Hemorrhoids conditions and symptoms can range from mild to severe. They are caused by swelling veins and tissues in the rectal area. Swelling occurs when the walls of veins become weak or thin. Learn more about what causes hemorrhoids, symptoms, and treatment of hemorrhoids.
What causes hemorrhoids?
Hemorrhoids are usually experienced by people between the ages of 20 and 50. There can be any number of causes of hemorrhoids including pregnancy, labor, heavy lifting, constipation, diarrhea, and excessive strain on the rectal area.
Common symptoms of hemorrhoids.
Symptoms of hemorrhoids may be mild or severe, and there may be more than one symptom. The type and severity of the symptoms will determine the best way to treat hemorrhoids.
Symptoms of hemorrhoids – itching
One of the most annoying symptoms that occurs with hemorrhoids is itching. Itching may be caused by mucous that is secreted when hemorrhoids are inflamed.
Symptoms of hemorrhoids – burning
Another common problem with hemorrhoids is burning. Sometimes hemorrhoids cause small ulcerations of the surface area around the rectum. This results in a burning sensation when the area is irritated. It can be a mild warmth to an intense burn with pain.
Symptoms of hemorrhoids – pain
Inflammation, welling, infection and protrusion of hemorrhoids often cause the condition to be painful. Like burning and itching, the pain of hemorrhoids can range from very mild to very severe. If pain is severe and persists contact a physician for treatment.
Symptoms and treatment of hemorrhoids – swelling
Swelling or inflammation is a typical symptom of hemorrhoids. It occurs when veins become dilated or fluid accumulates in the tissue surrounding dilated veins. Swelling contributes to the other symptoms of hemorrhoids, including pain, redness, irritation, and burning.
Symptoms and treatment of hemorrhoids – irritation
All of the symptoms associated with hemorrhoids cause a general feeling of discomfort and irritation.
Symptoms and treatment of hemorrhoids – bleeding
Weakening and dilation of the veins can cause hemorrhoids to rupture and bleed. This usually occurs during or after a bowel movement. When bleeding of hemorrhoids occurs it is time to see a physician for treatment.
Common over-the-counter treatments for hemorrhoids.
To treat symptoms caused by hemorrhoids use the following guide for over -the-counter medications. Each treatment listed is followed by the symptoms which it treats. That is followed by a few products that contain these specific ingredients to make shopping for an over-the-counter medication easier.
Benzocaine – itching, burning, pain, irritation
Benzyl Alcohol – itching, burning, pain
Calamine – swelling, irritation
Camphor – itching, pain, irritation
Cocoa Butter – itching, irritation
Dibucaine – itching, burning, pain, irritation
Epinephrine – swelling
Hydrocortisone – itching, swelling,
Hydrochloride – swelling
Glycerin – itching, irritation
Lanolin – itching, irritation
Lidocaine – burning, irritation
Menthol – itching, irritation
Mineral oil – irritation
Petrolatum – itching, irritation
Pramoxine – itching, pain, irritation
Phenylephrine – itching, swelling
WitchHazel – swelling, irritation
Zinc Oxide – swelling, irritation
Hemorrhoids can often be effectively treated using over-the-counter medications. These may come in the form of suppositories, foam, cream, ointment, or spray. One ingredient may treat several symptoms of hemorrhoids, so it is not necessary to purchase separate medication for each treatment.
When treating hemorrhoids it is important to keep the affected area clean. Clean the rectal area with mild soap and water, rinse, and pat dry.
Another way to clean this area is to use medicated wipes. Wipes treated with witch hazel help reduce swelling, burning, itching, and irritation.
Once the area is clean, apply medication as directed.
When to see a physician for hemorrhoid treatment.
You should also see a physician if hemorrhoids bleed, contain any pus, are recurring, or form a large mass. If self-treated hemorrhoids are not better within a week, it is time to see a physician.
Consult a physician any time you feel uncomfortable with home treatment or hemorrhoids or their symptoms become severe or persistent.
*This article is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice. Always consult a physician as needed.
Hemorrhoids and What to Do About Them, Harvard Health Publications
Hemorrhoid Symptoms, Webmd.com
Hemorrhoids: Topic Overview, Webmd.com