are external hemorrhoids curable

are external hemorrhoids curable

Understanding External Hemorrhoids

External hemorrhoids are a common condition that affects many individuals worldwide. They occur when the veins near the anus become swollen and painful, causing discomfort, itching, and sometimes bleeding. Understanding the causes, symptoms, and treatment options for external hemorrhoids is crucial for those experiencing this condition.

External hemorrhoids are typically caused by increased pressure on the veins in the rectal area. This pressure can be a result of various factors, including chronic constipation, straining during bowel movements, pregnancy, obesity, and a sedentary lifestyle. When the pressure becomes too intense, the veins can become inflamed and swollen, leading to the development of external hemorrhoids.

Causes of External Hemorrhoids

As mentioned earlier, external hemorrhoids are primarily caused by increased pressure on the veins near the anus. Chronic constipation, which is often a result of a low-fiber diet and inadequate fluid intake, can lead to straining during bowel movements. This straining puts excessive pressure on the veins and can contribute to the development of external hemorrhoids.

Pregnant women are also more prone to developing external hemorrhoids due to the increased pressure on the rectal area caused by the growing fetus. Additionally, hormonal changes during pregnancy can weaken the veins' walls, making them more susceptible to swelling and inflammation.

Obesity and a sedentary lifestyle are other contributing factors to external hemorrhoids. Excess weight puts additional pressure on the veins, while a lack of physical activity can lead to poor blood circulation in the rectal area, increasing the risk of hemorrhoid development.

Symptoms of External Hemorrhoids

Recognizing the symptoms of external hemorrhoids is crucial for early diagnosis and treatment. The most common symptom is the presence of a lump or swelling near the anus. This lump can be painful and tender to the touch. It may also cause itching and discomfort, especially during bowel movements.

Another symptom of external hemorrhoids is rectal bleeding. This bleeding is usually bright red and may be noticed on toilet paper, in the toilet bowl, or on underwear. However, it is important to note that rectal bleeding can also be a sign of other conditions, and a healthcare professional should be consulted for an accurate diagnosis.

In some cases, external hemorrhoids can become thrombosed, meaning the blood inside the swollen vein clots. This can cause severe pain and swelling in the affected area. Thrombosed external hemorrhoids may require medical intervention for relief.

Diagnosis of External Hemorrhoids

If you suspect that you have external hemorrhoids, it is important to consult with a healthcare professional for an accurate diagnosis. During a physical examination, the doctor will visually inspect the rectal area for any signs of swelling, inflammation, or lumps.

In some cases, a digital rectal examination may be performed. This involves the doctor inserting a lubricated, gloved finger into the rectum to feel for any abnormalities. This examination helps rule out other possible causes of the symptoms and provides a more accurate diagnosis.

In certain situations, additional diagnostic tests may be recommended, such as a sigmoidoscopy or colonoscopy. These procedures involve using a flexible tube with a camera to examine the inside of the rectum and colon. These tests are usually reserved for cases where the doctor suspects other underlying conditions or if the symptoms are persistent or severe.

Treatment Options for External Hemorrhoids

The treatment options for external hemorrhoids vary depending on the severity of the symptoms and the individual's overall health. In most cases, home remedies and lifestyle changes can provide relief and help shrink the swollen veins.

One of the most effective home remedies for external hemorrhoids is taking warm baths, also known as sitz baths. This involves sitting in a few inches of warm water for 10 to 15 minutes several times a day. The warm water helps soothe the affected area and reduce inflammation.

Applying ice packs or cold compresses to the external hemorrhoids can also provide relief. The cold temperature helps numb the area, reducing pain and swelling. It is important to wrap the ice pack in a cloth or towel to avoid direct contact with the skin, as it can cause frostbite.

Over-the-counter creams or ointments containing hydrocortisone or witch hazel can be applied topically to the external hemorrhoids. These products help reduce itching and inflammation. However, they should not be used for an extended period without consulting a healthcare professional.

Home Remedies for External Hemorrhoids

In addition to the aforementioned treatments, there are several home remedies that can help manage external hemorrhoids and promote healing. These remedies are often used in conjunction with other treatment methods to provide relief and prevent future flare-ups.

One of the most important home remedies for external hemorrhoids is maintaining good hygiene. Keeping the anal area clean and dry is crucial to prevent further irritation and infection. After bowel movements, it is recommended to gently clean the area with mild, fragrance-free soap and water or use moistened toilet paper or wipes.

Dietary changes can also play a significant role in managing external hemorrhoids. Consuming a diet high in fiber helps soften the stool and prevents constipation. Good sources of fiber include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes. Drinking plenty of water throughout the day is equally important to maintain proper hydration and promote regular bowel movements.

Avoiding straining during bowel movements is another key aspect of home treatment for external hemorrhoids. Straining puts excessive pressure on the veins and can worsen the symptoms. To avoid straining, it is recommended to take your time on the toilet, avoid sitting for long periods, and consider using a footstool to elevate your legs and improve bowel movement mechanics.

Surgical Options for External Hemorrhoids

While home remedies and lifestyle changes are often effective in managing external hemorrhoids, some cases may require medical intervention. When conservative treatments fail to provide relief, or if the hemorrhoids are severe and causing significant discomfort, a healthcare professional may recommend a surgical procedure.

One common surgical option for external hemorrhoids is rubber band ligation. This procedure involves placing a small rubber band around the base of the hemorrhoid to cut off its blood supply. Without a blood supply, the hemorrhoid eventually shrinks and falls off within a few days.

Another surgical option is hemorrhoidectomy, which involves surgically removing the hemorrhoid. This procedure is typically reserved for severe cases or when other treatment methods have failed. Hemorrhoidectomy may require a longer recovery period, and discomfort after the surgery is common.

Natural Remedies for External Hemorrhoids

In addition to medical interventions, there are several natural remedies that can provide relief and help manage external hemorrhoids. These remedies are often used as complementary treatments alongside conventional methods.

Aloe vera gel, known for its soothing properties, can be applied topically to the affected area. It helps reduce inflammation, itching, and discomfort. Witch hazel, a natural astringent, can also be applied to external hemorrhoids to alleviate symptoms.

Sitz baths with the addition of natural ingredients such as Epsom salt or apple cider vinegar can provide additional relief. Epsom salt helps reduce inflammation and promotes healing, while apple cider vinegar has antibacterial properties that can prevent infection.

Conclusion: Living with and Managing External Hemorrhoids

In conclusion, external hemorrhoids can be a painful and uncomfortable condition, but they are manageable and often curable. Home remedies, lifestyle changes, and medical interventions can provide relief and help shrink the swollen veins.

If you are experiencing symptoms of external hemorrhoids, it is essential to consult with a healthcare professional for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment plan. They can guide you in choosing the most suitable treatment options based on the severity of your symptoms and overall health.

Remember, prevention is key to avoiding future flare-ups. Maintaining a healthy diet high in fiber, drinking plenty of water, and avoiding straining during bowel movements can help prevent the development of external hemorrhoids. With the right approach and treatment, you can find relief and effectively manage external hemorrhoids, improving your quality of life.

What are external hemorrhoids?

External hemorrhoids are swollen blood vessels located under the skin around the anus. They can cause discomfort, pain, and itching. Unlike internal hemorrhoids, which occur inside the rectum, external hemorrhoids are visible and can be felt.

Can external hemorrhoids be cured?

Yes, external hemorrhoids can be cured. However, it is important to note that the term "cure" refers to the treatment and elimination of symptoms, rather than the permanent removal of hemorrhoids. With proper care and treatment, the symptoms of external hemorrhoids can be relieved, and the condition can be effectively managed.

What treatment options are available?

There are several treatment options available for external hemorrhoids:

  • Over-the-counter creams and ointments: These can help reduce swelling and provide temporary relief from symptoms.
  • Sitz baths: Soaking the affected area in warm water can help alleviate pain and itching.
  • Topical medications: Prescription-strength creams or suppositories may be recommended by a healthcare professional to reduce inflammation and promote healing.
  • Minimally invasive procedures: In some cases, procedures such as rubber band ligation or sclerotherapy may be performed to shrink the hemorrhoids.
  • Surgical removal: In severe cases, surgical removal of the hemorrhoids may be necessary.

How can external hemorrhoids be prevented?

While it may not be possible to completely prevent external hemorrhoids, there are steps you can take to reduce the risk of developing them:

  • Maintain a high-fiber diet to promote regular bowel movements and prevent constipation.
  • Stay hydrated and drink plenty of water.
  • Avoid straining during bowel movements.
  • Avoid sitting or standing for long periods of time.
  • Engage in regular physical activity to promote healthy blood circulation.
  • Practice good hygiene by keeping the anal area clean and dry.

When should you see a doctor?

If you are experiencing symptoms of external hemorrhoids, it is recommended to consult a healthcare professional for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment. Additionally, if the symptoms worsen or persist despite home remedies, medical attention should be sought.


While external hemorrhoids cannot be permanently cured, they can be effectively managed with proper treatment and self-care measures. It is important to consult a healthcare professional for an accurate diagnosis and to discuss the most suitable treatment options for your specific condition.

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