Hemorrhoids are swollen, inflamed veins in your lower rectum and anus. Hemorrhoids may result from straining during bowel movements or from the increased pressure on these veins during pregnancy, among other causes. Hemorrhoids may be located inside the rectum or they may develop under the skin around the anus.
Hemorrhoid symptoms usually depend on the location. Internal hemorrhoids lie inside the rectum and usually don't cause discomfort. External hemorrhoids are under the skin around your anus. When irritated, external hemorrhoids can itch, bleed or cause severe pain.
Hemorrhoids are more likely to occur as you get older because the tissues that support the veins in your rectum and anus can weaken and stretch with aging. You should see a doctor if you experience bleeding during bowel movements. This is especially true since blood in your stool can signal more serious illnesses.
If your hemorrhoids produce only mild discomfort, over-the-counter creams, ointments, suppositories or pads may be effective. These products contain ingredients, such as witch hazel or hydrocortisone which can relieve the pain and itching temporarily. If you are experiencing significant discomfort, your physician has a number of treatment options available. Some may involve surgery.
Our Neighborhood Walk-In Clinic is:
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- In-network for most Washington insurers
- Open extended hours
- Equipped with X-Ray and Lab on-site
- Staffed by Doctors, Physician Assistants, and Nurse Practitioners