An anal fissure is a tear in the skin around the opening of the anus, commonly caused by constipation or trauma to the area.
The main symptom is usually a sudden and severe, sharp pain in or around the anus which can travel up into the back passage (rectum) and last for several seconds.
Fissures can be treated by changes to diet and lifestyle to encourage the healing of the fissure and avoid future constipation. Creams and ointments can also be prescribed by your GP if necessary.
If symptoms are unexplained or do not resolve on their own, you should discuss your concerns with your GP.