Hemorrhoids or piles are distended veins in the anus and rectum that can really make your life miserable by causing pain, itching, and irritation. The hemorrhoids found in the rectum are called internal hemorrhoids while those at the anus are external hemorrhoids. If you’re looking for ways on how to get rid of external hemorrhoids, you’ll find all the information you need by reading through this article.
Causes and Risk Factors of External Hemorrhoids
External hemorrhoids result from the blood vessels of your anus being put under so much pressure that they swell with blood because their flow has been hindered. This can be caused by various factors such as:
Constipation is a condition where you struggle to pass stool because it’s hardened. Passing stool less than three times a week is what is referred to as chronic constipation. Struggling to pass stool too often greatly strains the blood vessels in your anus and can make them swell with blood.
Sitting on the Toilet for Too Long
You may spend a lot of time sitting on the toilet because of constipation or it may be because you bring a book or your smartphone that make you lose track of time. This stretches your anal muscles and the veins bulge as a result. This also happens when you spend most of your day sitting at your office desk or couch.
When you frequently pass stool, the blood vessels of the anus are strained and they may become inflamed.
Some factors put certain groups of people at a higher risk of suffering from hemorrhoids than others. These include:
Being Overweight or Obese
Having a healthy weight means that your body is able to support all your organs with no trouble whatsoever. When your body mass index (BMI) exceeds 25, the excess body weight weighs down on blood vessels in the lower part of the body including the rectum and anus. Therefore, hemorrhoids are common in obese or overweight people.
The weight of a fetus gets very heavy in the third trimester and this is the time pregnant women often experience swelling of their feet and hemorrhoids. This is because the fetus’s weight presses on a major blood vessel that facilitates blood flow to and from the heart. Pregnancy also causes an imbalance of hormones that causes the abnormal swelling of blood vessels all over the body. During childbirth, a lot of strain is put on blood vessels in the rectum and anus so hemorrhoids may develop as a result.
Around half of people over the age of 50 years suffer from hemorrhoids. As you grow older, the muscles that hold the anus and rectum firmly get weaker. This makes the blood vessels vulnerable to swelling when the slightest pressure is applied to them.
If You Have Family with Hemorrhoids
You are more likely to get hemorrhoids if you have family members with the condition. This may be because you’re genetically predisposed to having weaker rectal and anal muscles.
What are the Symptoms of External Hemorrhoids?
Hemorrhoids found outside the anus can easily be detected unlike those in the rectum which may go unnoticed for years. The symptoms of external hemorrhoids are as follows:
- Pain around the anus which you mostly feel during and right after bowel movements
- A feeling of itchiness or irritation
- Feeling a hard lump as you wipe or touch
How to Get Rid of External Hemorrhoids?
There are methods that doctors use to get rid of external hemorrhoids and they can be surgical or non-surgical. Before you go through the surgical procedures, you will be put under anesthesia because they are painful. The non-surgical procedures, on the other hand, only cause minor discomfort and can be done in a doctor’s office.
This procedure makes use of infrared light, extreme heat, or cold to shrink down a hemorrhoid. An anoscope is also used to illuminate the hemorrhoid for the procedure.
In this method, the doctor injects a chemical into the hemorrhoid that shrinks it. It also helps to stop bleeding.
Rubber Band Ligation
It’s also known as banding and it’s the procedure where a ligator is used to put a tight rubber band at the base of a hemorrhoid. Banding cuts off the hemorrhoid’s blood supply so it shrinks or falls off.
Hemorrhoidectomy is a surgical procedure where a surgical incising device like a scalpel is used to open the sides of a hemorrhoid. The swollen blood vessels are then removed.
This procedure is used for hemorrhoids that have protruded out of the anus from the rectum. A surgical stapling device is used to staple such a hemorrhoid back inside the rectum. It also shrinks the hemorrhoid because it cuts off its blood supply.
External Hemorrhoid Remedies You Can Try on Your Own at Home
When the hemorrhoids are small, you don’t have to go through the trouble of getting a medical procedure done. There are simple home remedies you can do on your own that will help you get rid of the hemorrhoids.
These remedies include:
Aloe vera gel that’s freshly extracted is a natural anti-inflammatory agent that you can use to treat hemorrhoids. When you apply it to the hemorrhoids, it will reduce inflammation, itching, pain, and bleeding. Remember to first do a skin patch test to find out whether you’re allergic to it.
Local drugstores sell creams, ointments, and suppositories that you can use to relieve the symptoms of hemorrhoids. They are made with agents like witch hazel or hydrocortisone that will reduce the pain, itching, and swelling. Drugstores also sell soothing wipes made from the same compounds that you can use after bowel movements to get rid of the discomfort.
Sitting in a bathtub or sitz bath with warm water is a very effective remedy for hemorrhoids. Warm water improves blood circulation so inflammation is reduced and it also relieves itching and pain. For better results, you can add Epsom salts to the water before sitting in it for 20 minutes.
Essential oils are powerful solutions to relieve the itching, pain, and swelling of hemorrhoids. Some of the essential oils you can use on hemorrhoids include peppermint oil, tea tree oil, Helichrysum oil, cypress oil, frankincense, chamomile oil, and clove oil. You can add a few drops into your bath or dilute them before applying directly to the hemorrhoids. Read more about Essential oils for hemorrhoids.
When ice is used on hemorrhoids, it reduces itching, pain, and inflammation. This is because it shrinks the blood vessels. To use ice as a remedy, wrap it inside a cloth to towel and press it the hemorrhoids for about 15 minutes. Do this every time the symptoms of hemorrhoids flare-up.
A smear of Vaseline on your external hemorrhoids can go a long way in relieving their symptoms. It soothes the pain and irritation.
Tea leaves contain a compound known as tannic acid that is a natural anti-inflammatory agent. A tea bag will, therefore, reduce pain, irritation, and inflammation. To use it, dip it in warm water and place it on the hemorrhoids for a few minutes.
Coconut oil is widely used in skin care and hair care because it is a powerful moisturizer. This property also makes it very good at relieving pain, inflammation, and itchiness so you can apply it to hemorrhoids.
H-Hemorrhoids Formula's homeopathic ingredients have been selected for their function on the vascular engorgement associated with hemorrhoids. The formula will relieve engorgement and inflammation of the rectum, thereby providing relief from discomfort and shrinkage of the hemorrhoidal veins.*
Wear Loose Clothing
Wearing tight underwear or pants made of synthetic material is not a good idea when you have hemorrhoids. They inhibit the smooth flow of blood and also cause sweat build-up which irritates hemorrhoids. Wear loose, breathable cotton underwear and pants and the symptoms of hemorrhoids will reduce.
Since you have many options for getting rid of external hemorrhoids, you can say goodbye to painful bathroom visits. Choose any of the recommended treatments and you’ll be on your way to leading a hemorrhoids-free life! Read the full guide for hemorrhoid treatment in four simple steps: How to get rid of hemorrhoids for good: types, causes and treatments