If you frequently get hemorrhoids, you're not alone. However, even if you get hemorrhoids often, you might not be familiar with the two types: internal and external. Still, it's important to know the difference between external and internal hemorrhoids because they require different types of treatment. These are some of the major differences you should know.
What Are External Hemorrhoids?
External hemorrhoids occur outside of the anus. They can be painful and itchy, especially after a bowel movement. They often look like lumps or bumps and may also cause bleeding.
How to Treat External Hemorrhoids
Treating external hemorrhoids typically involves lifestyle changes, such as eating more fiber and drinking more water to make stools softer, taking warm baths to reduce swelling, and avoiding straining during bowel movements.
Additionally, your doctor may recommend a topical cream or ointment to reduce pain and itching. Surgery may also be necessary for severe cases of external hemorrhoids.
What Are Internal Hemorrhoids?
Internal hemorrhoids occur inside the rectum. They're usually not visible and don't cause pain or itching. In some cases, they may prolapse, which means that they protrude from the rectum and can be seen outside of the anus.
How to Treat Internal Hemorrhoids
Treatment for internal hemorrhoids, like external hemorrhoids, will involve lifestyle changes. Eating more fiber, drinking more water, and taking warm baths can all help reduce swelling. Patients also need to learn how to avoid straining while they use the bathroom. For instance, avoid sitting on the toilet for long periods of time.
Your doctor may also prescribe a stool softener or recommend an over-the-counter laxative to make stools easier to pass. In some cases, your doctor may recommend surgery for internal hemorrhoids.
Both Types of Hemorrhoids Can Be Painful
No matter if you suffer from internal or external hemorrhoids, they can both be quite uncomfortable and even painful. They can cause bleeding and can make going to the bathroom quite painful.
In fact, you can feel pain from hemorrhoids even when you aren't on the toilet. They can cause aching, burning, or itching around the anal area when you're sitting or standing.
Talk to Your Doctor About Hemorrhoids
It's important to talk to your doctor about your hemorrhoids because they can help you determine the type of hemorrhoid you have and recommend the most effective treatment for your case.
Be sure to mention any lifestyle changes you've already tried and discuss the possibility of surgery if necessary. Contact your doctor to learn more about hemorrhoid clinical care.
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