External Hemroids Treatment
Hemroids are one of the most common health problems in the world today, affecting an estimated 10 million people a year, mostly in industrialized countries.
External hemroids are the variety of hemroid that takes the prize for pain, itching, and burning, and to both gain relief and eventually to cure them requires first that you understand precisely what they are.
What are External Hemroids
Everyone has hemorrhoidal cushions, all the time. Hemorrhoidal cushions are cushions of tissue within the anal canal that are fed from a rich blood supply. These cushions exist to help provide anal sphincter control, and without them people would have a hard time knowing "when to go."
When one of the many blood vessels in this area enlarges, which also swells some of the supporting tissue, then you have a hemroid.
When this process takes place below the dentate line, which is the line where internal mucus membrane transitions to external skin, then you have an external hemroid.
While there are no hemorrhoidal cushions on the outside of the body, many of the veins that supply those cushions with blood drain down to the outside before going back up to empty into larger veins. It is from this "dip" in the anal veins that external hemroids develop.
When a blood vessel enlarges below that dentate line to make an external hemroid, it swells up in an area that has an extremely sensitive and densely packed nerve ring around it. This is why external hemroids hurt, itch, burn, and just generally make life more miserable than their internal counterparts, as there are very few nerves above the dentate line in the anal canal.
Internal hemroids can go for some time without being noticed, but external hemroids generally make their presence known with a proverbial neon sign.
Want to see pictures of external hemroids? These are real medical photo pictures of external and internal hemroids, with clear descriptions of difference given.
Causes of External Hemroids
The large blood vessels of the hemorrhoidal cushions enlarge from a variety of reasons, not least of which is pressure on the blood vessels.
This pressure can come from sitting too long on the toilet, at a desk, or on a car seat, constipation, diarrhea, or pregnancy.
The blood vessel walls can also weaken with age, which makes the elderly population particularly susceptible.
In addition, hemroids are corollary symptoms of a variety of diseases, such as Crohn's disease, inflammatory bowel syndrome, and even colorectal cancer. If you have one of these conditions, then you may not be able to completely eradicate hemroids until and unless the underlying problem is taken care of. However, treatment can make them manageable and much easier to live with.
External Hemroid Relief
The first thing to do when tortured by external hemroids is to take a sitz bath in plain, very warm water for fifteen to twenty minutes. Doing this three times per day can start giving long-term relief to hemroids, but it's also useful for a quick fix.
Ibuprofen can be taken by mouth to start fighting pain and swelling, and sitting on an icepack after the sitz bath also starts providing quick, readily available relief.
Get a small footstool to put your feet on while you sit on the toilet, as this takes some of the strain off of the blood vessels in the area, and never sit on the toilet for too long. Not only does this last suggestion make your hemroid immediately feel better, but it also addresses one of the core causes of hemroids, which is insufficient muscular support of the anorectal area. People who squat for their toileting don't get hemroids nearly as often as people who sit down, so if you find this particularly helpful you may wish to invest in a squat toilet as a longer term treatment and preventative measure.
Quick External Hemroids Home Remedies
Once these easily available treatments have done their work and you can think straight long enough to drive to the pharmacy, a whole world of home remedies opens up to you.
All of the external hemroid creams and salves on the market today were made with you in mind, so please, avail yourself of them.
You can ask your local pharmacist to help you decide which one is right for your symptoms.
Ingredients usually include some kind of moisturizing barrier cream, because dry skin can make the itching worse, and a local anesthetic such as lidocaine, to make the pain stop fast, along with various other medications for various conditions.
These various conditions, hemroid symptoms, include vasoconstrictors to reduce blood flow to the area, and frequently an analgesic, which helps the pain go down and soothes the area for longer than a topical anesthetic.
Some creams and salves also come with aloe vera, which is famous for its soothing and healing properties.
Witch hazel pads are regularly recommended for cleaning and relief, as the astringent action of witch hazel causes swollen tissue to dry out and shrink. If you don't have access to witch hazel, the same effect can be approximated with a sterile cotton swab soaked in apple cider vinegar, but most people find the witch hazel to be best.
Long Term Treatment of External Hemroids
For long-term relief, feel free to use all of the above remedies for as long as necessary, but remember that none of them address the cause of the external hemroid.
If you're not going to go when your sitting on the toilet, give up and try again later.
If you work while sitting, do get up every two hours or so and just take a brisk walk around, again to take the pressure off.
Make changes slowly in your diet by including more fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains and beans to get at least twenty to thirty grams of fiber per day into your intestinal system. This, combined with eight glasses of water per day, will ensure that you don't suffer from constipation which would only make the hemroids worse.
If you just can't get enough fiber by dietary changes, either ground up psyllium husks or ground flax seed are available at your local pharmacy to assist. They come in so many dosage forms today that making recommendations on how to take them is difficult, but do strictly follow the directions on the package.
External hemroids and When to see a Doctor
While external hemroids may be generally considered a mild health problem, if the above suggestions don't fix the problem within a few weeks, if your symptoms get worse, or if any external hemroids develop a dark red, purple, blue or black, tinge, and starts to really burn, itch, and or the external hemroids hurt like crazy, you need to see a hemroids doctor immediately.
The hemroid colors indicate that a blood clot has developed within the hemroid, which can cause serious health problems. A blood clot inside a hemroid causes less blood flow to run through, which means that nutrients are not being delivered and cellular waste products are not being removed, which leads to inflammation, bleeding, and can even lead to infection.
When an external hemorroid develops a blood clot within it, it's called an external thrombosed hemroid, and it means you may need to look into surgical treatment options.
The only surgical option available for external hemroids is full hemorrhoidectomy, and there are quite a few excellent reasons not to use it unless a blood clot has formed inside the hemroid in question.
If there is no thrombosis, you much better off trying to deal with your external hemroids at home. As long as the home remedies enable you to get through your day, then they really are the best thing to treat external hemroids.
However, if your external hemroid has developed a thrombosis, knowing all of your options and what to expect will be quite beneficial.
External Hemroids and Hemorrhoidectomy
Hemroidectomy is a surgical procedure that can be done with traditional scalpels, a device that conducts electricity like a cautery pencil, or by lasers.
Either general or spinal anesthesia is used, so feel free to ask for general if you'd really like to sleep through the whole thing, or spinal if you'd feel better staying awake.
No matter what instrument or anesthesia option is used, several incisions are made around the hemroid in question, the major blood vessel inside is tied off to prevent excessive bleeding, and the excess tissue is excised.
The surgical area may be sewn shut or left open. Either way, medicated gauze covers the resulting wound.
While there is a lot of hype about using lasers instead of more traditional methods, there have been no studies showing lasers to have a better success rate or quicker healing than any other tool, and lasers have a chance of causing deep tissue burns unless the doctor is really skilled in their use.
Therefore, don't believe anyone's hype of one type of tool being better than another.
In the hands of an appropriately trained surgeon, both are equally effective, so go with the surgeon who has the best reputation and with whom you feel the most comfortable in your area.
Side effects, symptoms, of external hemroids hemorrhoidectomy and what to do
The most common side effects of a full hemorrhoidectomy are bleeding, temporary inability to urinate or pass stools, and a small infection.
This surgery is usually done on an outpatient basis, which means you go home the same day, but they will keep you until you successfully urinate.
Twenty percent of hemorrhoidectomy patients can't urinate for a bit after the surgery due to swelling of surrounding tissues or pelvic muscle spasm, and the doctor will want to make sure that you're all right in this regard before you get to go home.
Rare side effects of a hemorrhoidectomy can occur immediately after surgery or much later.
Early side effects include severe bleeding from the anal canal, collection of blood in the surgical area, inability to control the bowel or bladder, serious infection of the surgical area, and the backup and collection of fecal matter in the anal canal due to inability to defecate.
Later serious side effects include the narrowing of the anal canal, rectal prolapse, where the rectal lining slips out of the anal opening, the formation of an abnormal passage between the anorectal canal and another abdominal area, and, in five percent of post surgical patients, the hemroids come back.
As you can see, a full hemorrhoidectomy is not something to take lightly and it carries many potential risks.
However, if you need one due to a thrombosed external hemroid, be sure to check your surgeon's credentials with the tools he or she uses, and follow all of his or her recommendations to the letter.
External hemroids hemorrhoidectomy and the recovery phase and what to do and not do
Full recovery generally takes about two to three weeks, during which time you should take the painkillers and antibiotics you'll be prescribed, take sitz-baths in warm, plain water, and avoid heavy lifting or straining.
You should also get plenty of fiber and water in your diet, as constipation after surgery would be even more painful than constipation before.
Get home help if you need to during recovery, follow any and all dietary restrictions or changes, take all prescribed medications, and do get both the logistical and emotional support of family and friends.
All surgeries involve a trauma to the body, and usually affect your life and emotions much more than you may predict.
The last and most important thing to remember is that if you or someone you love suffer from external hemroids, they do not have to permanently impair your quality of life.
Using these guidelines, suggestions, and your own native common sense, external hemroids should not bother you in the future.
Research and main write by Loni L. Ice, editing and quality control by D. S. Urquhart.
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All the best to you in your search for hemorrhoid relief and prevention
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