Hemorrhoids bring in any form pain and discomfort, and external hemorrhoids make no exception. External hemorrhoids are usually visible as fleshy lumps around the anus. Seldom they can be mistaken with prolapsed hemorrhoids (internal hemorrhoids that protrude out the anus). Otherwise, any swelling or a protruding mass at or near the anus are considered to be external hemorrhoids.
Symptoms of external hemorrhoids may include painful swelling or a hard lump around the anus that results when a blood clot forms. This condition is known as a thrombosed external hemorrhoid. In addition, excessive straining, rubbing, or cleaning around the anus may cause irritation with bleeding and/or itching, which may produce a vicious cycle of symptoms. Draining mucus may also cause itching. You can easily notice external hemorrhoids by inspecting the outer opening of anus. Whenever you notice any symptom of external hemorrhoids, consult your physician immediately and start treatment. Early treatment will give you early relief from pains and discomforts of external hemorrhoids.
Treatment for external hemorrhoids includes warm baths (you have to sit in warm water for 10 to 15 minutes twice or thrice a day), ice packs (a temporary relief - the ice packs have be wrapped in a towel to prevent direct contact with the skin), suppositories, seat cushions (if your job requires continuous long sitting) and loose underwear (for your comfort). Also, a fibrous diet (blackberries, blueberries, cherries, vitamin C) will help you to get relief up-to certain extent, as this strengthens the veins and ensure smooth bowel. You should also try butcher's broom (Ruscus aculeatus), and flavonoids (plant pigments found in fruit and fruit products, tea, and soy). After each bowel movement, wiping with a moistened tissue or pad sold for that purpose helps lessen irritation. Herbal teas and other kinds of herbal preparations are also suggested for reducing discomfort and eliminating hemorrhoids.
Other recommendations might be to drink six to eight glasses of water a day to increase fecal bulk and prevent straining and to choose a time when you are not rushed. Do not ignore the urge to defecate and do not hold your breath while you are on the toilet seat. Many people find that over-the-counter hemorrhoid creams and foams bring relief, but these medications do not make hemorrhoids disappear. Acupuncture, acupressure, aromatherapy, and homeopathy are also used to treat hemorrhoids.
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