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Why do hemorrhoids itch?

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Quick Answer

Mayo Clinic explains that internal hemorrhoids do not usually cause any uncomfortable symptoms, but prolapsed, external hemorrhoids can become irritated by the passing of bowel movements, which can cause itching and discomfort. Additional symptoms of external hemorrhoids can include anal pain and painful anal lumps.

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Full Answer

External hemorrhoids itch or bleed when irritated. Mayo Clinic explains that it is sometimes possible for blood to collect in external hemorrhoids and form clots, which can cause even more swelling, inflammation and discomfort. The anus can become further irritated when there is excessive moisture in the anal area due to incontinence or diarrhea, and this moisture can cause an infection of the anus, notes MedicineNet. According to MedlinePlus, itching can be reduced by applying witch hazel to the area, avoiding toilet tissue with perfumes or colors, using baby wipes and trying not to scratch the area. Stool softeners can also be used to help reduce straining when passing stools.

According to Healthline, the specific cause for hemorrhoids is not completely understood, but the condition is believed to be linked to excessive straining when passing feces that causes the anal veins to become swollen. Constipation and pregnancy can also trigger hemorrhoid flare-ups. Hemorrhoids can be treated with suppositories to help minimize irritation and injections to decrease swelling.

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