Senvie Skin Care

Dealing with Persistent External Hemorrhoids

Posted on 13 June 2024 by

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Causes, Treatments & Prevention for External Hemorrhoids

Living with a persistent external hemorrhoid can be both painful and frustrating. Hemorrhoids, which are swollen veins in the lower rectum and anal canal, are a common condition affecting millions of people. While some hemorrhoids resolve on their own or with minimal treatment, others can become a long-term issue. Understanding the causes, treatments, and preventive measures can help manage this condition more effectively.

What Causes Persistent External Hemorrhoids?

External hemorrhoids develop outside the anus and can be caused by several factors:

  1. Chronic Constipation or Diarrhea: Straining during bowel movements can cause the veins in the anal area to swell.
  2. Prolonged Sitting: Sitting for long periods, especially on the toilet, increases pressure on the blood vessels in the rectal area.
  3. Pregnancy: Increased pressure in the pelvic area during pregnancy can cause hemorrhoids.
  4. Obesity: Excess weight puts additional pressure on the pelvic and rectal veins.
  5. Low-Fiber Diet: A diet low in fiber can lead to constipation, which contributes to hemorrhoid formation.

Symptoms of Persistent External Hemorrhoids

Persistent external hemorrhoids can cause various symptoms that impact daily life:

  • Pain and Discomfort: This can range from mild discomfort to severe pain, especially during bowel movements.
  • Itching and Irritation: The skin around the anus can become itchy and irritated.
  • Swelling: Hemorrhoids may appear as lumps or swellings near the anus.
  • Rectal Bleeding: Small amounts of bright red blood may appear on toilet paper or in the toilet bowl.

Treatment Options

When dealing with a persistent external hemorrhoid, there are several treatment options available:

  1. Over-the-Counter Treatments: Creams, ointments, and suppositories can help relieve symptoms such as pain, itching, and inflammation. Common ingredients include hydrocortisone, witch hazel, and lidocaine.
  2. Home Remedies:
  • Warm Sitz Baths: Soaking the anal area in warm water for 15 minutes several times a day can reduce swelling and discomfort.
  • Cold Compresses: Applying ice packs to the affected area can help reduce pain and swelling.
  • High-Fiber Diet: Eating foods rich in fiber, such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, can soften stools and reduce straining.
  • Fiber Supplement: If dietary fiber is insufficient, a fiber supplement can help maintain regular bowel movements.
  • Hydration: Drinking plenty of water helps prevent constipation.

3. Minimally Invasive Procedures: If over-the-counter treatments and home remedies are not working, a doctor may recommend one of the following procedures:

  • Rubber Band Ligation: A small rubber band is placed around the base of the hemorrhoid to cut off its blood supply, causing it to shrink.
  • Sclerotherapy: A chemical solution is injected into the hemorrhoid to shrink it.
  • Infrared Coagulation: Infrared light is used to cut off the blood supply to the hemorrhoid.
  • Hemorrhoidectomy: In severe cases, surgical removal of the hemorrhoid may be necessary.

Prevention Tips

Preventing hemorrhoids from becoming a persistent problem involves adopting healthy habits:

  1. Diet and Hydration: Consuming a high-fiber diet and staying well-hydrated are important for maintaining regular bowel movements and reducing the risk of constipation.
  2. Exercise: Regular physical activity helps stimulate bowel function and prevents constipation.
  3. Avoid Straining: Do not strain or sit on the toilet for extended periods. Respond promptly to the urge to have a bowel movement.
  4. Good Hygiene: Keeping the anal area clean and dry can prevent irritation. Use gentle, unscented wipes or warm water for cleansing.
  5. Healthy Bowel Habits: Establish a regular bowel routine. Try to go at the same time each day to promote regularity.

When to See a Doctor

While many hemorrhoids can be treated with home care and over-the-counter products, persistent or severe cases require medical attention. It's essential to consult a healthcare provider if:

  • Symptoms Worsen: Pain, swelling, or bleeding becomes more severe.
  • Home Treatments Fail: Symptoms do not improve with self-care measures.
  • Significant Bleeding: There is significant or continuous rectal bleeding.
  • Lump: A lump in the anal area becomes hard or painful.

Mental and Emotional Impact

Living with a persistent external hemorrhoid can take a toll on mental and emotional well-being. Chronic pain and discomfort can lead to anxiety, stress, and embarrassment. It's essential to acknowledge these feelings and seek support from healthcare professionals, friends, or support groups. Managing stress through relaxation techniques, exercise, and hobbies can also improve overall well-being.

Myths and Misconceptions

Several myths surround hemorrhoids, and it's important to distinguish fact from fiction:

  • Myth: Only Older Adults Get Hemorrhoids: Hemorrhoids can affect people of all ages, though they are more common in adults.
  • Myth: Spicy Foods Cause Hemorrhoids: While spicy foods may irritate existing hemorrhoids, they do not cause them.
  • Myth: Hemorrhoids Are Always Visible: Internal hemorrhoids are not visible, while external ones can be seen or felt.


Persistent external hemorrhoids are a common but manageable condition. Understanding the causes, symptoms, and treatment options is crucial for effective management. By adopting preventive measures and seeking appropriate medical care when necessary, individuals can find relief and improve their quality of life. Remember, while hemorrhoids can be uncomfortable and sometimes embarrassing, they are treatable, and you are not alone in dealing with this condition.

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