Conditions

Anal Fissures

An anal fissure is a rip, tear or ulcer in the lining of the anal canal (which is situated just inside the opening of the anus). It is very common and can occur at any age; in both adults and children. (The picture above displays an anal fissure on an adult.)

Anal fissures can occur during pregnancy, or can form if you are constipated or have had diarrhoea. In children, anal fissures are usually caused by constipation. Often, however, there is no cause for anal fissures.

With symptoms such as sharp, scorching pain in or around the anus, which can last for hours after passing a bowel movement, skin tags, and bleeding when passing stools, it should come as no surprise that they are incredibly painful. But anal fissures do vary in severity, according to factors such as cause and length of time.

An acute anal fissure is a fissure which has been present for less than six weeks and looks like a fresh tear in the skin; a chronic anal fissure is a fissure which has been present for six weeks or more and the edges of the tear will be thickened; a primary anal fissure is a fissure which has no identifiable cause; a secondary anal fissure is a fissure which is caused by an underlying condition.

The good news is that there are several ways anal fissures can be prevented and treated. To avoid yourself, or your child, getting an anal fissure, ensure you eat enough fibre and stay hydrated. If you, or your child, do get an anal fissure, then you can treat it in the following ways: taking over-the-counter painkillers such as paracetamol, ibuprofen or aspirin; using a cream, ointment or suppository that contains a local anaesthetic; and using rectal ointments and medicines prescribed by your GP, such as calcium channel blockers. For more severe cases, botulinum A toxin injections can be given and even surgery. If you, or your child, have an anal fissure which doesn’t begin to heal within a couple of weeks, or which needs treating, or even if you want more advice, don’t hesitate to see your GP.

What the Men in White Coats Say

Comments and Questions

Comments & Questions are now archived, but if you see anything on the site that worries you, please report it and one of our moderators will look at it as soon as possible.
Please note: Unfortunately Channel 4 cannot respond to individual inquiries. If you have any concerns, you can check out NHS Choices, but ultimately it is always best to check with a health professional.

hi, my daughter is 7 years old and she has anal fissure for 2 years now. all the dr has offered me as treatment is stool softners, pain relievers as creams, i tried homeopatic treatments, change of diet, etc. Nothing works. it affects her every day life, she`s resteless and impatient. what do you advise?





This will be published. Surnames, nicknames or usernames are not allowed


Your email address will be kept confidential and will NOT be published – it is only being collected here in case Channel 4 need to contact you in relation to your comment.


Please don’t swear or be rude in your comments, as they will not be added to the site. Please do not use your full name when posting comments. If in doubt, refer to the community guidelines

By posting on this website you are agreeing to abide by our community guidelines

you all seem to have anal problems eat loads of fruit and vegetables and drink loads of water





This will be published. Surnames, nicknames or usernames are not allowed


Your email address will be kept confidential and will NOT be published – it is only being collected here in case Channel 4 need to contact you in relation to your comment.


Please don’t swear or be rude in your comments, as they will not be added to the site. Please do not use your full name when posting comments. If in doubt, refer to the community guidelines

By posting on this website you are agreeing to abide by our community guidelines

I had anal fissure surgery and 3 piles injected just over 4 weeks ago. For about the last 2 weeks, if i neec to do a poo i have to go right that second, i cannot hold it at all resulting in me actually pooing myself about 7 times now. Its getting too much now, is this normal





This will be published. Surnames, nicknames or usernames are not allowed


Your email address will be kept confidential and will NOT be published – it is only being collected here in case Channel 4 need to contact you in relation to your answer.


Please don't swear or be rude in your answers, as they will not be added to the site. Please do not use your full name when posting answers. If in doubt, refer to the community guidelines

Questions submitted to the site will be answered by other site users, not by medical professionals, so if you have a medical concern, please book an appointment with your GP.

By posting on this website you are agreeing to abide by our community guidelines

hii iam 22 yrs male,now a days i am having severe pain when iam sitting on a hard stool or any hard surface.i am not having pain when i go to toilet,but one day i got bleeding.is it a problem of haemorrhoids??





This will be published. Surnames, nicknames or usernames are not allowed


Your email address will be kept confidential and will NOT be published – it is only being collected here in case Channel 4 need to contact you in relation to your comment.


Please don’t swear or be rude in your comments, as they will not be added to the site. Please do not use your full name when posting comments. If in doubt, refer to the community guidelines

By posting on this website you are agreeing to abide by our community guidelines

Hi i'm a 15 year old girl and i just realised that i am bleeding after i been to the toilet and now have a stinging pain i have been bleeding for about a week now but only when i am going to the toilet to pass through I'm really scared and am scared of telling someone and i don't want to go to my GP because its embarrassing i don't know whats causing it the blood is bright red can someone help me please I'm in the same position as you.





This will be published. Surnames, nicknames or usernames are not allowed


Your email address will be kept confidential and will NOT be published – it is only being collected here in case Channel 4 need to contact you in relation to your comment.


Please don’t swear or be rude in your comments, as they will not be added to the site. Please do not use your full name when posting comments. If in doubt, refer to the community guidelines

By posting on this website you are agreeing to abide by our community guidelines

I had dis problem for almost one year,used to bleed fresh while passing stool,I told my docter sis who told me I got anal tear cause of once being constipated and now its like a vicious cycle causing spasm of anal wall to shrink while passing stool instead of relaxing and inturn cause bleeding,and treatment is only that doctor will put both thumbs inside n stretch for a minute to release the spasm and naturally it is a painful procedure so done under GA,,I went for it n since then no bleeding.

dont worry ust tell some one

I'm a 14 year old girl, and I have been dealing with sharp, tearing pain when making BMs, accompanied by bright red blood, for nearly a year. I'm normally very shy, so I have a hard time asking for help with anything or saying something embarrassing. It's becoming too much, the pain, everything. I want help with it but I can't find the courage to tell my parents. Normally I stay in the bathroom for 30 minutes to nearly an hour for a BM, just because of the pain. Please help me, I really want this to be fixed.





This will be published. Surnames, nicknames or usernames are not allowed


Your email address will be kept confidential and will NOT be published – it is only being collected here in case Channel 4 need to contact you in relation to your comment.


Please don’t swear or be rude in your comments, as they will not be added to the site. Please do not use your full name when posting comments. If in doubt, refer to the community guidelines

By posting on this website you are agreeing to abide by our community guidelines

Hello. I am 23 female. I have been having this problem for a few weeks now. I have been diagnosed with SLE lupus not sure if it's due to the condition or not but I have pains in my stomach everyday and I go to the toilet a few times when I do go its very painfull some times there is blood sometimes it's not. The pain is a very sharp knife like pain I am not constipated and afterwards when I'm finished I get a sharp shooting pain feels like I can't wall properly and I can't sit its lasts for around 15 mins then the pain starts to slow down. I am really embarrassed to see my gp what could it be?





This will be published. Surnames, nicknames or usernames are not allowed


Your email address will be kept confidential and will NOT be published – it is only being collected here in case Channel 4 need to contact you in relation to your answer.


Please don't swear or be rude in your answers, as they will not be added to the site. Please do not use your full name when posting answers. If in doubt, refer to the community guidelines

Questions submitted to the site will be answered by other site users, not by medical professionals, so if you have a medical concern, please book an appointment with your GP.

By posting on this website you are agreeing to abide by our community guidelines

I am a 68 year old male, I have had in the past but not recently haemorrhoids. I am passing bright red blood when going to the toilet. I do not experience any pain. I have had this now for three days. I though it would just go away but this has not been the case. What souls I do.





This will be published. Surnames, nicknames or usernames are not allowed


Your email address will be kept confidential and will NOT be published – it is only being collected here in case Channel 4 need to contact you in relation to your comment.


Please don’t swear or be rude in your comments, as they will not be added to the site. Please do not use your full name when posting comments. If in doubt, refer to the community guidelines

By posting on this website you are agreeing to abide by our community guidelines

I have been to the doctors and was told I had solitary rectal ulcer syndrome, told to eat plenty of fruit and drink water I tried this for months and the only thing is this makes my problem worse and I am scared to do this because I will end up spending over 2 hours on toilet or will not be able to go out at all by being on the toilet to much.it seriously taken over my life





This will be published. Surnames, nicknames or usernames are not allowed


Your email address will be kept confidential and will NOT be published – it is only being collected here in case Channel 4 need to contact you in relation to your comment.


Please don’t swear or be rude in your comments, as they will not be added to the site. Please do not use your full name when posting comments. If in doubt, refer to the community guidelines

By posting on this website you are agreeing to abide by our community guidelines

Hi my 7year old keep pooing himself and not knowing he is doing it he goes to the toilet and poo,s regularly but when he dose they are extremely large and long (they don't flush away as they are so big ) he has also started to smear poo on his bedroom wall during the night, even though I make sure his bum is clean when he goes to bed, I have tried everything could this be a medical problem or a sign of ADHD ? please help





This will be published. Surnames, nicknames or usernames are not allowed


Your email address will be kept confidential and will NOT be published – it is only being collected here in case Channel 4 need to contact you in relation to your comment.


Please don’t swear or be rude in your comments, as they will not be added to the site. Please do not use your full name when posting comments. If in doubt, refer to the community guidelines

By posting on this website you are agreeing to abide by our community guidelines


Important Notice

The information provided on this website (including any NHS Choices medical information) is for use as information or for educational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical care by a qualified doctor or other qualified healthcare professional. We do not warrant that any information included within this site will meet your health or medical requirements. This Embarrassing Bodies site does not provide any medical or diagnostic services so you should always check with a health professional if you have any concerns about your health.


If you want to embed our videos in your site, read our embedding T&Cs here


More Information

  1. Constipation

    In Conditions - Constipation means they find gong to the toilet difficult or painfu…

  2. Eating Disorders

    In Conditions - For both anorexic and bulimic kids, weight loss is an obsession. An…

  3. Itchy bottom

    Embarrassing Bodies Kids: Episode 2 - Kaelan comes to the clinic with a suspected anal fissure

  4. Itchy bum

    In Conditions - Itchy bum, or to give it its medical name 'pruritus ani' means an i…

  5. Should We Be Worried? - Behavioural Problems

    In Videos - From hair-chewing to nose-picking, Dr Christian is back to discuss…

  6. Should We Be Worried? - Obesity

    In Videos - Dr Christian Jessen explores childhood obesity and the ways in whic…

  7. Should We Be Worried? - Stomach Complaints

    In Videos - Stomach complaints and nausea, both mild and serious, are Dr Christ…

  8. Urinary Tract Infections

    In Conditions - UTIs are caused when bacteria gets into the urinary tract – t…

  9. Clinic Consultation: Itchy Bottom

    In Videos - A clinic consultation that looks at a possible anal fissure.


More Information

Content supplied by NHS Choices

An anal fissure is a tear or ulcer in the lining of the anal canal, just inside the opening of your anus. They can be very painful, particularly when you are passing stools and for a while afterwards. Anal fissures can also causeminor bleeding, which you may notice in your stools or on your toilet paper. Read More »