Hemorrhoids, commonly referred to as piles, are uncomfortable painful swellings in the anal region that can affect the quality of life of a person.
They mostly affect adults but can also develop in babies and toddlers as well. They are just as uncomfortable and painful on babies and seeing your baby suffer may be quite an ordeal for you.
Fortunately, there are home treatments you can use on your baby that will help relieve the pain and help your baby get back to their normal bubbly self.
What are Hemorrhoids?
This is a condition where the veins and tissues in and around the anal canal become distended. Hemorrhoids are found inside the lower part of the rectum are referred to as internal hemorrhoids while those found in the skin around the anus are called external hemorrhoids.
In a sense, everyone has hemorrhoids because they are cluster-like blood vessels that are found in the rectum and anus. Hemorrhoids are found at the juncture where many small blood vessels join to become veins. They only become an a cause for concern when they swell. The swelling occurs when there’s an interference with blood flow in the veins and it pools.
A strain and undue pressure on the anal region is what interferes with blood to and from the region. The pressure can be caused by being overweight, pregnant, or sitting too long in the toilet.
Causes - Hemorrhoids on Baby
In general, piles are caused by strain in blood vessels in the rectal and anal regions. The same also goes for babies. The strain leads to inflammation and the inflammation becomes hemorrhoids. Some of the reasons why a baby may strain the anal and rectal tissues include:
This is one of the leading causes of hemorrhoids. When your baby strains during bowel movements, it may irritate tissues in the rectum and anus, causing swelling and irritation.
Low Fiber Diet and Poor Hydration
When enough fiber and fluids are lacking in your baby’s diet, it hardens their stool. This makes them strain the rectal and anal tissues when while passing stool.
Diarrhea makes the baby pass stool repeatedly over a short period of time. This causes a strain on the hemorrhoids and causes inflammation.
Incorrect Toilet Training
Toddlers who have been trained to strain while excreting, have a high chance of developing hemorrhoids. This is because the repeated straining puts a lot of pressure on the hemorrhoids.
If your family has a history of hemorrhoids, then your baby may develop hemorrhoids due to anomalies in their gastrointestinal tract.
Learn about the causes of hemorrhoids in adults.
How Common are Hemorrhoids on Babies?
The incidence of hemorrhoids on babies and toddlers is very rare at only 4.2%. However, the risk of them developing the condition increases as they become teenagers or young adults.
What are the Symptoms of Hemorrhoids?
Your baby is not able to tell you about their pain or discomfort but you can look at for the following symptoms:
- Crying while passing stool
- Blood in their stool and diaper
- Dry and hard stool
- Mucus coming out of the anus
- Redness and inflammation of the anus
- The baby frequently trying to touch their bottom because of itchiness and irritation
When you notice blood in the stool of your baby, make sure you see a pediatrician for a proper diagnosis because it may be a more serious condition. Learn about the symptoms of hemorrhoids in adults.
Treating Hemorrhoids on Babies
The treatment approaches to hemorrhoids on baby include home remedies, lifestyle changes, and taking medicines.
Warm water is very effective in soothing the irritation of hemorrhoids. It relaxes the inflamed blood vessels and hemorrhoid tissue. Place your baby in a warm bath for 10 minutes twice every day and it will help them feel better.
Treatment of Underlying Issues
If your baby has constipation or a disease that is causing them to diarrhea, take them to a doctor to receive treatment for these conditions. The swelling will go down a few days after the condition is treated.
Change the Diet
Your baby needs more fiber and fluids in their diet for them to have an easy time passing stool. Fiber-rich foods you can feed your baby are whole grains, broccoli, apples, carrots, and oranges. Make sure you also give them enough water. Think fiber-rich cereals, brown rice, and whole-wheat pasta. Next are the P fruits, particularly pears, peaches, plums and prunes.
If your baby experiences a lot of itching as a result of hemorrhoids, you can your doctor to prescribe a hemorrhoids cream to relieve the itching.
To ease your baby’s irritation, you should use wet and soothing wipes after they pass stool. You can also apply petroleum jelly in the anal region to lubricate their bowel movements.