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Practice Healthy Bowel Habits

These tips can help lessen constipation and strain on the anal canal. Check these habits regularly to lower your risk of getting a painful anal fissure:

  • When using the bathroom, give yourself enough time to pass bowel movements comfortably. But don't sit on the toilet too long.
  • Don’t strain while passing stools.
  • Keep the anal area dry.
  • Gently clean yourself after each bowel movement.
  • Use soft, dye-free, and scent-free toilet paper or wipes.
  • Get treatment for ongoing diarrhea.

If you have other conditions that contribute to anal fissures -- like Crohn’s disease or IBS, for examples -- stay on top of your treatment.

Ask Your Doctor About Laxatives

If adding fiber to your diet and taking fiber supplements aren't enough to treat constipation, laxatives may help. Some work in different ways.

Considered the safest kind of laxative, bulk-forming laxatives, or fiber supplements, increase your stools by allowing them to absorb and hold fluid. They also encourage contractions in the colon to move stools along. Bulk-forming laxatives include calcium polycarbophil, methylcellulose, psyllium, or wheat dextrin. You take them with water.

Other types of laxatives can help by:

  • Increasing the amount of water in the intestines
  • Lubricating stools so they can move more easily (mineral oil)
  • Drawing or pulling water into the colon
  • Stimulating the muscles in the intestines to speed up bowel movements

Ask your doctor which kind of laxative -- if any -- is right for you, and how long you should take it.

Frequent Diaper Changes for Infants

Babies can get anal fissures, too. Change your baby's diaper often, and get medical help if she shows any signs of constipation.