Need relief for painful, itching hemorrhoids? Better yet, how would you like
to prevent flare-ups in the first place?
About 10 million Americans suffer from hemorrhoids, which are swollen veins
in the rectum or around the anus. They can be internal or external.
External hemorrhoids more commonly cause symptoms of pain and itching when
irritated. Internal hemorrhoids generally are painless but can cause bleeding.
"They can cause bright red rectal bleeding, but if you have bleeding, don't
Moderate rectal pain lasts longer than 1 week
after home treatment.
Pain or swelling is
Tissue from inside the body bulges from the anus and does
not return to normal after 3 to 7 days of home treatment.
inside the anus becomes bigger or more painful.
If rectal bleeding becomes heavy or changes color (such as
from bright red to dark red), or if stools change color (from brown to maroon
or black), be sure to see your doctor.
If you are younger than age 50 and sometimes
have minimal rectal bleeding (bright red blood seen mainly on toilet paper)
from hemorrhoids, you may try home treatment for a week or two if you are
reasonably certain that the bleeding is caused by one of the following:
Straining to pass stools
injury to the anus
See the Home Treatment section of this topic for more
In most cases, bleeding caused by hemorrhoids should
stop after 2 to 3 days. Continue home treatment to prevent bleeding from
starting again. Call your doctor if bleeding:
Occurs for more than 1 week without
Occurs when there is no
reason to expect it.
If you are older than age 50 or have a family history of
colon cancer, it is a good idea to tell your doctor any time
you have new rectal bleeding, notice blood on your stools, have changes in
bowel habits, or have anal pain. These symptoms may be signs of colon cancer or
other conditions. Your doctor may recommend screening tests to see
if you have a more serious problem. See the Exams and Tests section of this
Who To See
The following professionals can evaluate and treat