An external hemorrhoid is a common anorectal condition that is characterised by clumps of dilated and enlarged blood vessels near the anus and lower rectum area. These hemorrhoids are located underneath the skin surrounding the anus and are smaller than the internal haemorrhoids. They can cause itching, pain and bleeding during defecation.
In case of external hemorrhoid prolapses or protrudes on the outside, it can be seen and felt. At times, blood clots form in these protruded haemorrhoids and these are extremely painful. They also look frightening to the bluish-black colour. Hemorrhoids affect about 1 million people in the world, and every 1 in 3 people have the condition. When these veins or vessels become very large, they tend to be highly uncomfortable to the individual.
The rectum is the last part of the large intestine and anus is the part from where the faeces leave the body. These haemorrhoids tend to swell when the veins enlarge, the walls stretch, become thin and get irritated by the passing stools.
The good news is external hemorrhoids can be taken care of without seeing a doctor. You can take care of the pain, discomfort and itching that is common with this type of haemorrhoids.
Having a warm bath has been known to relieve aches and pains and hemorrhoids pain is no different. Fill up a tub with warm water and add some Epsom salt to it. Soak in this type of a bath 2-3 times a day.
If you have hemorrhoids, keep the area clean and be gentle while washing and having a bath. You must avoid using soap of any kind as they can irritate the area. It is commonly advised to use Cetaphil solution to soothe the area. Also, keep the area dry to avoid any further rashes.
Applying a cold compress or cold pack for 10-15 minutes to the area many times during the day helps relieves pain and discomfort. Be gentle while applying the compress to avoid skin irritation.
These are common ways to help alleviate your external hemorrhoids pain and discomfort. After soaking and drying the area, you can apply a small amount for relief. You can choose to use gels that contain phenylephrine in it as it helps shrink the haemorrhoid. However, avoid using steroid-based creams as they can aggravate the condition.
Take a clean cotton pad and dip it in a mild astringent and apply to the affected area after evacuating your bowels. Repeat this at least 5-6 times a day to relieve all symptoms like itching, pain, discomfort and swelling.
Increasing fibre in your diet is associated with increasing the bulk and softness of your stools, both of which make their passage easier. Add fibres that soften your stools to your diet to prevent the aggravation of external hemorrhoids. However, if you begin to feel too bloated, it is a sign that you are consuming lots of fibre. Do add probiotics like curd to your diet to help with efficient digestion.
Spicy foods irritate the anorectal linings and aggravate hemorrhoids. They are considered to be one of the many causes of hemorrhoids. So, avoid or at least limit the consumption of hot and spicy foods if you are suffering from external hemorrhoids.
Due to multiple reasons, one can suffer from constipation. Such people tend to strain a lot while trying to pass stools. In patients already suffering from hemorrhoids, straining can further add to the existing problem.
Drinking adequate amount of water is recommended to enable easy passage of stools. If you already suffer from hemorrhoids, it is advisable to drink plenty of water. Have at least 1-2 glasses of water with each meal and target to drink at least 1-2 litres of water daily.
Light exercises like yoga, swimming, or walking have an anti-inflammatory effect on your body, including the hemorrhoids. Avoid exercises that cause strain in any form. Performing pelvic floor exercises help strengthen your pelvic floor muscles and help cure hemorrhoids faster.
When we sit, we do so by putting some pressure. This pressure can cause pain or discomfort if you have hemorrhoids. To avoid this, use a round or doughnut-shaped cushion to avoid pressure on the hemorrhoids while sitting.
Sitting for too long puts a lot of continuous pressure on the anorectal part of your body. To avoid this, take short breaks between prolonged sitting times.
Laxatives are used to make it easy to pass stools either by increasing the bulk or by softening it. Use a laxative according to your need to avoid straining on the toilet seat while passing stools.
The squat position is physiologically more ideal than sitting on the throne. If you can, try to create a squatting posture while trying to pass stools as it makes it easy to do so.
An itchy area of the body is always tempting to scratch. However, scratching only makes things worse. Even in the case of external hemorrhoids, avoid the scratching. Wear cotton undergarments and loose clothes at all times to allow your skin to breathe.
Apart from these easy home remedies, some cases of hemorrhoids need medical intervention. Medical and surgical interventions include ligation, sclerotherapy, cauterisation and removal of external hemorrhoids. Hemorrhoids are a treatable and preventable condition if you carefully follow the above tips.
Also read: Can Piles Lead to Cancer?