Why do hemorrhoids itch?

Why do hemorrhoids itch?

Hemorrhoids are nothing but swollen rectal veins. They can be external or internal. Bleeding, pain while defecation and a sensation of something coming out of the anus are the chief symptoms. They are commonly seen in middle aged adults. Some people also experience an additional symptom of anal itching along with haemorrhoids. People with external haemorrhoids experience this more commonly than internal ones. There are multiple reasons behind the itching that is improbable to scratch.

Hemorrhoids tend to be inflamed. This makes them red and swollen. The accumulation of white blood cells due to inflammation in these veins makes them burn and become sore. Certain white blood cells present at the site of inflammation release substances like histamines which make the area itchy. This has been noted particularly in case of external hemorrhoids.

One of the reasons why external haemorrhoids itch is that, due to the pain and soreness, it is often difficult to wipe off fecal matter completely after defecation. When this happens repeatedly, the decaying fecal matter leads to an infection, commonly a fungal infection and rash which makes the anus itch. The instinctive reaction to an itch is to scratch it. When it’s an infective rash, scratching is most likely to worsen the rash and lead to more inflammation. More the inflammation, more the itching.

Another reason, why haemorrhoids itch annoyingly, is that, internal haemorrhoids tend to irritate the surrounding mucus membrane. As a direct protective response to this irritation, the mucus membranes produce mucus for lubrication. This mucus escapes out of the anal canal and adheres around the anal opening. When this mucus dries outside, it leads to itching. Keeping the anal opening clean and debris-free is important to avoid such conditions. This can be done by cleaning the area often with plain water. Using too much soap/products to keep the area clean will cause the area to be stripped off its natural oils; which might worsen itching. So it’s best to stick to plain lukewarm water.

Obtaining relief for itching is simple and can be achieved with a few simple steps. Keep the area clean as far as possible. Stay natural and avoid using too many artificial cleansing agents etc. Take adequate treatment to keep the haemorrhoids themselves under control. Use a mild moisturizer for local relief from itching. Using natural vegetable oils like coconut oil is beneficial in reliving itching while restoring the natural oils. While taking care of all these it’s also necessary to keep haemorrhoids themselves under control. Having plenty of water and a high fibre diet are essential. This will prevent constipation and the swollen veins will get time to ease out as constipation and straining during defecation tend to enlarge the haemorrhoids.

Summary:

Hemorrhoids are enlarged rectal veins that may remain within the anal canal or protrude and prolapsed outside. Bleeding, pain while defecation, sensation of something coming out and itching are the chief symptoms of haemorrhoids. Causes for anal itching are inflammation, infection of left over fecal matter, skin rash and dried up mucus.

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