Hemorrhoids: Itch and Treatment

Hemorrhoids are swollen veins in the lower rectum or anus, often causing discomfort, itching, and bleeding. They can be classified as internal or external, depending on their location. While hemorrhoids are a common condition, understanding their causes, symptoms, and treatments is essential for effective management and relief.

Causes of Hemorrhoids

Straining During Bowel Movements

One of the primary causes of hemorrhoids is straining during bowel movements. This can be due to constipation or diarrhea, both of which increase pressure on the veins in the rectal area.

Prolonged Sitting

Sitting for extended periods, especially on the toilet, can contribute to hemorrhoid formation. The increased pressure on the anal veins can lead to swelling and discomfort.


Pregnancy can also increase the risk of hemorrhoids due to the pressure of the growing uterus on the veins in the pelvic area. Additionally, hormonal changes during pregnancy can affect vein health.


As people age, the tissues supporting the veins in the rectum and anus can weaken and stretch, making hemorrhoids more likely to occur.


Being overweight or obese can put additional pressure on the pelvic veins, increasing the likelihood of developing hemorrhoids.

Symptoms of Hemorrhoids


One of the most common and distressing symptoms of hemorrhoids is itching around the anus. This itching is often caused by the irritation of the swollen veins and the surrounding skin.

Pain and Discomfort

Hemorrhoids can cause pain and discomfort, particularly during bowel movements. This pain can range from mild to severe, depending on the severity of the hemorrhoids.


Bleeding during bowel movements is another common symptom of hemorrhoids. This can manifest as bright red blood on the toilet paper or in the toilet bowl.


Swelling around the anus is a typical sign of external hemorrhoids. This swelling can be felt as a lump near the anal opening.

Treatment for Hemorrhoids

Dietary Changes

Increasing fiber intake can help prevent and treat hemorrhoids by softening the stool and reducing straining during bowel movements. Foods rich in fiber include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes. Drinking plenty of water also aids in preventing constipation.

Over-the-Counter Medications

Over-the-counter creams, ointments, and suppositories can provide relief from hemorrhoid symptoms. These products often contain ingredients like hydrocortisone, which can reduce itching and inflammation.

Sitz Baths

A sitz bath involves sitting in warm water for 10-15 minutes several times a day. This can help soothe the irritated area and reduce itching and pain.

Cold Compresses

Applying a cold compress to the affected area can help reduce swelling and provide temporary relief from itching and discomfort.

Avoid Straining

Avoiding straining during bowel movements is crucial for preventing and treating hemorrhoids. This can be achieved by addressing constipation through dietary changes and staying hydrated.


Regular physical activity can help prevent constipation and reduce the pressure on the veins in the pelvic area. Exercise also promotes healthy bowel movements.

Medical Procedures

For severe or persistent hemorrhoids, medical procedures may be necessary. These can include:

  • Rubber Band Ligation: A procedure in which a rubber band is placed around the base of the hemorrhoid to cut off its blood supply, causing it to shrink and fall off.
  • Sclerotherapy: An injection of a chemical solution that shrinks the hemorrhoid.
  • Infrared Coagulation: A procedure that uses infrared light to coagulate and shrink the hemorrhoid.
  • Hemorrhoidectomy: A surgical procedure to remove severe hemorrhoids.


Hemorrhoids can cause significant discomfort and itching, but there are effective treatments available. Simple lifestyle changes, such as increasing fiber intake, staying hydrated, and exercising regularly, can prevent and alleviate symptoms. Over-the-counter medications, sitz baths, and cold compresses provide additional relief. For more severe cases, medical procedures may be necessary. If you experience persistent or severe symptoms, it is important to seek medical advice to determine the best course of treatment.

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