What are the most common symptoms of anal fissure?

People who develop anal fissures, which are tears in the skin lining the anus known as the anoderm, typically experience several common symptoms. Although fissures can be painless, most people experience a certain amount of pain from the condition, and it usually worsens during a bowel movement. Another common symptom of a fissure is itching and irritation around the anus. Often the patient will notice blood or discharge from the anus. In some cases, the fissure itself may be visible on the outside of the anus, and a lump or skin tag may develop along the fissure.

Pain is the most common of the anal fissure symptoms, which most patients have to some degree. Typically, the pain from a fissure will increase significantly when the patient has a bowel movement. He or she may feel like there are rips or tears inside the anal canal, or it may sting or burn. The pain can be intense and may take minutes to hours to subside.

For certain patients, the pain may still be present, but significantly less so between bowel movements, while for others it may go away completely. They may also find that the pain increases when they urinate. Some patients may develop constipation if the pain is so severe that they prevent them from moving their bowels.

Itching and irritation are also frequently symptoms of anal fissure. The skin around the anus often becomes tender and sore, and can cause discomfort if touched. You may also develop continuous itching, a condition known as pruritus ani.

In many cases, one of the anal fissure symptoms a patient will have is bleeding. Although the amount of blood is usually minimal, it is often bright red and very noticeable on toilet paper or in stool. Patients who have anal bleeding should notify their doctor immediately. In addition to blood, pus can leak from the tear, so some patients may also notice a foul-smelling discharge from the anus.

While some anal fissures are completely internal and may not be easily visible, it is often possible to see the crack in the skin around the outside of the anus. Patients may see or feel lumps around the fissure. Sometimes a small skin tag, known as a sentinal pile, can also form near the end of the fissure.

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