An anal fissure occurs when there is a split in the anal mucosa or skin, leaving the underlying muscle exposed. Anal fissures can be painful and difficult to heal, as they are continually irritated with each bowel motion.
Anal fissures are typically classified into the below sub-types:
- Acute – occurs through constipation, difficult bowel motions and over-straining. The fissure tends to heal when bowel motions ease.
- Chronic – these fissures occur due to an issue with the sphincter muscle. When the muscle doesn’t relax adequately following a bowel motion, an anal fissure can develop and become further irritated bowel motion. Chronic anal fissures commonly require surgical treatment.