Advice for prevention and treatment

Anytime you have pain, bleeding and itching in your anal area, you’re going to worry.

First, these are all uncomfortable sensations — there’s no getting around that. And second, they can be scary and make you wonder, “What’s going on?”

Many patients will assume hemorrhoids are to blame, but colorectal surgeon Massarat Zutshi, MD, says there’s another common culprit behind symptoms such as these: anal fissures.

Anal fissures are small tears in the skin around your anus. They commonly cause itching and bleeding, and they tend to cause more pain than most types of hemorrhoids. When you have these symptoms, a doctor can help you get an accurate diagnosis — and the right kind of relief.

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