Hemorrhoids are swollen veins in the lower part of the anus and rectum. When these veins become irritated, they can be itchy. A person can treat this itchiness using over-the-counter (OTC) creams and ointments.
Hemorrhoids are common and affect around
Itching is a common symptom of hemorrhoids.
In this article, we outline the causes of itchy hemorrhoids, explain other symptoms of hemorrhoids, and discuss treatment options.
Hemorrhoids are swollen and inflamed veins
The skin around the anus may also be irritated due to the swelling, which can cause an itching sensation.
Once these symptoms occur, a person may take steps to reduce symptoms and eliminate the feeling of itching and uncleanliness.
This can include vigorously wiping the area after bowel movements, sometimes with wipes containing alcohol and other chemicals or soaps. However, this can
If a hemorrhoid is prolapsed, where the swollen blood vessel has fallen through the anal opening, this can also cause a person
These treatment options can help relieve itching and may also help relieve pain and swelling.
Other ways to treat hemorrhoids generally include:
- eating foods that are high in fiber
- taking stool softeners
- taking fiber supplements
- drinking water and other nonalcoholic fluids each day
- avoiding straining during bowel movements
- avoiding sitting on the toilet for long periods of time
- taking OTC pain medication such as acetaminophen, ibuprofen, naproxen, or aspirin
- sitting in a tub of warm water several times a day to relieve pain
Hemorrhoid symptoms may vary depending on whether they are external (around the anus) or internal (within the lower rectum).
Symptoms of external hemorrhoids
- anal itching
- hard, tender lumps near the anus
- ache or pain in or around the anus, especially when sitting
The symptoms of external hemorrhoids can become worse if a person:
- strains too much when defecating
- rubs their hemorrhoids
- vigorously cleans around the anus
The symptoms of external hemorrhoids often go away on their own within a few days.
Learn more about external hemorrhoids here.
Symptoms of internal hemorrhoids include:
- bleeding from the rectum, which appears as bright red blood present on the stool, on toilet paper, or in the toilet bowl
- a prolapsed hemorrhoid, which has fallen through the anal opening
- pain if the hemorrhoid is prolapsed
- Yeast infections: A yeast infection is a
common fungal infectionof the genitals. In some cases, yeast infections can cause a person to experience an itchy anus.
- Anal fissures: These are
tearsin the lining of the anus. In some cases, anal fissures can cause a person to experience an itchy anus.
- Pinworm infections: Pinworm is a
common intestinal parasitethat most often affects children. An itchy anus is a possible symptom of a pinworm infection.
- Psoriasis: This is an autoimmune condition that
causesexcess cells to develop on the skin. In some cases, psoriasis can cause a person to experience an itchy anus.
- Eczema: This is an inflammatory skin condition that
causesdry, itchy skin that can weep clear fluid. An itchy anus may be a possible symptom of eczema if the condition affects the skin around the anus.
- Iron-deficiency anemia: This condition
occurswhen a person’s blood contains too few red blood cells due to a shortage of iron. Iron-deficiency anemia can cause a person to experience an itchy anus.
Healthcare professionals often recommend a person use OTC hemorrhoid products for
A person should also contact a healthcare professional if these treatments cause dry skin around the anus or a rash.
Here are some answers to common questions about itching and hemorrhoids.
How long do itchy hemorrhoids last?
In most cases, hemorrhoids go away on their own
If a person’s hemorrhoids swell, they may experience pain that can last
In some cases, hemorrhoids can persist, and a person may require further treatment.
Learn more about how long hemorrhoids last here.
Do hemorrhoids itch and bleed?
Itching and bleeding are both
These symptoms can become worse if a person:
- strains when defecating
- rubs their hemorrhoids
- excessively cleans around the anus or uses wipes containing chemicals
Is it OK to itch hemorrhoids?
If a person scratches their hemorrhoids to relieve the itch, it
This can cause inflammation to occur, which can further irritate nerve fibers in this area that have already been irritated by the hemorrhoids. This can cause the area to become itchier.
The “itch–scratch–itch” cycle can be difficult for a person to break, which may complicate treatment.
Hemorrhoids are swollen veins in the lower part of the anus and rectum. A common symptom of hemorrhoids is itchiness.
A person can treat this itchiness using OTC creams, ointments, and suppositories.
Other treatments for hemorrhoids include eating foods that are high in fiber or taking fiber supplements. A person can also take stool softeners to improve their hemorrhoid symptoms.
A healthcare professional may recommend that a person drinks more water or other nonalcoholic fluids each day to help improve their symptoms.