Internal and external hemorrhoid treatment
Many people don't even stop to ask themselves "what are hemorrhoids?" until they begin to experience the uncomfortable symptoms of the condition. Hemorrhoids are essentially inflamed or swollen blood vessels in the anal area—internal hemorrhoids are found inside the rectum, while external hemorrhoids are found around the anal sphincter. Causes of hemorrhoids include frequent straining during bowel movements, pregnancy, being overweight, anal intercourse and anal infection.
Hemorrhoids are a common condition, and are generally more of a nuisance than a serious medical issue. However, in some cases hemorrhoids can develop into more serious and severely painful conditions that will require immediate medical treatment.
There are many symptoms of hemorrhoids that are particularly noticeable after a difficult bowel movement or after an instance of diarrhea. These symptoms include:
- Rectal itching
- Traces of blood on the toilet paper or in the stool after a bowel movement
- A small lump on the anus
- Sensation of another bowel movement after completing a bowel movement
Internal hemorrhoids often exhibit no symptoms and most people don't even notice them unless they bleed or prolapse. A prolapsed hemorrhoid is an internal hemorrhoid that gets pushed out of the rectum, generally by a difficult bowel movement. It may be possible to push these prolapsed hemorrhoids back in, but in some cases they may require surgical treatment.
External hemorrhoids are typically the ones that exhibit symptoms, but they can usually be treated at home. External hemorrhoids home treatment options include bathing in warm water, icing the rectum, using moist wipes instead of dry toilet paper, and keeping the anal area dry and clean (though soap should not be used).
In some cases, external hemorrhoids can become thrombosed. A thrombosed hemorrhoid is an external hemorrhoid that has ruptured or become filled with clotted blood. Some cases of thrombosed hemorrhoids can be treated at home, but in severe cases, a procedure called hemorrhoid banding may be necessary. Banding hemorrhoids involves placing a band around a hemorrhoid to cut off the blood supply, which will cause the hemorrhoid to fall off.