Hemorrhoids Vs Anal Fissure: Which Do You Have
The best way to determine whether you are dealing with hemorrhoids or anal fissures is to see your doctor. Medical professionals have the tools and training to review your symptoms, examine the affected area, and make the hemorrhoids vs anal fissure call.
Your treatment will depend on which of these two conditions you have. There’s also a chance that an entirely different issue could be causing your symptoms. An expert’s insight is crucial.
To find a doctor in your area who uses state-of-the-art colorectal treatment techniques, check out our Find a Doctor feature.
As with all medical issues, your physician is the ultimate source as to what procedure best fits your needs. Discuss all options and get a second opinion if you have any doubts. These articles are intended to be a source of general information only.
How To Treat Hemorrhoids And When You Should See Your Doctor
Hemorrhoids are an irritating, often painful condition that occurs when the veins around the anus or lower part of the rectum become swollen and inflamed as a result of too much pressure. External hemorrhoids develop underneath the skin around the anus, while internal hemorrhoids develop in the lining of the tissues.
Hemorrhoids affect about 1 in 20 Americans, and about half of adults over age 50 have them. Age is one factor as we get older, the supporting tissues in the rectum and anus become weaker and more vulnerable to pressure.
Pregnancy also can weaken these tissues, which is why pregnant women often experience hemorrhoids. Other potential causes include chronic constipation or diarrhea, straining during bowel movements and sitting on the toilet for extended periods. Also, frequently lifting heavy objects may increase the likelihood of hemorrhoids.
What are the symptoms of hemorrhoids?
Hemorrhoid symptoms vary depending on whether the inflamed veins are external or internal.
External hemorrhoids may cause itching and pain, especially while seated. Also, you may feel one or more tender lumps around the anal area. Scratching, rubbing or excessively cleaning the area can make symptoms worse.
With internal hemorrhoids, you may notice bright red blood when you have a bowel movement. Internal hemorrhoids are not usually painful unless they fall through the anal opening, called prolapsing.
How are hemorrhoids treated at home?
When to see the doctor
Similarities And Differences In Risk Factors
Bowel movement problems can contribute to both hemorrhoids and anal fissures. Constipation is a particularly common culprit. Hemorrhoids can develop because of the strain and pressure that constipation can place on your rectum. Anal fissures may occur when trying to pass hard stools. Frequent diarrhea can lead to both of these problems, too.
Having a baby could contribute to developing hemorrhoids or fissures. Women may develop hemorrhoids while pregnant because of the extra weight that the baby places on the lower part of the body. Pushing during labor can cause hemorrhoids as well. As for anal fissures, they’re most likely to happen during delivery.
Age is one of the biggest risk-factor differences between hemorrhoids and fissures. In general, people’s risk for hemorrhoids goes up as they get older. Fissures, on the other hand, often happen among young people. Even babies can get fissures, and they’re most common in people between the ages of 20 and 40.
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Similarities And Differences In Treatment
For an external hemorrhoid or a fissure near the anal opening, your doctor may be able to provide a diagnosis with just a quick peek at the area. Sometimes, though, the doctor may need to get a look at the inside of your rectum. A tool called an anoscope is useful for that.
Once a diagnosis is made, you may have a few different options for treatment. For example, you could do some simple at-home care tricks in hopes that your condition will resolve itself.
Keeping your bowel movements soft with water, fiber-rich foods and fiber supplements will allow your rectal canal to heal. Soaking in a warm tub or a sitz bath can provide pain relief for either condition. Over-the-counter pain relievers may be helpful, too.
If you need more intensive treatment, though, the solution will differ depending on which of the two conditions you have.
There are multiple surgical options for hemorrhoids. They include rubber band ligation and laser coagulation to cut off the blood supply to the affected tissue. There’s also hemorrhoidectomy, which is a surgical excision procedure.
The goal of anal fissure surgery isn’t to take the affected tissue out of the body. Rather, it’s to ease muscle tightness and spasms so that the fissure can heal. Your doctor may first recommend using medication or injections to relax the muscle. Also, anal dilation could be used to stretch the rectum. If surgery is needed, it will involve cutting the anal sphincter muscle.
Procedures For Hemorrhoids Treatment
Some hemorrhoids cant be managed with conservative treatments alone, either because symptoms persist or because an internal hemorrhoid has prolapsed. Fortunately, a number of minimally invasive hemorrhoid treatments are available that are less painful than traditional hemorrhoid removal and allow a quicker recovery. These procedures are generally performed in a surgeons office or as outpatient surgery in a hospital.
Band it. The most commonly used hemorrhoid treatment in the United States is rubber band ligation, in which a small elastic band is placed around the base of a hemorrhoid . The band causes the hemorrhoid to shrink and the surrounding tissue to scar as it heals, holding the hemorrhoid in place. It takes two to four procedures, done six to eight weeks apart, to completely eliminate the hemorrhoid. Complications, which are rare, include mild pain or tightness , bleeding, and infection. Other office procedures include laser or infrared coagulation, sclerotherapy, and cryosurgery. They all work on the same principle as rubber band ligation but are not quite as effective in preventing recurrence. Side effects and recurrence vary with the procedure, so consult your physician about whats best for your situation.
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Use Soft Toilet Paper To Wipe After A Bowel Movement
Now is not the time to use the cheap toilet paper because you are trying to save money. You want to use the softest toilet paper you can buy. The less abrasive the toilet paper is when being wiped over the fissure the better.
Charmin Ultra-Soft is one of the best papers on the market and has gotten many great reviews from many people who have personally wiped their own rear ends with it
Garlic And Olive Oil For Hemorrhoids And Fissures
Garlic and olive oil are a pair when it comes to treating hemorrhoids effectively.
Basically to apply a worthy combination you need to administer the garlic like a suppository.
The olive oil will act as a lubricant to facilitate penetration into the anus.
This little-known technique consists of taking at least one clove of garlic and putting it through a garlic blender to form a fairly compact paste that you mix with olive oil and 20 drops of organic witch hazel.
In the end, we will mold suppositories half the size of your little finger and we will put them in Saran wrap or parchment paper.
Just put them in the fridge to solidify and youre done.
To you to put it where you have!
Sometimes just drinking olive oil can relieve many ailments concerning the digestive system.
It is true that it is not the best solution to relieve them and that its effectiveness is less than other uses of olive oil but it relieves enormously especially hemorrhoids which are accentuated by a problem of constipation.
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Symptoms Of Thrombosed External Hemorrhoids
External hemorrhoids can be felt as bulges at the anus, but they usually cause few of the symptoms that are typical of internal hemorrhoids.
External hemorrhoids can cause problems, however, when blood clots inside them. This is referred to as thrombosis. Thrombosis of such a hemorrhoid causes an anal lump that is
- very painful,
- tender, and
- often requires medical attention.
The thrombosed hemorrhoid may heal with scarring, and leave a tag of skin protruding in the anus. Occasionally, the tag is large, which can make anal hygiene difficult or irritate the anus. Even after such a hemorrhoid goes away, a residual skin tag may remain, and this may need to be surgically removed.
What Questions Should I Ask My Doctor
You may want to ask your healthcare provider:
- Why did I get hemorrhoids?
- What is the best treatment for me?
- What lifestyle changes can I make to keep from getting hemorrhoids again?
- When will symptoms improve?
- Should I look out for signs of complications?
A note from Cleveland Clinic
An estimated 15 million Americans have sought treatments for hemorrhoids at some point in their lives. But many more suffer needlessly. Dont be too embarrassed to talk to your healthcare provider about your symptoms. If hemorrhoids cause pain or discomfort, your provider has treatments that can help. You can also take steps to keep hemorrhoids from coming back.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 01/18/2021.
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What Are Anus Fissures
An anus or anal fissure is a small tear or cut in the tissue lining of the anus and it can extend up the anal canal. 250, 000 new cases of anal fissures are diagnosed annually and it affects people of all ages, mostly infants and children.
The symptoms of anal fissures include:
- Severe pain during bowel movements
- Pain may last for several hours after a bowel movement
- Blood on the toilet paper or in the toilet after passing stool
- A skin tag or lump on the skin next to the anal fissure
- A burning or itching sensation in the anal area
- An apparent tear in the skin around the asmoothnus
- Spasms in the anal sphincter
- An unpleasant-smelling discharge out of the anus
If these symptoms last after 8-12 weeks, it is considered as a chronic anal fissure.
Who Is At Risk For An Anal Fissure
Certain factors raise the risk for anal fissures, including:
- Constipation with straining to pass hard stool
- Eating a low-fiber diet
- Intense diarrhea
- Any inflammatory condition of the anal area.
Anal fissures may also result from inflammatory bowel disease, surgery or other medical treatments that affect bowel movements or the anus.
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What Are The Best Home Remedies For An Anal Fissure
Like a cut on the skin, the anal fissure needs time to heel. The goal of in-home treatment is to prevent constipation and hard bowel movements that will put more strain on the fissure. Relaxing the anal sphincter will also help the fissure to heal.
Warm Bath With Epsom Salt
Warm baths can help soothe irritation from hemorrhoids. Try using a sitz bath a small plastic tub that fits over a toilet seat so you can just immerse the affected area or take a bath in a tub, if you can.
Try a warm bath or a sitz bath for 20 minutes after each bowel movement. Adding Epsom salt to the bath can provide further relief by reducing pain.
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Surgical Treatment For Anal Fissures
If you have a chronic anal fissure, you may need to see a rectal surgeon. The first option may be to inject your anal sphincter with a medication called Botox to relax the muscle and prevent spasms. This treatment is 50 to 80 percent successful. If all else fails, a surgical procedure may be needed to cut the anal sphincter muscle, called a sphincterotomy. Although this procedure is rarely needed, it is successful over 90 percent of the time.
Healing Your Anal Fissure
Most anal fissures heal on their own with conservative treatments. For our patients, treatment focuses on softening stools and preventing constipation. In addition to recommending a stool softener, we also encourage drinking plenty of water and adding fiber-rich foods to your diet.
Soaking in warm water a sitz bath for 10 to 20 minutes several times a day may help relax your anal sphincter, prevent the muscle spasms, and promote healing of the tear.
If your anal fissure fails to heal within eight weeks, we may recommend more aggressive treatment such as surgery to stop the muscle spasms, thereby allowing the tear to heal.
Ignoring the warning signs of a rectal disorder like anal fissures wont make them go away. Let us help. Call our office at 636-228-3136 to schedule your consultation with Dr. Clemens, or book online today.
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Anus Fissure Vs Hemorrhoid
Hemorrhoids, or piles, are the inflamed veins, whereas anal fissures are small tears of the lining or skin in and around the anus.
Hemorrhoids may cause fissures to form, as the difficulty of passing a hard stool can tear the lining, resulting in a fissure.
The best way to know which one you may have is to know the difference between the two.
Internal hemorrhoids are undetectable, but you may see blood covering your stool or when you wipe.
External hemorrhoids are small bumps outside of the anal area, as they are the swollen veins beneath the skin.
Fissures are tears, and while you will notice discomfort and bleeding if you dont feel bumps to go along with these symptoms, chances are you likely have an anal fissure.
We hope you can now figure out if you have an anal fissure or hemorrhoid. If you still have questions, read on to learn more about your treatment options for both.
Anal Fissures: Small Tears
Unusual bowel movements, including hard stools and diarrhea, can cause the tender lining of the anus to tear. These tears are called anal fissures. In addition to constipation and diarrhea, other risk factors for fissures include having inflammatory bowel disease, being overweight or being of an advanced age.
Anal fissures are painful. They especially hurt when passing stool, and the pain can last for hours afterward. It is often experienced as a throbbing sensation.
Fissures can also itch uncomfortably. Plus, you may notice blood when you wipe or spot blood in the toilet bowl.
To see a diagram of a fissure, watch the video “Anal Fissure–3D Medical Animation.”
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Is Vaseline Good For Fissures
Vaseline is a wound protectant. Applied over a small cut, it speeds healing by protecting the wound from further injury or contamination while providing a moist environment to heal. An anal fissure looks like a cut, but it is caused by the tissue being pulled apart. While Vaseline can provide symptom relief, the goal of anal fissure treatment is to keep the tear from being pulled apart. This is accomplished by softening the stools or relaxing the anal sphincter.
Conventional Treatment For Hemorrhoids
When you go to see a doctor for enlarged hemorrhoids, he or she will look at your anus to see if its inflamed and whether the hemorrhoids come out of the anus when you push or if theyre already outside. Depending on the severity of your symptoms, there are a number of examinations your doctor may choose to perform in order to make a diagnosis. Doctors typically do a digital rectal examination first, which involves gently inserting a finger into the anus with gloves and lubricant. The doctor will feel the inside of the anal canal using circular movements, which allows him to examine the sphincter muscles and the texture of the membranes lining the anus.
If your doctor believes that you do have enlarged hemorrhoids, she will most likely perform a proctoscopy next. This involves inserting a short tube with a light and lens on it that exams the membranes lining the rectum. The doctor is looking to see if there are enlarged hemorrhoids and how big they are. People tend to fear the pain and discomfort that come with these procedures, but they usually dont hurt and do help your doctor make suggestions about how to get rid of hemorrhoids.
Most of the patients suffering from hemorrhoids have their symptoms alleviated through diet therapy, fiber supplements, hemorrhoid cream and medical treatments, such as sclerotherapy, rubber band ligation and infrared coagulation.
The symptoms that indicate the presence of an anal fissure include:
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Honey And Olive Oil For Hemorrhoids
For quick relief, apply honey mixed with an equivalent amount of olive oil directly to the area to be treated and massage gently, several times a day.
Half a teaspoon of each of the two ingredients will be enough for each use.
You can apply this formula several times a day by having care to clean the intimate part with cold water.
Whom Do Hemorrhoids Affect
Although most people think hemorrhoids are abnormal, almost everyone has them. Hemorrhoids help control bowel movements. Hemorrhoids cause problems and can be considered abnormal or a disease only when the hemorrhoidal clumps of vessels enlarge.
Hemorrhoids occur in almost everyone, and an estimated 75% of people will experience enlarged hemorrhoids at some point. However only about 4% will go to a doctor because of hemorrhoid problems. Hemorrhoids that cause problems are found equally in men and women, and their prevalence peaks between 45 and 65 years of age.
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