Anal fissures in children

What is an anal fissure?

An anal fissure is a tear in the skin of the anus that is most often caused by passing very bulky or hard faeces. It can also be due to diarrhoea or straining to pass hard, bulky stools. Babies can get anal fissures if their bottom is wiped too often.

Anal fissures cause pain, especially during defecation. It can make your child refuse to pass faeces, leading to even more pain and screaming.

Symptoms of anal fissure

  • Painful bleeding: usually noticed when bright red blood is found staining the stool on the toilet paper. Your child may be crying or screaming when passing faeces.
  • Anal itching.
  • Painful defecation.
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Diagnosis of anal fissure

You need to see a doctor if your child has been finding it difficult to pass faeces or if you have noticed a tear in his anus or blood on his stool.

The doctor will ask you questions and then do a physical examination, carefully looking at your child’s bottom for signs of tears or bleeding.

Treatment of anal fissures

  • Prevent constipation.
  • Stool softener medicine which make it easier for the baby to pass faeces.
  • Diaper cream or ointment or zinc oxide which helps to reduce itching and pain.
  • Diet changes are important. Your child needs adequate water as well as fruits and vegetables to keep the stools soft and prevent constipation.
  • Avoid dry wipes as they will only cause more irritation. Wet wipes are better. Moreover, make sure you wipe gently.

Outlook

The anal fissure will heal over time as long as the faeces remain soft and the child does not strain while defecating.


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Feel free to ask an Israeli doctor