What are the Different Types of External Hemorrhoid Treatment?

K. Gierok

External hemorrhoids are described as swollen veins that have protruded outside of the rectum. Often, they are caused by an increased pressure in the rectal canal. Often, they are related to constipation, a sedentary lifestyle, pregnancy, obesity, and other conditions. Common methods of external hemorrhoid treatment include surgery, hot and cold therapies, medicated creams, and pain medications. Patients who suffer from external hemorrhoids must often experiment with a combination of these treatments in order to find the methods that work best for their particular condition.

Creams and ointments can help treat hemorrhoid symptoms.
Creams and ointments can help treat hemorrhoid symptoms.

One of the most effective forms of external hemorrhoid treatment involves using surgery to remove the problem area. Often, when hemorrhoids have developed to the stage in which they are externally located, surgery is one of the only ways in which complete treatment can be assured. Before undertaking hemorrhoid surgery, patients are typically examined in order to determine whether or not they are qualified candidates for the procedure.

An inflatable 'doughnut' can bring relief to someone with an external hemorrhoid.
An inflatable 'doughnut' can bring relief to someone with an external hemorrhoid.

A more common and less invasive form of external hemorrhoid treatment involves using varying temperatures to treat the condition. With this technique, patients are encouraged to fill a bathtub or large basin with water that is as hot as tolerable, and sit it in for at least 20 minutes. Heating the external hemorrhoids in this manner causes an increase in circulation. Once the patient removes himself or herself from the water, he or she should place an icepack that has been rolled in towel on the area. This can help to decrease inflammation and swelling. Repeating this process of heating and cooling the affected area has been found to be extremely effective method of external hemorrhoid treatment.

Certain creams, such as hydrocortisone creams, are also often prescribed as a form of external hemorrhoid treatment. These creams are typically effective not only in reducing irritation and swelling, but can also decrease the itching associated with hemorrhoids. However, patients using this form of external hemorrhoid treatment should be cautioned to avoid using it for an extended period of time. Studies have shown that over-use of these creams may actually make the symptoms of hemorrhoids worse when used for long periods.

Some medications, such as ibuprofen or naproxen may also help with the pain and inflammation associated with external hemorrohoids. They should be taken every four to six hours for best results. Patients who do not experience relief with these medications may require stronger, prescribed painkillers.

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