A fissure refers to skin that is cracked or torn. It is a common condition where the skin pulls apart. Fissures can be dangerous when the skin separates more and develop into large wounds called as ulcers. Ulcers can distress not only the skin but also the underlying tissues. There are two frequently found fissures. They are anal fissures and foot fissures.
Anal fissures are skin cracks in the lining of the last section of the digestive system named as anus. This is through where the body wastes are passed out after the digestion process is complete. There are many reasons that cause anal fissures. Some are listed below:
- Suffering extended diarrhea
- long-drawn-out constipation
- difficultly in bowel movements
- Poor hygiene
- Anal sex and sexually transmitted diseases
- Overly tensed sphincter muscles around the anus
- vaginal childbirth
- Cancer of the rectum
- inflammatory diseases
Symptoms for anal fissure are:
- Anal pain throughout bowel movements
- Blood in stool
- Burning and itching sensation around the anus
- Visible cracks or tears around the anus
- Redness and precipitation from the fissures
Anal fissures are diagnosed by a physician through a visual exam. The doctor uses an instrument named as anoscope to visualize the rectum and anus carefully. It also helps the doctor to find the underlying cause for the formation of fissures and any other medical conditions like hemorrhoids if any. Once diagnosed, treatments are determined depending on the reason for the formation of fissures. Patients are educated with proper cleaning formats to maintain hygiene if the fissure was developed in poor cleaning habits. If the patients have constant diarrhea or prolonged constipation then meditation are provided to ease the symptoms. Doctors prescribe medication such as creams and tablets to ease the pain and heal the fissures. Also changing the dietary habits helps in relieving the pain such as consuming more fluids and including fiber rich food. Taking a warm bath also relaxes the anal muscles.
In more severe cases, doctors prescribe a calcium channel blocker ointment or botox injections to quicken the healing process of fissures. If such treatments fail to activate the healing process, then doctors suggest an anal sphincterotomy. This surgical technique includes making a small incision in the anal area to relax the muscle which in response help and fasten the relaxation of muscles around the anal fissure thereby helping to heal.
Commonly known as cracked heals are formed on the back of the heels. Poor blood circulation and dryness are the main causes for foot fissures. They appear as small tears on the back side on both the heels. If not treated they become very prominent and visible and have chances to get infected.
Foot fissures can be treated easily with any hydrating creams that heal the dryness. Also wearing shoes that are not too tight and allows air passage helps in healing the fissures quickly. For infected fissures, doctors recommend to intake antibiotics to help heal faster.