An anal fissure is a shallow tear or crack in the skin at the opening of the anus. More than 90% of children with blood in their stools have an anal fissure. Trauma to the anal canal during constipation is the usual cause of anal fissures. The main symptoms are as follows:
- The blood is bright red, and in streaks or flecks.
- The blood is on the surface of the stool or on the toilet tissue after wiping.
- Your child usually passes a large hard bowel movement just before the bleeding starts.
- You may see a shallow tear at the opening of the anus when the buttocks are spread apart (this cannot always be seen).
- Touching the tear causes mild pain.
Warm Baths: Give your child warm baths for 20 minutes, 3 times each day. Have him sit in a basin or tub of warm water with baking soda added. Don’t use any soap on the irritated area. Then gently dry the anal area.
Ointments: If the anus seems irritated, you can apply 1% hydrocortisone ointment. If the pain is severe, apply 2.5% Xylocaine or 1% Nupercainal ointment (no prescription needed) 3 times each day for a few days to numb the area.
Diet: The most important aspect of treatment is to keep your child on a nonconstipating diet. Increase the amounts of fresh fruits and vegetables, beans, and bran products that your child eats. Adding Benefiber or Fibercon can be a helpful. Reduce the amounts of milk products your child eats or drinks including cheese and yogurt. Other constipating foods include bananas, applesauce, and high fat foods. Occasionally, a stool softener is needed temporarily.
Call our office during regular hours if . . .
- The bleeding increases in amount.
- The bleeding occurs more than two times after treatment begins.
- You have other concerns or questions.