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Medically Approved

How to heal a fissure fast

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SymptomsTreatment optionsPreventionSeeking helpSummary
Acute or mild anal fissures can heal quickly with stool-softening medications, topical ointments, and injections. These treatments can help soothe and relax the surrounding muscles.
Medically reviewed by Cynthia Taylor Chavoustie, MPAS, PA-C
Written by D. M. Pollock
Updated on

An anal fissure is a surface-level tear in the skin that surrounds your anus, which causes sharp pains when you pass a stool. This pain can last for hours afterward.

Anal fissures can be acute or chronic. Acute anal fissures can look like a paper cut and often heal quickly after symptoms of constipation go away. They can heal fast with at-home remedies and noninvasive treatment, such as pain-relieving topical ointments.

Chronic anal fissures are more severe and can form deeper and larger tears that last for several weeks. Treatment options like topical ointments are often ineffective. Doctors may recommend botulinum toxin (Botox) injections or surgery to treat chronic anal fissures.

What are the symptoms of a fissure?

Person holding a stream of toilet paper up against a blue background to depict healing a fissure quickly.
PhotoAlto/Michele Constantini/Getty Images

Common symptoms and signs to look for if you suspect you have a fissure include:

  • Pain during defecation: While passing a stool, you will notice a sharp pain. Often, in the hours following defecation, you may notice a burning sensation. The pain might radiate outwards to your hips or lower back.
  • Bleeding: After defecation, you might notice blood on the toilet paper after you wipe or in the toilet bowl.
  • Itching: This can happen in the area surrounding your anus and may be on and off.

If you use the toilet less because you are worried about the pain from defecation, this can make your symptoms worse and increase your chances of constipation. Delaying using the bathroom can make your stools harder, which can worsen a fissure.

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How can you heal a fissure fast?

Acute anal fissures typically heal within 6 weeks. Treatment options such as topical creams and lifestyle measures can help with the healing process.

Topical treatments

Certain topical medications are effective for managing pain and can help heal the injured area.

These topical treatments include:

  • Topical pain relievers: Prescription pain relief like lidocaine (Lidoderm) can provide relief from fissures. Sometimes, lidocaine topical creams include the steroid hydrocortisone (Cortef). Doctors do not recommend narcotic creams for anal fissures.
  • Nitroglycerin ointment (Rectiv): This prescription cream helps heal fissures by relaxing the sphincter muscle (which surrounds the anus) and increasing blood flow to the area of injury. You should apply this ointment 2–3 times a day for 3 weeks.
  • Calcium channel blockers: Topical medications like diltiazem hydrochloride (Cardizem) help fissures heal faster. They are more effective at treating anal fissures than their oral tablet counterparts.
  • Botulinum toxin (Botox): Receiving injections of botulinum toxin into your anal sphincter promotes relaxation of the muscles and encourages quicker healing of chronic anal fissures. This injection can completely heal fissures in up to 80% of people.

If you need help covering the cost of medications, the free Optum Perks Discount Card could help you save up to 80% on prescription drugs. Follow the links on drug names for savings on that medication, or search for a specific drug here.

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Lifestyle measures

You can take steps at home to encourage faster healing of acute anal fissures. These include:

  • drinking plenty of water to loosen stools
  • making sure you regularly use the bathroom
  • avoiding food that may be difficult to digest, such as nuts
  • using moistened cloths to wipe instead of toilet paper
  • avoiding straining when defecating

If you have a fissure that lasts longer than 6 weeks or is particularly deep and painful, you may have a chronic fissure and should speak with a doctor as soon as possible. Chronic anal fissures do not heal quickly and may require surgery to treat.

How can you prevent a fissure?

You can take several steps to try and reduce the risk of an anal fissure.

These include:

  • drinking plenty of water
  • eating a diet high in fiber, or taking a fiber supplement
  • exercising regularly to reduce your chance of constipation
  • keeping your anal region dry and clean
  • treating diarrhea quickly

When should you see a doctor?

If you notice blood when you wipe or in the toilet bowl after going to the bathroom, speak with a healthcare professional. Pain during defecation is also a sign that you may need medical assistance.

A doctor can prescribe you medication to help heal an acute fissure faster. If the pain persists for longer than 6 weeks, you may have a chronic fissure. These can be more difficult to treat and may require medical intervention beyond topical creams, such as surgery.


Treatments for a fissure range from at-home lifestyle steps like drinking plenty of water, using a moist cloth to wipe after defecation, and applying prescription-only topical creams. Some of these creams directly help heal a fissure quickly by increasing blood flow to the area of injury.

You can help prevent an anal fissure by drinking plenty of water and ensuring you’re getting enough fiber in your diet.

If you suspect you have an anal fissure, speak with a doctor as soon as possible. The sooner you take action to treat it, the quicker it will heal. It will also help prevent the fissure from worsening.

Download the free Optum Perks Discount Card to save up to 80% on some prescription medications.

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