External hemorrhoids occur when the external hemorrhoid veins that surround the anus and rectum become inflamed and swollen. There are several risk factors that lead to an increased likelihood of getting external hemorrhoids. Knowing these factors, along with the symptoms of external hemorrhoids will help you spot the condition quickly and get treatment for it before it becomes to severe.
Any condition that causes an increase in pressure in the external hemorrhoidal veins is a risk factor in developing an external hemorrhoid. One of the most common factors is having to strain during a bowel movement. Chronic diarrhea and chronic constipation are also risk factors. Aging and pregnancy lead to an increase in external hemorrhoids. Another risk factor is anal sex. Obesity, cirrhosis, and a diet low in fiber but high in fat are more factors.
Not everyone who has an external hemorrhoid will have all of, or even any of the symptoms. External hemorrhoids, unlike internal hemorrhoids, are often painful. Bleeding is also common with external hemorrhoids. Anal itching and irritation, caused by secreted mucus, are two more common symptoms.
Occasionally, a blood clot will develop. This is called a thrombosed external hemorrhoid. One way to tell if you have a thrombosed external hemorrhoid is paina”they are typically more painful than regular ones. The color is another thing to look at. If the area seems darkly tinted just beneath the skin, such as black, blue, dark purple, or deep red, it is probably a thrombosed external hemorrhoid.
Treatment is required for external hemorrhoids or they may get worse. Lifestyle changes can prevent hemorrhoids from recurring.