy. This is an injection of a chemical solution into the hemorrhoid to reduce blood flow and shrink the hemorrhoid.
- Minimally invasive procedures. Coagulation treatments use laser or infrared light or heat to shrink hemorrhoids.
- Surgery. Reserved for severe cases or when other treatments are ineffective, surgery involves removing the hemorrhoid.
Every patient is different and requires an individualized treatment plan. It’s important to consult a health care professional for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment options.
Treat hemorrhoids and anal fissures at CityMD
By recognizing anal fissure and hemorrhoid symptoms, seeking a proper diagnosis, and exploring appropriate treatments, you can achieve relief.
Don’t suffer in silence. Visit your local CityMD urgent care to receive the attention and guidance you deserve. Our dedicated team is ready to provide comprehensive evaluations, personalized treatment plans, and ongoing support. Your well-being is our priority, and we're here to help you every step of the way.
We’re ready to care for you.
Visit any CityMD urgent care location in your community today for an evaluation with one of our expert providers.