External Hemorrhoids – Causes and Treatment


Hemorrhoids refer to swollen veins which develop in the lower part of rectum and anus. These veins or walls of blood vessels stretch thinly, resulting in bulging of the veins, which causes irritation in them. This condition is referred to as piles.

Difference between internal and external hemorrhoids
Internal hemorrhoids occur deep inside the rectum and are not visible. In this condition, the pain is minimal since the presence of pain-sensing nerves is also negligible in this region. This kind of hemorrhoids can only be identified through bleeding, as and when it occurs. In contrast, external hemorrhoids are found in the skin which surrounds the anus area. This region has more pain-sensing nerves, and therefore, it tends to bleed more often.

Causes of external hemorrhoids
One of the most common causes of external hemorrhoids has been found to be straining while undergoing bowel movement. This condition develops when the vein of rectum gets dilated or enlarged. This condition develops when the person is experiencing severe diarrhea or constipation.

Pregnant women also face the risk of hemorrhoids as they experience pressure from the uterus on their veins.

How to recognize symptoms
External hemorrhoids have a range of symptoms. These symptoms tend to vary according to the severity of hemorrhoids. The most common of the symptoms of external hemorrhoids include itching that occurs around rectal region or anus. Pain around the anus and lumps found near the anus are also common symptoms of this disease condition.

External hemorrhoids’ treatment
External hemorrhoids’ treatment also depends on its severity. In fact, doctors often ask the patients about the preferences for medications or treatments which they might prefer to get rid of external hemorrhoids.

  • Medication for external hemorrhoids’ treatment
    For patients who face only mild discomfort, the doctor might recommend over the counter medications. Ointments which contain lidocaine also help the patient in getting some relief. However, steroid creams should ideally not be used for more than a week as this may cause thinning of the skin.
  • Thrombectomy
    In cases where an external clot might have formed in the external hemorrhoid, doctors can also remove the clot with the help of simple incision thus providing relief to the patient. This external hemorrhoids’ treatment is, however, most effective when carried out to 72 hours of formation of a clot.
  • Minimal invasive procedure
    There are certain minimally invasive procedures which can be used for treating external hemorrhoids. These external hemorrhoids’ treatments, in general, do not require the use of any anesthesia.
  • Ligation with help of rubber band
    In this procedure for removing hemorrhoids, one to two small rubber bands is placed around the infected area which cuts off the circulation. This causes hemorrhoids to wither and fall off. This procedure is effective but might cause some blood loss in the initial stages.
  • Injection
    In this, the doctor generally injects a chemical in the tissue affected by hemorrhoids, which causes it to shrink. This process is not painful but is considered to be less effective than the rubber band ligation process.
  • Coagulation techniques
    This technique uses infrared light or heat for external hemorrhoids’ treatment. This method causes some bleeding but is considered less effective as hemorrhoids might surface back in this treatment option.
  • Surgical process
    In case other process does not prove to be effective for hemorrhoids cure, the doctor is left only with the option of removing the same through surgical intervention.
  • Removal of hemorrhoid
    This process is known as hemorrhoidectomy, and the excessive tissues which cause bleeding are removed in this case. This surgical process is completed by using anesthesia and is considered to be the most effective way of treating external hemorrhoid. However, some temporary difficulties due to the occurrence of urinary tract infection and difficulty in emptying the urinary bladder might persist for few days. However, medication helps in relieving the initial pain in this case.
  • Stapling of hemorrhoid
    The process is also known as stapled hemorrhoidectomy and results in blockage of blood flow to the hemorrhoid tissue. However, the risk of reoccurrence of hemorrhoids remains in this case.
  • Burning of hemorrhoid tissue
    The burning of hemorrhoid tissue is another medical option available and is being preferred both by patients and the doctors. This burning is performed with laser beams or electrical coagulation and results in the permanent cure of the problem.

Preventing development of external hemorrhoids
External hemorrhoids can be prevented if straining during bowel moments is avoided. People who suffer from severe constipation can use laxatives and can prefer to have a diet rich in fiber, which will prevent the development of hemorrhoids. Pregnant women can use a stool softener, which is a viable over-the-counter treatment for external hemorrhoids.

Hemorrhoids is a common condition and generally tends to get better with time, surgical intervention is a good way of getting rid of external hemorrhoids and people suffering from same should ideally take help from doctors in such cases.