Towards the end of the digestive process our stool passes through the anal canal, ultimately making its exit from the anus. The anal canal is a small tube at the end of the rectum. Occasionally, anal fissures – meaning small tears – may develop in the anal canal. This is a common condition, and is mostly harmless. However, in certain circumstance anal fissures may cause severe pain and irritation. Find out 10 causes and symptoms of anal fissures.

1. Hard Stool

The friction caused by stool as it leaves the rectum can cause anal fissures to appear. This can usually be felt as a sharp and sudden pain around the anus, with irritation extending all the way inside the rectum. Hard stool can form for many reasons, but dehydration is often the main culprit. As food travels through the digestive system, it needs water to keep it moist. If no water is consumed, the stool will harden, which may also cause constipation to appear. You may even notice blood as you wipe.