Hemorrhoids occur when the varicose veins in the anal area get dilated and swollen. When these swollen veins occur on the outside of the rectal region rather than underneath the skin, then the hemorrhoid is considered external.
Sometimes these external hemorrhoids originate there, but more often than not, external hemorrhoids started out as internal hemorrhoids that were later forced into an external position due to pressure from within.
Some of the items that commonly cause external hemorrhoids are pregnancy, obesity, constipation, old age, weakened rectal skin, anal intercourse, a diet high in fat, a diet low in fiber, and strained bowel movements.
Unlike internal hemorrhoids- the counterpart to external hemorrhoids- these outer version of hemorrhoids are extremely painful and hard to treat.
Some of the symptoms commonly found accompanying external hemorrhoids are pain in the rectum, anal bleeding, mucous discharge from the anus, itching in the rectal region, tenderness to the touch, hard lumps near the sphincter opening, and enlarged rectal veins.
External hemorrhoids pictures will usually show enlarged veins that look like worms, or blood clots outside the sphincter that look like hard lumps of blue or red mass. Many pictures of external hemorrhoids make the problem look worse than it is, but that does not mean that the situation is not painful. The blood clots that work their way out of the rectum in cases of external piles have to be eased back into the rectal region.
Usually when a patient is presented with external hemorrhoids, one or more of the following hemorrhoids treatments is suggested:
Warm baths or hot pads
Wet wipes with medication
Hemorrhoid ointments- over the counter or prescription strength
Diet changes that lessen fat intake and increase fiber intake
Increased fluids and electrolytes
The most severe form of external hemorrhoids are thrombosed external hemorrhoids. Not only are thrombosed external hemorrhoids more serious than regular hemorrhoids, but they are also more painful and harder to treat.
However, the treatment for them will usually be the same to begin with. If the regular treatments do not show any dramatic changes, then more serious options may be considered such as surgery or prescription drug treatments.
In most cases, the above stated treatments show changes and improvement within a few days, and the external hemorrhoids work to reverse themselves without invasive medical treatments.
After treating external hemorrhoids, the next step is to go about preventing future external and thrombosed piles from occurring. This can be done by continuing the high fiber diet, and by taking stool softeners on a regular basis, and by not waiting to perform bowel movements when the urge to do so comes on.