Do Hemorrhoids Itch?
The short answer to this question is yes. Internal and external hemorrhoids can cause unbearable itching. However, not everyone who develops hemorrhoids will experience this symptom. Additionally, itching is more common in people with the external growths than the internal ones. People who experience this symptom often wonder why it occurs and why scratching doesn’t alleviate it.
Why Do Hemorrhoids Itch So Bad?
There are a couple of causes of itchy hemorrhoids. The biological reason is because of inflammation. When an area becomes inflamed, it tends to swell up and fill with fluid and white blood cells. The excess fluid and cells cause the body tissues to stretch which can make the area become irritated and itch.
External hemorrhoids may produce lumps around the anus. Depending on how large they are, the surround skin can rub against them increasing the irritation and itching. Large external hemorrhoids can also interfere with bowel movements. You may not be able to completely wipe away left over fecal matter because the hemorrhoids are too painful to touch. This, in turn, can lead to a mild infection or skin rash.
Internal hemorrhoids may rub against the surrounding mucus membranes causing additional mucus to be produced to alleviate the irritation. Not only can this cause internal itching, but the excess mucus can flow outside the body and dry on the skin which generally leads to more itching. Other things that can cause itching include wiping to hard or too frequently, eating spicy foods, allowing the area to remain moist, sitting or walking for a long time, and friction from clothing.
Hemorrhoid Itching Relief
People’s first reaction to itching is to scratch the offending area, but this can make things worse. Scratching actually traumatizes the skin causing more inflammation and irritation which then leads to more itching. Sometimes scratching can even cause the hemorrhoids to bleed. It’s a horrible cycle that is difficult to get out of without the assistance of oral or topical medications.
Relief from anal hemorrhoid itching can be achieved in several ways. The first way is to practice good hygiene. It’s important to keep the area clean. Bathe daily and be sure to get around the anus. Dry the area completely and wear clean underwear. Wear loose clothing to prevent itching-producing friction. To avoid the irritation that comes from wiping with toilet paper, use unscented baby wipes to clean up after bowel movements. Be gentle. You don’t want to aggravate the area even more.
If hemorrhoids continue to cause bothersome itching, use a topical over-the-counter medication to stop the problem. You want to be choosy about the medication you use though. Some over-the-counter remedies don’t work and others can actually make the itching worse. We sifted through a number of hemorrhoid remedies and filtered out the ones that failed to meet our stringent requirements. We found products that are made with natural ingredients alleviate hemorrhoid symptoms quickly. To learn more, read our reviews of the top hemorrhoid treatment products on the homepage.