Hemorrhoids, or more commonly known as piles, are clusters of veins which lie just beneath the mucous membranes which line the lowest part of the rectum and the anus. This condition involves swelling and distension of those veins.
Internal and external hemorrhoids are the two types of this condition. Internal ones occur in the lower rectum whereas the external ones develop under the skin around the anus. It is widely considered that external hemorrhoids are the ones which are the most painful and uncomfortable since the overlying skin erodes due to irritation. Moreover, if there is a blood clot on the inside of external hemorrhoid, then the pain can get much more severe.
How can one recognize external hemorrhoids?
- Itchy or burning sensation around the anus
- A painful lump or swollen area near the anus
- Difficulty in sitting down
- Painful bowel movements
- Fecal incontinence
There are different types of both homemade and surgical remedies available for curing external hemorrhoids. Some of the common ones have been explained in brief as follows:
- Witch hazel: Witch hazel is an astringent which causes tissues to shrink and reduce bruising. Along with this, it also has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. To use it, one has to add a small amount of witch hazel to a cotton ball and then dab it on the affected area to get relief from the symptoms. However, if there are signs of irritation, then one should go for a more indirect method. It is advised to not add alcohol to witch hazel in an attempt to dilute it as it can cause further irritation.
- Coconut oil: Coconut oil is a natural moisturizer and can help with hemorrhoid symptoms like reducing irritation and swelling. Moreover, it can also reduce provide relief from the itchiness experienced.
- Aloe vera: Aloe vera is a popular anti-inflammatory plant which is used widely to treat wounds along with a variety of other issues. Aloe vera can help in the treatment of external hemorrhoids by providing relief from itching, burning, and swelling. However, it is important to ensure that one uses aloe vera in its pure form as using store-bought aloe vera gel could contain preservatives and additives that could worsen the symptoms.
- Ice packs: Applying ice packs to ease inflammation and pain is a common tactic that is widely used in various cases. One can apply ice packs wrapped in a small towel for around 15 minutes or so when seated or when the hemorrhoids flare up so as to reduce the swelling and temporarily numb the pain experienced.
- A warm bath: This common trick works, especially if one includes Epsom salt in their bath as it can help ease the symptoms of external hemorrhoids. Some people, however, prefer to add apple cider vinegar as well. One can then sit in the warm bath with water that submerges the legs so as to help reduce swelling and irritation.
- Fiber-rich diet: Making lifestyle changes, such as including more fiber in one’s diet, can also provide relief from hemorrhoids. This is because fiber can absorb water which can soften the stool and can aid in better bowel movements.
- Drinking plenty of liquids: Research states that problems like hemorrhoids can be caused by the lack of liquids in the diet. The solution to this is simple—to drink plenty of liquids throughout the day. This will help in keeping the stool soft which will result in less irritation while passing it.
- Proper clothes: Wearing loose-fitting, breathable cotton underwear and pants can help support the healing of hemorrhoids by preventing the surrounding area from getting irritated due to excess sweat.
- Correct bathroom habits: It’s important to not stress bowel movements since straining might make the condition worse. It’s best to wait for a couple of minutes and then get up to try later if the bowel movement hasn’t occurred. Having a regular schedule for passing stools will help. People suffering from hemorrhoids should listen to their body and pass the stools accordingly.
- Wipes: When it comes to hemorrhoids, softness is the key and, therefore, using toilet paper which is less irritating or without additives will help. Alcohol-free baby wipes and damp toilet papers will help provide relief during wiping. Moreover, hemorrhoid-specific wipes or wet wipes can be purchased for better effects.
- Surgical treatments: If the hemorrhoid is intense and one is unable to get any form of relief, then it is best to seek medical attention. Hemorrhoids can be removed through hemorrhoidectomy or by burning the affected tissue with an infrared laser and electrical coagulation. Another method used is sclerotherapy that helps reduce the hemorrhoids.
External hemorrhoids are extremely sensitive and proper care should be taken to prevent chemicals or perfumes from getting in the affected area. With the right care, one can experience great relief from the pain caused by external hemorrhoids.