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When the hemorrhoidal swelling on the rectum or the anus can be seen with the naked eye, the condition is referred to as external hemorrhoids. The causes of external hemorrhoids are the same as internal hemorrhoids, the only difference being the fact that the external variety is located a bit on the outer side, hence the name.
The common causes of hemorrhoids include straining to pass bowel and thus injuring the veins in the rectum (because of this people who have constipation often tend to suffer more from hemorrhoids than those who do not), sitting or standing in one position for many hours, and weak rectal valves or veins. However there are also a few differences between internal and external hemorrhoids. While the internal type can cause a lot of problems, the condition does not still lead to any other medical complication. The same cannot be said about external hemorrhoids, since they sometimes lead to a condition that is known as thrombosed hemorrhoids. This happens when the size of the swelling becomes exceptionally large and this leads to severe pain that may last for a while. Thrombosed hemorrhoids also often cause severe bleeding and frequently cause a lot of irritation and itching.
So watch out for these conditions and immediately seek medical treatment. Though a larger section of the senior population suffers from hemorrhoids, but many do not seek treatment, some of them are even unaware that it is hemorrhoid that is causing the symptoms. When the condition becomes complicated, it is essential to seek treatment.
The main noticeable difference between the two is that internal hemorrhoids are not visible to the naked eye while the external type is. As mentioned above, the symptoms are largely the same – it still causes pain, it may bleed, and it still itches. Mucus may also come out in both varieties. There is also often the perpetual feeling that stool might need to be passed, though this is not the case.
External hemorrhoids are in a way perhaps better than internal hemorrhoids, since here at least the person can see the reason for the symptoms and decide to seek medical help. The percentage of people seeking medical help is usually higher in cases of external hemorrhoids than internal.
Sometimes external hemorrhoids are more painful than internal as the skin around the anus is very sensitive. External hemorrhoids also at times create clots within the anus (this too happens more in those who suffer from constipation or diarrhea) and this too enhances the pain. Sometimes the vein may crack under intense strain, this is another reason why there is often so much pain associated with external hemorrhoids.
Go to our H-Hemorrhoids page