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External Hemorrhoids

Making a Diagnosis

In order to diagnose external hemorrhoids, your healthcare provider will begin by asking a number of questions (known as the medical history), followed by a physical exam. He or she may also recommend certain tests.
A thorough evaluation and proper hemorrhoids diagnosis by the healthcare provider is important any time bleeding from the rectum or blood in the stool occurs. Bleeding may also be a symptom of other digestive diseases, including colon cancer or rectal cancer.


In most cases, treatment for external hemorrhoids is focused on:
  • Relieving hemorrhoid symptoms
  • Relieving pressure by increasing fiber and fluids in the diet
  • Modifying bowel habits.
Specific treatment options may include:
  • Ice packs
  • Warm baths several times a day
  • Increased fluids and fiber in the diet
  • Stool softeners
  • Over-the-counter medicines to help with itching or inflammation.
Thrombosed external hemorrhoids can be extremely painful. Therefore, in these cases, pain medicines may also be prescribed.
For most people, symptoms improve after several days. Thrombosed external hemorrhoids may improve after five days. If necessary, surgery may be recommended to treat a thrombosed external hemorrhoid.
(Click Hemorrhoid Treatment for more information on how external hemorrhoids are treated.)

Preventing External Hemorrhoids

The best ways to prevent external hemorrhoids include:
  • Keeping stools soft so they pass easily, thus decreasing pressure and straining
  • Emptying bowels as soon as possible after the urge occurs.
Exercise, including walking, and increased fiber in the diet help reduce constipation and straining by producing stools that are softer and easier to pass.

Information on Hemorrhoids

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