Q:

Why do hemorrhoids make you itch?

A:

Quick Answer

Anal itching generally occurs when there is some type of inflammation in the anal area, and MedicineNet names hemorrhoids as one of the problems that can cause inflammation that leads to anal itching. Scratching the inflammation can increase the intensity of the itch.

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Full Answer

MedlinePlus defines hemorrhoids as swollen cushions of tissue that contain many arteries and veins, and they develop in the anus or in the lower part of the rectum. The symptoms a person with hemorrhoids experiences depends on their location. According to Mayo Clinic, hemorrhoids located inside of the rectum generally do not cause discomfort; however, straining during bowel movements can push internal hemorrhoids through the opening of the anus, and these external hemorrhoids can cause pain and irritation.

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.

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