Choosing the best cures for external hemorrhoids depends on the extent of the symptoms. Symptoms of external hemorrhoids can range from bothersome to intrusive. Typically, external hemorrhoids create a lump in the anal or rectal area and can cause itching, burning, and sometimes bleeding. Hemorrhoid treatment can range from topical ointments to surgical intervention.
Typically, minor symptoms respond well to hemorrhoid ointments. These ointments generally contain an anti-inflammatory component that shrinks inflamed tissue and reduces irritation. The active ingredient in many of these ointments is hydrocortisone. In addition to relieving inflammation and irritation, hydrocortisone is also very effective in reducing the itch of inflamed tissue.
Constipation can worsen external hemorrhoids because constipation can lead to straining during a bowel movement. A diet that is rich in fiber can help promote regularity and bulk up bowel movements, relieving constipation and straining. If adding fiber to the diet is ineffective, over-the-counter fiber supplements or stool softeners might be effective cures for external hemorrhoids, by alleviating constipation and allowing healing.
Antiseptic wipes can also be an important hemorrhoid remedy because not only do they clean the anal and rectal area effectively, they also contain antiseptic properties that hasten healing. Although antiseptic wipes generally are not considered cures for external hemorrhoids, they can greatly relieve symptoms and reduce inflammation.
One of the simplest and perhaps one of the most effective cures for external hemorrhoids is an old-fashioned warm bath. The warm water soothes irritated tissues and helps to remove bacteria, which can aggravate the condition. A warm bath should be taken after each bowel movement, and the rectal area should be cleaned thoroughly, but gently. Stool can be extremely irritating to rectal tissue, and since baths can cleanse away excess stool, they be one of the most important cures for external hemorrhoids.
Surgery to remove hemorrhoids is known as a hemorrhoidectomy. This procedure is the most invasive of cures for external hemorrhoids, and sometimes requires a general anesthetic. Another procedure that requires the skill of an experienced doctor is one where a type of rubber band is used to restrict blood supply to the hemorrhoids, causing them to shrink away. Both procedures have a high success rate and can be done on an outpatient basis.
Although there are quite a few cures for external hemorrhoids, the condition can become chronic. Because of this, lifestyle changes should be employed to make sure that the hemorrhoids don't come back. These changes include drinking plenty of water, eating fiber-rich foods, and getting moderate exercise, as this encourages optimal bowel function. When hemorrhoids are resistant to home remedies, a physician should be consulted for further evaluation.