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This is a slight tear in the skin round the anus caused by the passing of a hard, irregular stool. When this happens defecation will be accompanied by considerable pain which often means that it has been avoided as long as possible, thereby making the situation still worse. The stool is frequently streaked with bright red blood.

The principal aim of treatment is to make the motions soft. A change of diet may be indicated, and a mild laxative used for a few days. The application of a local anaesthetic cream just prior to defecation is often helpful.

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