Get rid of external hemorrhoids

Edited by Jonathan, Charmed, Lynn, Nerissa Avisado and 13 others


By midlife, around half of the population, will have experienced external hemorrhoids. This half will encounter symptoms like rectal pain, bleeding, itching and a possible relapse, wherein the hemorrhoids protrude through the anal canal.

What Are Hemorrhoids?

Hemorrhoids are blood vessels in the rectum which become swollen or distended. There are two types of hemorrhoids: Internal and external hemorrhoids.

Internal hemorrhoids occur in the lower rectum and are usually painless, even when there is bleeding. With external hemorrhoids, there is a lot of pain, and it is usually uncomfortable. It develops around the skin surrounding of the anus. A blood clot forms and you can visibly see a lump around the anus. External hemorrhoids are rarely dangerous, but they can be a troublesome intrusion that may cause discomfort.

What Are Common Causes of Hemorrhoids?

  • External pressure. Like standing for long periods of time, sitting for a long time upon a hard surface.
  • Bowel movement strain.
  • Coughing.
  • Vomiting.
  • Sneezing and holding one's breath.
  • A diet high in processed food will put a person at a higher risk of suffering from hemorrhoids because it encourages constipation, which may then lead to straining during a bowel movement.
  • Obesity.
  • Pregnancy.

How to Combat External Hemorrhoids:

  1. 1
    Drink Water
    Adequate water intake is essential for the proper function of many organs, but it also helps to soften stools. You should be drinking at least 8 glasses of water per day.
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  2. 2
    Fiber-Rich Diet
    Aside from drinking a lot of water, food with a lot of fiber should be consumed. Examples are broccoli, beans, whole-grain foods, wheat and oat bran, and fruits. Fiber supplements such as Metamucil, Citrucel or Fiber Con, together with fibrous food, and adequate fluid intake, can soften stools for better bowel movements, resulting in non-irritation on hemorrhoids.
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  3. 3
    Moderate Exercise
    Brisk walking for 20 to 30 minutes a day stimulates bowel movements.
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  4. 4
    Schedule your Bowel Movement and Take your Time
    Establish a set time for defecation, such as after a meal. Take your time on the toilet and do not pressure yourself. Let your stool take its own sweet time to fill the toilet bowl. But then, even if you have a set schedule for bowel movements if, during the day, you feel the need to poop, go to the bathroom immediately. Stool, when unheeded, can tend to back up, causing increased pressure and straining.
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  5. 5
    Enjoy a Sitz Bath
    Sitz comes from the German word "sitzen" which means to sit. A sitz bath is a warm water bath remedy for both the buttocks and the hips. Physicians recommend a 20-minute sitz bath after each defecation, two to three times a day. It can be done two ways:
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    1. Fill your bathtub to about 4 inches in height of water. Add 1 cup Epsom Salt and mix before sitting.
    2. Use a Sitz Bath Kit which can be purchased at a Medical Supply store. These fit into a toilet bowl and come with tubing connected to a bag and a basin.
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  1. 1
    External Medication. Over-the-counter hemorrhoid creams can be easily purchased
    They can provide temporary relief, but do not use them for more than a week or your anal skin can atrophy.
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  2. 2
    Ice Pack
    Putting a small ice pack on your anal area can help ease the discomfort from swelling.
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  3. 3
    Sitting on a Soft Surface
    Make it a point to sit on a cushion or on chairs with soft padding to help prevent the formation of new hemorrhoids.
    Stacked Cushions.jpg
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  4. 4
    Treat the Clot Surgically
    A minor operation can be performed by a surgeon to surgically remove the hemorrhoid or withdraw the clot from the vein.
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Additional Tips and Suggestions

  • Sometimes it may be possible to push back in an internal hemorrhoid. This should always be done with clean gentle hands.
  • Make your own Sitz Bath in a standard bathtub by filling it with 4-8 inch of warm water.
  • Some stores may sell special plastic toilet inserts or tubing for administration of a Sitz bath.


  • For problematic or chronic hemorrhoids talk to your doctor.

Questions and Answers

Can kids get hemorrhoids?

Is it possible.

Hemorrhoids are almost unheard of during childhood, which is the basis for this question. But YES, kids can get hemorrhoids too. However, cases are not as frequent as with adults. The risk increases as we age, but children can become too picky with the food they eat and grow fond of food that can cause constipation. A diet that has too much sugar - candy, cookies, and sugary drinks - and very little fiber (from fruits and vegetables) or water can cause constipation. This makes the child have to strain when using the restroom, which is the primary factor in triggering hemorrhoids among kids. Straining can put pressure on the blood vessels surrounding the anus, making them swell.

There are other reasons that children may get hemorrhoids, such sitting for an extended time on the toilet or withholding. Medical conditions, medications, and genetics may similarly cause hemorrhoids in kids. If you see blood in your child's stool or there is a bumpy part in his or her anus that you can feel as you wipe the area, hemorrhoids may be developing. It is best to bring the child to a pediatrician right away for a proper diagnosis. Not only are hemorrhoids uncomfortable, and even painful, but it can also be an indication of another medical condition that requires attention, such as portal hypertension.

What is the active ingredient in external hemorrhoid cream?

I want to buy an over the counter version but want to make sure it has the same active ingredient.

The discomforts of hemorrhoids can be relieved using topical creams or suppositories. Most of these are even over-the-counter (OTC) treatments that you can buy without a prescription. External hemorrhoid creams are generally made up of a variety of active ingredients, and these may come in various forms - foams, pads, gels suppositories, and creams. The most common preparations almost always include active ingredients to provide relief of the symptoms, such as constricting medications or vasoconstrictors. These function to shrink the blood vessels that can reduce the blood flow in the anal area where it is applied, and similarly reduce the swelling. The most commonly used vasoconstrictor is phenylephrine. Other preparations use pramoxine and hydrocortisone. If you prefer hemorrhoid products with natural ingredients, you might want to use a preparation with witch hazel in it. This has astringent properties that can effectively shrink blood vessels while promoting drying. It can, therefore, soothe the itching and burning feeling down there.

Another active ingredient in hemorrhoid preparations is the protectant that guards the delicate tissues against drying and irritation. The usual protectants are zinc oxide, mineral oil, glycerine, and lanolin. In addition to the active ingredients, hemorrhoid preparations may also have numbing medications to make the pain more bearable.

Technically, a hemorrhoid cream contains several ingredients to properly address the various symptoms of hemorrhoid. Below are some hemorrhoid symptoms with their corresponding drug treatments:

1. Swollen hemorrhoid tissues. The active ingredient Phenylephrine HCI present on most external hemorrhoid creams helps to shrink the swollen hemorrhoidal tissues.

2. Itchiness and discomfort. The main active ingredient in most topical hemorrhoid cream is petrolatum which helps in alleviating the discomfort and the itchy hemorrhoidal tissues and glycerin to moisturize and to hydrate the skin.

3. Pain. Hemorrhoid creams also contain local topical analgesics like the Pramoxine HCl to help numb the pain in the affected area.

The above active ingredients can be found mostly in external hemorrhoid creams to properly address the different symptoms of hemorrhoid.

Old fashioned cure for external piles?

I'm too embarrassed to buy medication for it.

You can do a hot-sitz bath. It has been used for centuries, it could be a little messy and very difficult to do but once you get the hang of it, it will be easier.

To do a sitz bath, do the following:

  • Use a bathtub.
  • Fill it with a few inches (not higher than your navel) of warm water (95 - 105 F / 35 - 41 C)/
  • Sit for 20- 30 minutes.
  • Add water to maintain the temperature.

I have external hemorrhoids that are quite painful. Is there anything I can do?

I am awaiting a call back from the clinic to give me available treatment options, but is there anything I can do to ease the pain until then?

Yes. You can follow the information given in this article to ease symptoms. Applying an over-the-counter hemorrhoid cream liberally to the area may also help to ease symptoms.

To further help, make sure you are:

  • Eating a diet high in fiber. Fiber helps to regulate your bowels, but make sure you up your water intake, especially if taking a fiber supplement. If you don't increase your water intake, there is a chance that fiber supplementation will cause constipation. Make sure you read and follow all directions on the fiber supplement packaging.
  • Drinking 8+ glasses of water each day to help combat any contributing factors like constipation. Eating more soup may also help by contributing to your water intake and help loosen up stools.
  • Make time each day to have a bowel movement. Rushing or feeling like you don't have the time can lead to pushing or straining, which are contributing factors.
  • Don't hold it in. Holding in stool when you have painful hemorrhoids can actually make the problem worse by adding pressure on the area and will not allow the area to heal.

I have a persistent one that won't go away?

I can't go to the doctor because I don't have health insurance. Will it shrink if I follow these steps?

These steps will help with the discomfort but will not make a hemorrhoid completely disappear. You will not want to strain during a bowel movement and use creams specifically made for hemorrhoids. These will combat the swelling that can cause so much discomfort. You may also want to look into using over the counter stool softeners.

I have tried everything I could think of to get rid of itching hemorrhoids. Zinc creams, Epsom salts, Polysporn and a Fluconazole pill because I think the itching is spreading?

Do Hemorrhoids cause itching?

Itching is a common complaint of hemorrhoids. Can you feel a bump where the itching is? You might also want to look into if you have a skin rash or a worm infestation which can also cause itching.

Do wipes help or hurt when used after bowel movements?

I use wipes when I have bowel movement instead of paper. It seems to help but then I get a dry, itchy feeling later in the day? It seems irritated even when I don't use wipes (only when movement is messy).

You may have an allergy to the ingredients in a wipe. You should also use ones without alcohol as an ingredient which can dry and irritate the skin. If you must use a wipe, make your own with some paper towel and water. You can add a few drops of an essential oil like lavender or use a few drops of your favorite body wash. Do not flush it though as this can clog your pipes.

Lump on rectum a few days ago, can you tell how to treat it?

Lump on my rectum, don't know how I was not even constipated..

Lumps in the anal area can be from several different causes. You do not need to be constipated to get hemorrhoids. They can happen with excess weight gain, pregnancy, or trauma to the area. Purchase a cream for external swelling to see if this helps with the discomfort.

Hemorrhoid help for age 18 male?

Age 18 male, high protein diet, fit, lift heavy at the gym with good technique, taking supplements, have not been straining on the toilet. Have no idea how this happened.

30 to 40% of weightlifters experience hemorrhoids during training. This happens if you are not breathing properly when squatting. You will want to consult with a trainer at your gym on proper form and breath when training to not make the matter worse. A high protein diet with little fiber can also cause this to happen.

How long would it take to have my hemorrhoids to clear up? What are the fastest ways to get rid of external hemorrhoids and their discomfort?

I'm 19, my hemorrhoids have become external a couple nights ago and it continues to cause me discomfort in almost all activities I need ways to get rid of it fast because I work and it's causing me to not work to my full potential No treatment works overnight. You will want to use an anti-inflammatory pain reliever and topical creams to reduce the swelling in addition to changing your diet.

See more questions like this: Sitting on hard vs soft surface with hemorrhoids

I am in a lot of pain with what I believe is external hemorrhoids and I was wondering how could I relieve/treat them?

I have had hemorrhoids on and off for years, but the last few days I have probably strained more than I should on the toilet and caused an external hemorrhoid which is pretty painful. I have been using creams and suppositories for a few days and just started using an internal and external ointment. I have tried: Supermarket brand suppositories and cream, Anusol ointment (currently using). I think it was caused by: Straining on the toilet. Being slightly constipated

Do all you can to stop the straining when you use the restroom. Use an over the counter stool softener if the suppositories are not helping enough. You may also need to use a laxative medication if you are still constipated for longer than 5 days. Drink prune juice or eat prunes to help aid the process first before a laxative is used.

If you have problems with any of the steps in this article, please ask a question for more help, or post in the comments section below.


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Categories : Health & Wellness

Recent edits by: Jay, VC, Maria Quinney

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