Why Do Hemorrhoids Cause Itching
Anal itching, or pruritus ani, is a common complaint. We see patients all the time who believe they have hemorrhoids because of the severe itching and need to scratch the tender skin around their anus. Some have already tried to treat their self-diagnosed hemorrhoids, and seen little relief. Often, this is because piles are not the cause of the itching. Other times, they do suffer from a hemorrhoid, but need additional treatment to stop their symptoms.
If you suffer from pruritus ani, it is important to talk to us about your symptoms. This is especially true if you also see blood on your stool, toilet paper, or underwear. Hemorrhoids can certainly cause these symptoms, but so can other more serious health concerns. We can evaluate your condition, ensure you receive the right diagnosis, and put you on a treatment plan that offers relief and healing.
Keeping Yourself Comfortable During The Day
Though hemorrhoid symptoms vary depending on the location and type, if you have external hemorrhoids, a thrombosed hemorrhoid , or a prolapsed internal hemorrhoid , simple things like sitting at your desk at work can cause extreme discomfort. For immediate pain relief, we recommend oral pain relievers or topical treatments such as an over-the-counter hemorrhoid cream or witch hazel. We may also prescribe a numbing cream to ease your pain.
To reduce irritation, you should wear clean, cotton underwear and loose-fitted clothing to help keep the area dry. Moisture may lead to itching and irritation. If you find it too difficult to sit in your office chair, you may want to invest in a donut cushion to ease the pressure on your backside.
At home, soak in a warm sitz bath for 1015 minutes a few times a day to relieve itching, muscle spasms, and pain. You can find a sitz bath tub at your local pharmacy that fits over your toilet to make the process easier.
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Internal Hemorrhoid Itch Relief
Internal hemorrhoids are not often symptomatic. They are in an area of the anus that lacks sensing nerves. Internal hemorrhoids fall into one of four grades based on their severity.
In some cases, internal hemorrhoids become prolapsed.
This means they protrude out of the anus. Because it may be difficult to properly clean yourself after a bowel movement, prolapsed hemorrhoids can become irritated and lead to symptoms such as itching.
The most effective form of treatment for internal hemorrhoid itch relief is over-the-counter suppositories.
A suppository is a capsule-shaped medication that is inserted into the anus. These are primarily used to treat internal hemorrhoids because they are inserting into the anus.
They provide a barrier between the hemorrhoid and stool. Once inserted into the anus, the suppository begins to melt and disperse the medicated ingredients. The rectal muscles hold the suppository in place, pushing the medication further into the anal cavity.
When internal hemorrhoids become prolapsed, they can also be treated by the many of the same treatments for external hemorrhoids:
- Cold compresses
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Can Hemorrhoids Be Prevented
You can help prevent hemorrhoids by:
- Eating foods that are high in fiber
- Taking a stool softener or a fiber supplement
- Drinking enough fluids every day
- Not straining during bowel movements
- Not sitting on the toilet for long periods of time
NIH: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases
How To Stop Hemorrhoid Itching
Hemorrhoids can be a very painful condition, but to make matters worse they also tend to cause severe itching.
For some people, this is their biggest problem with hemorrhoids. They may even find themselves scratching in their sleep, which may wake them up several times every night.
Stopping hemorrhoid itching
If you want to stop this itching, you first need to understand why its happening.
Hemorrhoids are caused by increased pressure inside of the veins. When these veins become engorged with blood, they expand and stretch out from your rectum towards your skin.
They also swell up until they fill your entire anal canal, which makes them incredibly sensitive to even the lightest touch.
But heres the real problem: you have two veins that run alongside your rectum towards your skin, and they both meet near your anus.
When these veins swell up inside of your anal canal, it actually causes constant pressure on this area because there isnt any room for them to expand.
This causes the veins to bulge outwards and press against your skin, which is what creates hemorrhoid itching.
The good news is that this entire process can be stopped with proper treatment!
Its important for you to realize that if you dont fix the root cause of your hemorrhoids then youll never be able to stop hemorrhoid itching.
Hemorrhoids can actually be caused by a number of different things, such as genetics, aging, diet and lifestyle choices, and high blood pressure.
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Hemorrhoids Treatments For Itching
If you are one of the millions of people who suffer from hemorrhoids, also commonly known as hemroids, you know that itching and burning are two symptoms that typically accompany the condition. What you may not know, however, is that there can be numerous causes of hemorrhoidal itching, and the best treatment method for the condition may vary by this underlying cause.
Causes of Itching
With external hemorrhoids, the itching that accompanies the condition is usually due to the proximity of a band of nerves in the anal area which is affected by the hemorrhoidal tissue. Additionally, due to their location, external hemorrhoids are more likely to be irritated by scratching or scrubbing in the area than internal hemroids. Too vigorous wiping or scrubbing during bathing can cause the natural oils found in the skin near the anus to be stripped away, thus removing the skins own innate lubricant. The results can be dryness, chafing and itching. Additionally, the removal of the bodys naturally protective oils on the skin can make it more vulnerable to surface infections. The result is a vicious circle where irritation leads to scratching and scrubbing which leads to further irritation.
Treatments for Hemorrhoidal Itching
Irritation and itching caused by external hemroids may also be treated effectively by use of a mild moisturizer or cream in the affected area. Using unscented toilet paper and patting gently are also recommended to prevent further irritation of the skin.
Why Exactly Do Hemorrhoids Itch
Several causes contribute to uncomfortable itching often worse at night.
- Inflammation:Inflammation is the biological root of severe itching with hemorrhoids. An area that is inflamed can be filled with a lot of fluid and white blood cells. When this happens, the body tries to adjust and natural stretching occurs which causes the itchiness.
- Rubbing: Excess rubbing can cause itchiness, and rubbing of the area cant always be avoided. This can happen while simply walking. Sometimes even underwear can cause abrasions.
- Passing Feces: The simple strain of passing feces can make already developing or inflamed hemorrhoids worse. In turn, this leads to more inflammation and increased itchiness.
- Natural Production of Mucus: In the case of internal hemorrhoids, the body naturally produces more mucus than normal. When the mucus exits the body, it can dry out on the outer skin causing an uncomfortable, itchy sensation.
Of course, there can be other reasons that cause your hemorrhoids to itch, and for severe hemorrhoids, it is best to see a doctor to learn more about the condition and what the best method of treatment is.
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What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of An Internal Or Prolapsed Hemorrhoid
Most often, internal hemorrhoids have no symptoms but are only found if there is bleeding with a bowel movement or if the hemorrhoid prolapses so that it can be felt outside of the anus. This may lead to itching and pain as well as the bleeding.
Prolapse of an internal hemorrhoid occurs when the internal hemorrhoids swell and extend from their location in the rectum through the anus. A prolapsed internal hemorrhoid:
- Can be felt as a lump outside the anus
- Can be gently pushed back through the anus, this may resolve the location of the hemorrhoid, but does not fix the hemorrhoid itself
- May enlarge and swell even more if it cannot be pushed back
- May become entrapped, which requires more urgent medical attention
Hemorrhoids may also cause anal itching , and a constant feeling of needing to have a bowel movement .
Internal hemorrhoid severity can be graded:
- Grade I: Prominent blood vessels with no prolapse
- Grade II: Prolapse with bearing down but with spontaneous reduction
- Grade III: Prolapse with bearing down but requiring manual reduction
- Grade IV: Prolapse with inability to manual reduction
What Helps Feminine Itching And Burning
Medical Author: Karthik Kumar, MBBS
Medical Reviewer: Shaziya Allarakha, MD
Treating feminine or vaginal itching or burning depends on the cause of the symptoms.
- For yeast infection, the patient may need an antifungal cream or a pill to alleviate the symptoms. A gynecologist can often prescribe oral medication to get rid of the yeast. An over-the-counter cream is sometimes also effective when trying to eliminate yeast infection.
- Bacterial vaginosis is remedied by creating a balanced level between the good and bad bacteria in your vagina. Antibiotics will remedy this infection along with reintroducing healthy bacteria into the system. Some women take natural supplements that include probiotics to help them feel better. Flagyl , MetroGel , or Cleocin may be prescribed.
- If chemical irritants are the cause of the discomfort, stop using scented soaps and feminine sprays, and avoid harsh laundry detergents. Patients should discontinue douching and wearing underwear made of synthetic materials. Allow the vagina to breathe, and wear panties made of natural fibers. Because the side effects of menopause contribute to vaginal discomfort, the patient may wish to use a lubricant to soothe the itchiness.
A gynecologist may also prescribe
Common home remedies:
What are the common causes of feminine itching and burning?
The following are the common causes of feminine itching:
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What Are Additional Symptoms Associated With Anal Itching
- The intensity of anal itching and the amount of inflammation increases from the direct trauma of scratching and the presence of moisture.
- At its most intense, anal itching causes intolerable discomfort that often is described as burning and soreness, especially during and after bowel movements.
- There also may be small amounts of bleeding.
Why Do Hemorrhoids Itch And Burn
Hemorrhoids itch because when weakened blood vessels swell.
The skin surrounding the blood vessel swells as well, causing the skin to become irritated. This leads to inflammation, the primary cause of hemorrhoidal itching.
Skin can also become either overly moist, which can lead to friction, or overly dry, which can make the area more likely to collect small bits of fecal matter.
This causes a condition known as pruritus ani, which is better known as anal itching.
Pressure from sitting, wiping in an attempt to ease the itching, or friction from clothing makes anal itching much worse.
A diet high in spicy foods may also dramatically increase the itch factor.
Using a hemorrhoid supplement like HemRid can help stop you hemorrhoid itching and burning.
HemRid works from the inside-out to provide you with fast hemorrhoid relief.
This is because it can interfere with normal bowel movements, amplifying the irritation around the anus.
Clinical studies have shown that this theory may be a myth.
Pregnancy and hemorrhoids go hand in hand. It is believed that the increased pressure from the extra weight leads to hemorrhoids when pregnant.
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When To See A Doctor
If over-the-counter medications and lifestyle changes dont solve the problem, your doctor can prescribe stronger medications, from steroid products to more effective stool softeners, or a combination of medicines to treat your particular issues.
For particularly stubborn and persistent hemorrhoids, you may need to resort to medical treatment, such as surgical intervention.
We often perform rubber-band ligation procedures, which use a tiny rubber band to tie off internal hemorrhoids, causing them to shrink and disappear, Dr. Hsu says. But if you have especially large hemorrhoids, sometimes a surgeon will do a hemorrhoidectomy to cut them out.
Most external hemorrhoids dont bleed, so if you see blood in your stool or when you wipe and havent been diagnosed with an internal hemorrhoid, its time to see a doctor.
If theres any sharp pain in the anal area thats similar to how a paper cut feels, its likely due to an anal fissure, which people often confuse for a hemorrhoid, he says. An anal fissure is a little tear in the anal area that can heal up very quickly. Between bowel movements, patients with anal fissures can be symptom-free.
Anal fissures are easy to remedy, but rectal bleeding can also signal more serious ailments, such as colon cancer, Crohns disease and ulcerative colitisso its important to see a doctor for a proper diagnosis. Make sure to get medical treatment right away if you lose a lot of blood from a hemorrhoid.
Do All Hemorrhoids Itch
While all hemorrhoids have the potential to develop symptoms of itching, all hemorrhoids do not necessarily always itch.
Internal hemorrhoids may itch when they become prolapsed or if mucus caused by internal hemorrhoids leaks from the rectum.
External hemorrhoids can cause itching because of the inflammation or if there are skin tags left behind.
Some patients are lucky enough to not experience the symptoms of itching with their hemorrhoids, but any type of hemorrhoid may come with this uncomfortable side effect.
Try a hemorrhoid supplement like HemRid to stop that hemorrhoid itching and burning for good.
How Do I Relieve Hemorrhoid Itching
For people who suffer from hemorrhoid itching, probably the best treatment plan is to find the underlying cause of the hemorrhoids to stop their occurrence. There are, however, a few treatments that may help minimize both hemorrhoid itching and pain until the actual cause has been determined. Topical ointments and suppositories that help reduce itching and swelling can be purchased at most pharmacies without a prescription. Keeping the rectal area very clean, especially following bowel movements, may also help lessen the severity of the symptoms.
The two most commonly used topical ointments designed to treat hemorrhoid itching and pain are ointments that contain either cortisone or lidocaine. Cortisone is an anti-inflammatory steroid that may help shrink hemorrhoids. As the hemorrhoids begin to shrink, very often the itching will also subside. Lidocaine is primarily targeted at relieving hemorrhoid pain, but also has some anti-inflammatory properties.
What Are Treatment Options And Home Remedies For Anal Itching
Initial self-care for simple itching is directed toward relieving symptoms, like burning and soreness. It is important to clean and dry the anus thoroughly and avoid leaving soap in the anal area.
- Cleaning efforts should include gentle showering without direct rubbing or irritation of the skin with either the washcloth or towel.
- After bowel movements, moist pads should be used for cleaning the anus instead of toilet paper.
- If there is constant moisture present in the anus or stool incontinence, it may be necessary to clean the anus with wet wipes between bowel movements.
Many over-the-counter products are sold for the treatment of an itchy anus and are available as ointments, creams, gels, suppositories, foams and pads. These products often contain the same drugs used to treat hemorrhoids.
- When used around the anus, ointments, creams, and gels should be applied as a thin covering.
- When applied to the anal canal, these products should be inserted with a finger using finger cots or a pile pipe. Pile pipes are most efficient when they have holes on the sides as well as at the end. Pile pipes should be lubricated with ointment prior to insertion.
- Suppositories or foams do not have advantages over ointments, creams, and gels.
Most products contain more than one type of active ingredient. Almost all contain a protectant in addition to another ingredient. Only examples of brand-name products containing one ingredient in addition to the protectant are discussed in this article.
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How Do Hemorrhoids Go Away
There are a number of over-the-counter treatment options that can help the itching, pain, and discomfort. First, you should talk to your doctor if you think you are experiencing hemorrhoid symptoms. They may recommend some of the following:
- A stool softener can help reduce straining. This can help prevent hemorrhoids and makes it less painful to pass stool when you have them.
- Laxatives are helpful if you are not having regular bowel movements.
- Topical medications can reduce the discomfort and pain, and help shrink the hemorrhoids.
- You can also soak daily in a warm bath or a sitz bath .
It can take anywhere from a few days to over a week for the swelling to go down and the symptoms to go away. If your symptoms do not get better with these treatments, your doctor may suggest an in-office procedure to remove your hemorrhoids. These procedures are usually done using a local anesthetic, but depending on the procedure may cause some pain and discomfort following the procedure.
A common misconception is that once you have hemorrhoids they never go away. In fact, they can go away! Explore all the options, which focus on avoiding constipation and hard bowel movements. If youre having pain, topical treatment can be given as well. If nothing helps, there are small procedural options that a gastroenterologist or a surgeon can offer to treat your hemorrhoids. Dr. Kumar