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External Hemorrhoids

external hemorrhoids, external hemorrhoid treatment,

What are External Hemorrhoids?

External hemorrhoids develop when too much pressure is put on the rectal veins and the tissue around the anus becomes swollen. External hemorrhoids form as bulges or bumps around the anus and so are easier to self identify than internal hemorrhoids which are located inside the anus. Even if internal hemorrhoids prolapse and protrude outside of the anus, they can go back inside on their own.

Over time, external hemorrhoids can become increasingly irritating, causing frequent itching, swelling and pain. Most people with external hemorrhoids also have internal hemorrhoids, even if they do not see them.

The good news is that there are plenty of ways to soothe external hemorrhoid symptoms at home, as well as affordable hemorrhoid treatments, such as the CRH O’Regan System, that can help get rid of external hemorrhoids altogether.

In some cases, a clot will form and block blood flow to the external hemorrhoid, resulting in a thrombosed external hemorrhoid. While thrombosis is not dangerous, it can cause acute pain and swelling around the anus. It is not always possible to prevent external hemorrhoids, but certain lifestyle changes such as avoiding heavy lifting and a diet high in fat and low in fiber, can go a long way.

What Causes External Hemorrhoids?

Like internal hemorrhoids, external hemorrhoids are caused by an increased pressure in the veins of the rectum. Some of the most common external hemorrhoid causes include:

  • Pregnancy
  • Constipation or diarrhea
  • Heavy weight lifting
  • Obesity

All of the above put additional pressure on the rectal veins, eventually causing swelling of the external hemorrhoids. To reduce your chances of developing external hemorrhoids or from your symptoms worsening, limit your time on the toilet to two minutes and ensure you always use proper form when heavy lifting.

What are the Symptoms of External Hemorrhoids?

Patients with external hemorrhoids often report discomfort or pain, especially during bowel movements. Symptoms may only flare up every few weeks – making it hard to tell whether your discomfort is actually hemorrhoid-related in the first place.

Many of those with external disease also have symptomatic internal hemorrhoids. While only a licensed physician can give you a proper diagnosis, here are a few of the symptoms that usually indicate an external hemorrhoid problem:

  • Mild, but consistent, itching around the rectal area.
  • Pain around the anal area, ranging from mild to severe.
  • Swelling around the anus.

You may also notice your external hemorrhoids particularlyswell when bearing down during a bowel movement. Be sure to limit your time on the toilet to two minutes as additional straining can worsen your external hemorrhoids.
We’ve compiled a more thorough list of hemorrhoid symptoms that you may want to consider as well. If you’re experiencing bleeding, it could be coming from an internal hemorrhoid, a fissure, or another condition.

Pain is a Common Symptom of External Hemorrhoids

Unlike internal hemorrhoids, external hemorrhoids are located in an area with nerve endings so patients with external hemorrhoids often report discomfort or pain, especially during bowel movements.

Symptoms may only flare up every few weeks – making it hard to tell whether your discomfort is actually hemorrhoid-related in the first place. Many of those with external disease also have symptomatic internal hemorrhoids. While only a licensed physician can give you a proper diagnosis, here are a few of the symptoms of external hemorrhoids that usually indicate a problem:

  • Mild, but consistent, itching around the rectal area.
  • Pain around the anal area, ranging from mild to severe.
  • Swelling around the anus.

How do the Symptoms of External Hemorrhoids Progress?

Some of the initial symptoms indicating you may have external hemorrhoids include a nagging, itchy feeling around the anal area, swelling, and pain. If left untreated, the condition could turn into a thrombosed hemorrhoid, a large and very painful bulge containing clotted blood. Many people with external hemorrhoids also have internal hemorrhoids which can cause bleeding. This is why it’s so important to talk to your doctor if you suspect that you have hemorrhoids. External hemorrhoids rarely pose a serious health threat, but with the proper treatment, you could avoid some very painful flare-ups in the future.

Thrombosis

It is possible for an external hemorrhoid to become thrombosed, meaning a blood clot is preventing blood flow to the hemorrhoid. This forms as a hard bulge or lump around the anus and typically causes acute pain. In some cases, if caught early enough, a physician may be able to make a small incision on the hemorrhoid to relieve the pain. Otherwise, the clot usually breaks down within 1-2 weeks and the symptoms will resolve without intervention. Pain can be managed with over the counter pain medication while waiting for the thrombosed hemorrhoid to get better.

What do External Hemorrhoids Look Like?

External hemorrhoids are more easily self-diagnosed because they can always be seen and felt, whereas internal hemorrhoids can be less obvious. Many symptoms of external hemorrhoids, such as pain, can also be caused by other conditions; therefore, it is important to see a health care practitioner for a formal diagnosis.

How do You Treat External Hemorrhoids?

Unfortunately, once a hemorrhoid has formed, it may not go away on its own. You can treat hemorrhoid symptoms using over-the-counter topical creams, or natural remedies like witch hazel and apple cider vinegar. It’s also possible to decrease your chance of recurring symptoms by eating a healthy, fiber-rich diet and drinking plenty of liquids. However, while at-home treatments and positive lifestyle changes may reduce hemorrhoid flare-ups, they likely won’t fully go away for good without a professional treatment and the supervision of an experienced gastroenterologist.

Treating External Hemorrhoids at Home

There are many methods of alleviating external hemorrhoids symptoms at home, such as:

However, should symptoms persist or if you are unsure if your symptoms are the result of external hemorrhoids, it is best to contact a physician for diagnosis and treatment. Most at-home treatments only mask the symptoms of hemorrhoids rather than getting rid of the underlying issue, meaning you may need to turn to a professional for treatment.

Interestingly, although you may think your symptoms are a result of your external hemorrhoids, many times it is the internal hemorrhoid disease that is causing the problems.

Effective But Painful Hemorrhoid Treatment Options

If you are tired of your recurring symptoms, it may be time to consider a professional treatment option. Unfortunately, many of these options have their own complications to consider. For example:

  • Traditional hemorrhoid banding – this type of hemorrhoid banding has been around for a long time, but typically uses metal clamps to grab the affected tissue in order to band. This can be uncomfortable, even painful, during treatment and has a higher incidence of pain after treatment.
  • Endoscopic banding – this is another common banding procedure that can have a high incidence of pain. In addition, you typically need to be put under anesthesia to undergo endoscopic banding, which requires prep the day before the procedure and having a ride to/from the appointment.
  • Hemorrhoidectomy – this is a type of hemorrhoid surgery. Surgery is rarely required for hemorrhoids and because of the high complication rate and long downtime, is often a last resort.

Effective Hemorrhoid Treatment with a Low Complication Rate

Because external hemorrhoids are located in an area that contains nerve endings, removing them can be extremely painful. Many people with external hemorrhoids believe they only have external hemorrhoids because this is what they can see and are aware of. In fact, it is very rare for someone to have external hemorrhoids without any internal disease! Luckily, in most cases, many of the symptoms typically associated with external hemorrhoids are actually the result of internal disease, so treating the internal disease can relieve your symptoms.

CRH O’Regan System – Permanent Relief for External Hemorrhoids

That’s why the CRH O’Regan System® can painlessly resolve the symptoms of individuals with “external” hemorrhoids in 90% of cases, with only a 1% complication rate (pain and bleeding).

For the 1 in 10 patients who are not helped by treating the internal disease, tag excision or surgery may be necessary. Because there is significant pain and downtime associated with surgery, many prefer to try less invasive procedures, like the CRH O’Regan System®, before resorting to surgery. Talk to a trained physician in your area to see what options are available to treat your hemorrhoids.

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