How to Treat Anal Fissures at Home
by Jane Chitty
Anal fissures can be extremely painful when passing a stool. It is only natural that anyone suffering from these cuts is not going to want to pass a stool when they know it will cause so much discomfort. Fortunately, you can start early treatment at home.
An anal fissure is a tear in the lining of the anus. This can happen to anyone at any age. You might notice a little blood on the toilet paper after a difficult bowel movement but many anal fissures will heal on the own.
More stubborn fissures should heal within a couple of weeks with self help treatment at home.
The main aim of home treatment is to ease the pain and to keep bowel movements soft whilst the healing process continues. Ensuring the stools are as soft as possible for a “smooth passage” is first on the list. Here are some tips to keep bowel movements soft:
- Take a mild laxative while adding dried fruit such as sultanas or prunes to your diet.
- Change to a high bulk diet with plenty of fruit, vegetables and whole grain cereals such as brown rice and oatmeal.
- Drink at least 6 to 8 glasses of fluids per day (preferably water) as some of this liquid will be passed out in the gut and help to soften the stools. Remember that alcoholic drinks can be dehydrating.
- Avoid all processed and refined foods including sugars and sodas.
- Try to exercise regularly.
Once you have constipation under control, always go to the toilet as soon as you feel the need. Putting off this action may cause bigger and harder stools to form and these would be more difficult to pass later. Think about changing the way you sit on the toilet seat.
Try putting a small footstool in front of you so that your legs are lifted a foot or so off the ground. This will put you into a squatting position rather than a sitting one.
Here are other home treatment suggestions:
- Keep the anus area very clean. Sit in a bath or bowl of warm water for 15 minutes at a time several times per day for hygienic reasons as well as to soothe and relax the area.
- Wipe the anal area with soft unscented toilet paper, fragrant-free baby wipes or medicated wipes with witch hazel after using the toilet and gently pat dry.
- Apply petroleum jelly to the anus to soothe and to help with bowel movements. If you prefer not to use a petroleum product, look for a natural jelly online or make your own. There is a recipe set out below.
- Various over-the-counter medications can help, such as hydro-cortisone cream, to relieve irritation or choose a numbing ointment to help relieve pain. A mild oral pain reliever can also be useful.
- Avoid any topical medications that require a prescription as these tend to be harsh and come with possible side effects.
There are also several natural products available online that will treat the symptoms of anal fissures in a gentle and safe way.
Recipe for All-Natual Vaseline-Type Jelly to Treat Anal Fissure
This recipe is for an all-natural Vaseline-type jelly but minus any petroleum:
- Place 1 oz. of beeswax in the top of a double boiler and heat slowly until it melts. Don’t put beeswax in the microwave or in a standard saucepan, as it is flammable when exposed to direct heat.
- Remove the melted wax from heat and squeeze the oil from 6 x 400 IU vitamin E capsules into the wax. Vitamin E has antioxidant properties which nourish and protect your skin while acting as a natural preservative to prolong the shelf life of your petroleum jelly.
- Stir in 1/2 cup of extra virgin or cold pressed sweet almond oil. Stir the ingredients constantly as the mixture cools and thickens.
- While still slightly warm, scoop the jelly mixture into a dark glass jar and leave unsealed to cool completely.
- Keep in a cool, dark place or in your refrigerator. Use it as you would use commercial petroleum jelly.
Changing to healthier lifestyle choices along with the self care measures described above will help the healing process while reducing the pain of anal fissures. Remember not to fall back into old habits again because, once you have suffered from anal fissures, there will be a tendency for them to recur.
(Jane Chitty writes regularly for Healing Natural Oils, a producer and retailer of high-quality, all-natural treatments for a variety of conditions (including acne, arthritis, moles, warts skin tags and many more) using specially formulated essential oil blends. Jane lives in Cape Town, South Africa but is able to spend some time in both the USA and the UK because of close family living there. She loves to compare natural treatments and lifestyles – especially in the areas of health, green living and nutrition – in these three very different countries. Her daily posts can be found at www.amoils.com/health-blog.)