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Self Care Treatment of Anal Fissures

Good News: Most Fissures Respond Well to Home Care


Updated June 11, 2014

Written or reviewed by a board-certified physician. See About.com's Medical Review Board.

Self Care Treatment of Anal Fissures
Photo © A.D.A.M.

Anal fissures can be quite uncomfortable, causing such symptoms as pain and itching. Fortunately, most anal fissures respond well to home care and will heal within a few weeks. Once you have been seen by your doctor to be sure that your symptoms are indeed caused by a fissure, you can follow these simple steps to treat the affected area, bring about symptom relief and promote healing.

1. Do your best to eat a high-fiber diet. Increasing your fiber intake will help your body to form softer, easier to pass stools.

2. Try an over-the-counter stool softener.

3. Clean the area gently with a cotton ball soaked in warm saline solution after each bowel movement and before bed.

4. Take regular sitz baths. Placing your anal area in warm water will help increase blood flow to the area and promote healing. You may find that taking a sitz bath right after a bowel movement is especially soothing.

5. Try an over-the-counter topical hydrocortisone cream or ointment. Follow package directions and gently dab the medication onto the affected area.

6. Avoid using topical pain-relieving creams as they may slow the healing process.

7. Avoid eating spicy foods, which, according to some evidence, will exacerbate pain and itching.

8. See your doctor again if your symptoms do not clear up within a few weeks.


Cheung, O. & Wald, A. "The management of pelvic floor disorders" Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics 2004 19:481-495.

Greenwald, D. "Common Disorders of the Anus and Rectum: Hemorrhoids and Fissures" The American College of Gastroenterology Accessed July 6, 2011.

Madalinski, M. "Identifying the best therapy for chronic anal fissure" World Journal of Gastrointestinal Pharmacology and Therapeutics 2011 2:9-16.

DISCLAIMER: The information contained on this site is for educational purposes only and should not be used as a substitute for diagnosis or treatment rendered by a licensed physician. It is essential that you discuss with your doctor any symptoms or medical problems that you may be experiencing.

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