Last Modified on Sep 27, 2013
What is a Fissure?
A fissure is simply a groove or trough in some body part. There are plenty of natural and healthy fissures in the body from the brain to the bones. However, painful and dangerous skin fissures are also possible. These tears in the body's protective covering can be painful and permit pathogens like bacteria and viruses to more easily gain entrance to the body, potentially causing infection and greater health issues. Common fissures include anal fissures, heel fissures, and skin fissures wherever you experience severely dry, cracked skin.
Skin fissures, especially heel fissures, can also be a side effect of an uncontrolled diabetic condition. These can be especially concerning if coincidental with neuropathy in that area, since the diabetic may not even feel pain caused by the torn skin. Infection and secondary health issues are more likely in this sort of case.
Natural Remedies to Cure or Heal Chronic Fissures
Since fissures can indicate nutrient deficiencies, an improved diet and dietary supplements may help restore your skin health. Omega-3 fatty acids can improve skin moisture levels, preventing future skin fissures. Proper hydration is necessary for healthy skin, and exercise can improve the look and tone of skin as well. Using a natural skin lotion such as almond oil or coconut oil for fissure treatment can further hydrate and protect weak, dry, or broken skin.
Alkaline Food Diet
[YEA] 10/24/2009: Sam from Adelaide, South Australia: "I am now healing well and pain free after suffering from a Chronic Fissure for 3 months after the birth of my child. For 6 weeks of that time I was in agonising pain for 2 - 6 hours every day after a BM. I finally had the surgery and expected everything to be fine after. It wasn't. That night after the day surgery the pain was no better plus I was bleeding and had to be taken to emergency via ambulance. I was administered constipating pain killers and three days later had to be re-admitted to hospital for an enema. I then sought natural alternatives which have helped me recover. There is no easy option to recovery. It has been very trying at times but I am now able to work and care for my daughter without worrying about having to use a bathroom in public or becoming stranded and in pain. After my surgery and enema I began taking tissue salts: Elasticity; and Muscle Relaxant. I then significantly changed my diet to only Alkaline foods. You should be able to access a list from a good naturapath. The bleeding stopped straight away and the pain faded almost completely within 2 weeks. So I began to try adding other foods to my diet that were not alkaline such as wheat products, rice, red meat, cheese, caffine and chocolate. Each time I tried adding any one of these foods - even just a little bit, the bleeding and pain returned the next BM. This happened Without Fail! I am now at peace with the fact that I just cant eat those regular foods and It's actually not that hard now. Its just great not having to live with pain worse than labor every day for 6 hours without pain relief. I think back to when I was first diagnosed and desperate to find the quick fix cure and get back to normal. With a chronic fissure there just isn't a quick fix. Just get on this alkaline diet. It also helped me lose 18 kg of baby weight in 3 months!"Replies
11/01/2011: Zora from Calgary, Aalberta replies: "Hi there, your story- wow, I am glad you are ok now. I am in pain now for 2 months, finally went to see a surgeon. I have fissure, which he doesn't like to operate on because it is a tear already so he recomended a cream and a diet.
I was wondering how were you using those salts, do you think that really help you or the surgery did??? thanks, zora"
01/12/2013: C. from Mesa, Arizona replies: "what are tissue salts?"
[YEA] 08/21/2006: Lindsey from Scotland, UK: "Hi - i just have a question as I am desperate! my father has a chronic fissure - he had an operation about a year ago to cure another fissure which helped for about 6 months but now it's back with a vengeance. doctors will not operate again as this will lead to incontinence so I am trying to find something that will heal him naturally. Can anyone suggest anything as my father is in unbearable pain? PLEASE?"Replies
Ted from Bangkok, Thailand replies: "Dear Lindsey: For Chronic fissures, this will take a while, something like a week. For me I found taking vitamin B complex of about 100 mg. each, except for Biotin which can be about 5-10 mg. and B12 which can be about 100 mcg. It can be taken only once or twice a day. The urine will yellow, coming mostly from the vitamin B2 the riboflavin, so therefore you need not worry about that. In my opinion, and I am guessing here, a possible vitamin B5 deficiency is one of the cause, so taking or buying a separate panthotenic acid, of 500-1000 mg per day should also help, it helps the skin to heal.
Often comfrey pastse applied to external to fissue should help the healing. But on the other hand, taking plenty of aloe vera, gel, oil and leaves internally is quite helpful, especially the oil. Both comfrey and the aloe vera have allantoin which should speed up healing.
During this time it is important to take plenty of vitamin C, in the form of sodium ascorbate if possible, plus some zinc acetate and magnesium citrate also.
To help with circulation helpful to healing, take 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda plus 1/4 teaspoon of citric acid to also alkalize the blood and help with the healing. This is to be taken on empty stomach, once in morning and once before sleeping.
Horses do not get chronic fissues because they eat hay, which are rich in silicon. This helps build skin and therefore taking oatmeal daily should also help.
Vitamin B complex should solve most of your chronic fissure problems, but taking evening primrose oil, flaxseed oil, fish oil should help with the tiny fissure cracks also, by balancing your omega 3 and omega 6. Improvement should be seen on the first week, if email me another letter."
06/29/2008: Tami from Salt Lake City, UT replies: "My husband has suffered from a chronic anal fissure for several years brought on by antibiotic-induced diarrhea. He has also had the surgery and numerous topically medications as we are also in search of a cure after having no success. The only thing that gives any relief whatsoever has been "Tucks". It can be purchased over the counter at any pharmacy. It eleviates the sensation of sitting on broken glass and the unbearable burning and itching associated with this condition. I hope this helps."
09/04/2011: Rakesh from Chandigarh, Punjab replies: "taking b- complex daily become very affective to heal my fissure but I want to ask that for how long I have to continue this."
07/04/2012: Venky from Hyderabad, India replies: "Hi, I had anal fissure few year ago and it was cured completely without surgery. What I did? When I found out I have a anal fissure, I went to a doc, who suggested a surgery, but I thought I can try some tips which I found on some website.
1. When I am sitting in a chair, I used hot-pad for little bit relief.
2. Lot of physical exercise to move my tommy - like hoola-hoop, etc.
3. Use vinegar in the bathtub and sit for 30 minutes every day
4. Use vitamin D and B-complex
Within six months I am cured. Good luck!!"
01/16/2013: Samysam from Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India replies: "Hi, I have been suffering from anal fissure problem for 5-6yrs. It is something on and off. I have a tag of skin outside and when I consulted a doctor, he suggested surgery. Do I really need to go for surgery or as you guys said B-complex would cure. What about the tag of skin? :("
09/27/2013: Womble from Edmonton, Alberta: "I started experiencing painful spasms and chronic anal fissures during the summer, I was in so much pain that I was bedridden for 4 months! My doctors all misdiagnosed me (told me it was hems) and kept giving me medications that only made the fissures worse. After many months of frustration I decided to try going gluten free and to my surprise within 3 days all spasms had completely vanished. Now 4 weeks later my chronic fissures are almost healed.
It seems that gluten was the cause of my fissures and some other health problems(which are also clearing up). I would advise anyone with chronic fissures that refuse to respond to conservative treatment to eliminate all gluten from their diet and see what happens."
[YEA] 02/02/2013: Not Important from Flint, Michigan: "How to heal a Fissure. I healed mine which was off and on of 7 years and chronic for the last 16 months. How did I do it? I ate Gluten Free for 6 months and I was healed. COMPLETELY GLUTEN FREE. This healed my fissure"
Iodine and Olive or Flaxseed Oil
[YEA] 01/29/2008: James from Sydney, Australia: "Iodine mixed with olive oil (or flaxseed oil) 1:5 ratio cured my fissures. I have this symptom often if stool is hard. Whenever I got bleedings due to the hard stool, I washed /dryed the area and apply this mixture with my finger tip. I had to feel the scratched area with my finger so that I could apply it properly to the right area. Then I clean / remove the excessive mixture outside because it may stain the underwear. Usally, the next day, I feel OK but I do this 2 to 3 days to be sure."Replies
03/09/2009: Jessica from Boucherville, QC Canada replies: "Hello James I have read what you wrote but I had a question because you said that it helped you a lot but how long does it take to exacly go away? I have had mine for around 8 months and i've been trying diffrent things but none seem to help so I am hoping that this product works. So if you could andswer my question I would be very happy because I can wait to get rid of it. Please. Thank-you."
[BETTER BUT NOT CURED] 04/12/2010: Theo from Oakland, Ca replies: "I use Iodine mixed with Aloe Vera gel and use a q-tip to apply, this keeps the area clean. The idea is to stop any infection from starting. After BM I soak in warm water then clean with damp cotton then apply the mixture and haven't had any flare ups in months. As far as how long it takes to heal it depends, for me I've had the condition for years but it is so much better now then in the past so I'm not sure if it will ever go away but I'm happy with the progress now."
10/17/2010: Heleckie from Ningbo, China replies: "I have successfully used papaya (paw paw) cream. Try to find a good quality one from a natural health shop and apply it externally."
11/02/2010: Vic from Long Beach, California replies: "I won't guarantee it will work 100% but I will say 99.99% Not just for fissures but a whole list of cures for what might be ailing you using all natural oils. Try it. Will work if used exactly as prescribed on directions. Good luck."
12/13/2010: Sasha from Brooklyn, Ny replies: "I have a question: you're saying to mix iodine with olive oil or aloe vera juice. Is this for external fissures only? Cause mine is inside, not too far but inside. Do you think it's safe to insert a qtip dipped in iodine/oil inside? That seems like it would hurt a lot at first. Thanks."
09/17/2011: Theo from Oakland, Ca replies: "I started using the olive oil/ iodine mix mentioned above and works better than the aloe vera mix, thanks."
05/14/2012: Theo from Oakland, Ca replies: "Theo here, just wanted to add that a sitz bath with Epsom salt!!!! Will heal the fissure so much better than anything else you will see a huge improvement after your first soak wish I knew that long ago"
Liquid Diet, Fruit
[YEA] 03/12/2013: Anonymous from Chandigarh: "Hello everyone. I am suffering from Anal Fissures (AF) since three weeks and it has been one of the worst periods of my life (I have experienced Kidney stones too! ). After I suffered from it, I started reading about it online and got a lot of useful information regarding the natural healing procedures. At first, I went casual about it thinking it would heal within a few days (I suffered from minor fissures earlier). But as the days went by, my fissure went from bad to worse. Then, I realized that I was in for a tough fight. I gathererd a lot of info about AF online and found that sitz bath provided a lot of relief. Hence, I started taking them. And indeed they provide a lot of relief and also help in healing the fissures faster because of the increased blood supply. After a couple of weeks, the pain became unbearable and I went to see a doctor (took a lot of courage). He gave me a stool softner and anovate cream to reduce the pain. But it was something that didn't help too much.
Given the pain I was suffering from, I decided to go on a liquid diet for a few days. I relied totally on fresh juices (5-6 times a day) for a few days. This reduced the frequency of my BM and I guess gave the AF ample time to heal without reopening. I experienced a great deal of change in my fissure with that. After 4 days I started eating fruits along with the fresh juice (adding a lot of fibre to my diet). With this I gave my AF ample time to heal and yes I guess it did the trick for me. Now, my AF is around 80% healed and I suffer from very little to no pain during my BM."
04/03/2012: Survived- Read This from La, California: "You have to read this!
I too suffered daily for 8 horrendous months. In the 6th month after trying anything and everything along with two trips to the doc, I discovered two AMAZING things that I SWEAR cured me in 2 weeks- noticing an incredible difference in 2 days.
1.) Aloe Vera gel caps
2.) (VERY IMPORTANT) Raw Okra!!
Try to eat as little as you can (of course taking a shake or supplement of some kind). The idea is to eliminate anything going through the tract while is heals for the first two days. Use gold bond and dont ever use the gel the Dr. Gives you- it only suffacates the anus. Keep it dry.
Drink as much water as you can and only water- STAY AWAY FROM COFFEE.
The Okra is the most amazing lubricant and natural healer for your intestine and once this is in your system defication is a breeze.
Youll notice the amount of time that pain remains after a movement is less and less each day until one day I noticed- OMG!! Nothing!
Keep your hopes up."Replies
04/05/2012: Maria from Florence, Italy replies: "Thank you. Please advise name of the Aloe Vera gel caps. And when, how many to take daily? I am on my third month with a chronic fissure. Trying to heal naturally."
04/07/2012: Suanne from Newcastle On Tyne, Northumberland, Uk replies: "Hi to the person using Aloe Vera capsules and Okra for anal fissures. I am in absolute agony right now with that complaint and have been for months. Nothing is really working. Please can you give details on how the items were used, internally, externally or both?
Your feedback would be hugely appreciated, Suanne"
04/07/2012: Liz from Boston, Massachusetts replies: "Suanne - Try a sitz bath with Witch Hazel (both available at any pharmacy chain and inexpensive). You'll be glad you did.
Fill the sitz bath with very warm water, then pour about a cup of Witch Hazel into the water and sit/relax for 20 minutes at a time. You can soak as often as you like, but try to do it at least twice a day.
It's also a good idea to bring a quart sized container into the bathroom with you, so that you can add more warm water every 5 minutes or so when you feel the water in the sitz starting to cool.
The soothing, relief comes almost instantly and the more you soak, the quicker you'll heal.
Hope you're feeling better soon."
04/08/2012: Suanne from Newcastle On Tyne, Northumberland, Uk replies: "To Liz from Boston. Thank you so much for taking the time to share your solution to my anal fissure (and hemmoroids) problem. I will start the regime today. Suanne."
04/08/2012: Jennifer from Sunrise, Fl, Usa replies: "- Vitamin E Oil Supplements - the most helpful remedy I've found for anal fissures. Let me just say that these have been a miracle to speed the healing, and helped heal my fissure within 2 days!
- Witch Hazel - after every bowel movement, make sure to clean the anal area thoroughly with witch hazel. You can do it inside too like other readers mentioned, just buy a pair of rubber exam gloves to protect your hands and to keep bacteria out of that area. It's really important to keep the area clean to help decrease inflammation and to speed healing. You can buy (can't mention the brand, but it's a hemmorhoid brand) witch hazel wipes in the store, or you can just make some yourself with some witch hazel (try not to buy witch hazel that contains alcohol, ouch! ) and a lint-free cotton pad.
- Coconut Oil - see my method for creating coconut oil supplements on the hemmorhoid remedies page. Helps lubricate the area and speed healing.
- Soften bowel movements - if your anal fissues were due to constipation, it is important that you soften your future bowel movements to prevent any further tearing to the tissue during the healing process. You can use an over-the-counter stool softener (NOT laxative) to do this. Also increase your water intake and increase your vegetable/fruit intake.
- Change your position - like other readers have mentioned, changing your position in the bathroom can help relieve some of the strain on the anus. I prop my feet up on a stool to elevate them to bring my body more into a "squatting" position. You can experiment to see which position works better for you. This helps to strain less in the bathroom which means less pain and less damage to the injured area.
- Sitz baths - I take them every hour or so or after bowel movements to decrease pain. You can find epsom salts pretty cheap at the store. I also go in the ocean for the same reason, maybe it's psychological, but I think the salt water helps.
Hope this helps!"
04/08/2012: Suanne from Newcatle Upon Tyne, Uk replies: "Hi Jennifer from Sunrise USA. Thank you so mch for your posting. I am assuming you took the Vit E orally. If so, what strength and how many a day. Very grateful indeed for your help. Suanne."
04/09/2012: Jennifer from Sunrise, Fl, Usa replies: "Hi Suanne! Actually the Vitamin E 'supplements' are inserted rectally, just as you would use with a Preparation H suppository. The Vitamin E oil will dissolve and coat the inflamed area and help heal it. (Vitamin E oil is great to use topically on open cuts or scars, I use this to heal cuts on my hand all the time and plastic surgeons recommend applying Vitamin E topically to heal scars and wounds). I suggest cleaning the area with some witch hazel first before you insert the suppository. I usually inserted a new suppository after every bowel movement and it helped me heal my fissure in 2-3 days. In the meantime, make sure to use a stool softener (I use MiraLax) to keep the bowels soft so that they don't further irritate your anal fissures.
The Vitamin E supplements I used are from Carlson's - the exact brand name is "Carlson's Key-E Suppositories with Vitamin E". You can buy these at most natural health stores in the US such as Whole Foods or Vitamin Shoppe. I bought mine online at Lucky Vitamin. They are not the kind that you take orally, these are manufactured specifically for rectal or vaginal use. I am not sure about the availability of Carlson's products in the UK, but you could probably purchase them online through Lucky Vitamin, Amazon or even eBay. Hope this helps and that you feel better soon! - Jennifer"
04/10/2012: Suanne from Newcastle On Tyne, Northumberland, Uk replies: "Hi Jennifer, so many thanks for your update on Vit E. We don't have the store you mention here in the UK, but will certainly try on-line.
Even the thought of putting anything 'inside' right now is making me wince as the area around by anus is soooo sore and tender, (I have painful piles as well! ) but I could maybe put a little drop on a cotton bud and try that way...Ouch!!
I dare not use a stool softener right now as constipation is not a problem! It's just anything that passes through causes after pain - regardless.
Many thanks again for taking the time.
04/10/2012: Jennifer from Sunrise, Fl, Usa replies: "Sure! Give that a try. I use Jason Vitamin E oil (not rectally, but on my skin) but any one on the market should be good for that purpose. However, the key is to get the oil on the fissure, and the fissures might be inside of you. If that's the case, you might need to try to get a supplement in... they are smooth and not too much larger than a regular oral supplement, it is usually not too painful! But if you're in a lot of pain, maybe try to do a sitz bath first and then try to relax and insert afterwards? That might help."
04/26/2012: Suanne from Newcastle Upon Tyne, Uk. replies: "Jennifer from Sunrise Florida USA. Just hoping you are still around!
I want to thank you soooo much for your advice on Vit e for my anal fissures. It has taken me simply ages to get my hands on the suppositories you recommended, but today they have arrived! I also ordered some capsules to be taken orally. So, one up - two down about 3 hours ago and I'm already sitting (a miracle in itself) here taking to you, no pain, no discomfort and indeed a happy bunny at long long last. Why oh why dont the Docs recommend this for all the poor suffering souls with this affliction, that takes over your life with pain and discomfort and results in your ability to function day to day.
For the past few weeks I have been dealing with my hemmoroids (internal and external), using Butchers Broom and Horse chestnut tinctures, also Pine Bark tablets, not forgetting Olive oil daily for bowels. I have to say with quite some success, but the fissures have still been causing real agony on a daily basis - up till now!
I cant thank you enough for your help Jennifer. Forever grateful, Suanne."
06/10/2012: Jennifer from Sunrise, Fl replies: "Suanne, that's wonderful - I'm so glad that it worked for you!! Vitamin E oil is wonderful for healing. I always have some on hand. I hope you're feeling better! Best wishes to you. Jennifer"
07/03/2012: Rita from Calgary, Alberta, Canada replies: "Hi Jennifer, I was just reading what you wrote about the Vitamin E suppositries. Do I have to use anything else? Thanks, Rita"
07/23/2012: Beebee from Lagos, Nigeria replies: "I had anal fissures 3 yrs ago after the birth of my child. I was so unbearable as I tried everything medically except surgery without improvement. My Dr. Prescribed difflucan, doxycycline and lofenac drugs which helped in the healing process. The fissure kept coming back each time I each chocolate, cake, and some other stuffs. Now I'm in my third trimester and I had a chronic fissure two weeks back. I can't use those drugs under my present condition. I've tried Germoloids and sitz bath without any positive result. I had to switch over to natural therapy which is ORGANIC ALOE VERY GEL with Sheabutter applied directly to the spot and STOOL SOFTENER and the effect was to instantaneous as there was not pain the next B/M."
[YEA] 09/18/2012: Rani from Dubai, UAE replies: "Hi, OKRA (Raw ladies finger) is really cured my fissure and piles problem. I used take 3-4 raw OKRA in between break fast and Lunch and have another 3-4 OKRA after dinner (minimum 1 hr). With in few days the pain is gone... I have also changed my diet more of fiber (OATS and Fruits) Avoided Coffee and sugar. Now I am looking forward for a natural meditaion to cure my fistuala permanently."
10/09/2012: Ravi from India replies: "So surgery is not solution for fissure and piles."
11/10/2012: Isha from Solihull, West Midlands, Uk replies: "Hi Suzzane from UK: where did you buy the vitamin E suppositories from? I live in UK and suffering from extremely painful chronic fissure from last 5 months. Tried everything and now doctors are recommending surgery. Reading the surgery results, I am not too sure if I want to opt for surgery. Can you tell me where did you order these suppositories from and how long it took you to get them. thanks, Isha"
[YEA] 01/19/2013: Okra from Melbourne, Australia replies: "I have AF for some years. Nothing really work until I find Okra. I took it in the morning and then in the evening before I go to bed. It is the best natural remedy. I hope you too can be free from the pain of AF."