Anal fissures are cracks or sores in the region of the anal sphincter. And if you can imagine you have a chap lip, sometimes you may have a little crack or a fissure along the lip margin. If you have this in the area of your anal sphincter, then that’s what we would consider an anal fissure. Oftentimes, this is due to some minor irritation or inflammation. However, it’s important to note because there are some conditions, certain inflammatory bowel diseases, which are characterized by fissures, and that’s actually a topic for another discussion. But suffice it to say that patients who have simple hemorrhoidal disease may also have fissures.