Why Do Hemorrhoids Itch? Causes, Nighttime Itching, and Care

Jun 02, 2024 | 2 min read

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Hemorrhoids can cause significant itching, often due to irritation from mucus, stool, or moisture. This itching can be particularly bothersome at night. Learning how to manage and reduce this itching can improve overall comfort and quality of life.

Why do hemorrhoids itch?

Hemorrhoids are swollen veins in the lower rectum or anus. According to a study from NCBI, approximately 75% of American citizens will experience hemorrhoids at some point in their lives, making it a common issue. 

They can cause discomfort, bleeding, and itching.

The itching is often due to irritation from mucus discharge, stool, or moisture around the anus. This moisture can cause the skin to become irritated and inflamed, leading to itching.

Additionally, when hemorrhoids protrude from the anus, they can cause more irritation and itching. The itchiness can disrupt daily activities and become quite bothersome, impacting your quality of life.

Why do hemorrhoids itch at night?

When lying down, the increased blood flow to the hemorrhoids can cause them to swell and itch more. Moreover, hemorrhoids tend to itch more at night because you are less distracted by daily activities

Additionally, the warmth of your bed can increase the itchiness.

Lack of movement at night also means less circulation in the affected area, which can worsen the sensation.

To manage nighttime itching, maintain good hygiene and consider using a cool compress before bed.

Do hemorrhoids itch when they are healing?

Yes, hemorrhoids can itch when they are healing. As the tissues repair themselves, new skin cells grow, which can cause an itchy sensation. This is a common part of the healing process for many skin conditions.

The itching may be more noticeable because the area is sensitive.

To alleviate itching during healing, keep the area clean and dry, and avoid scratching. Using soft, unscented wipes or warm baths can help soothe the area and reduce itching.

How to Manage Itchy Hemorrhoids?

Managing itchy hemorrhoids involves a combination of lifestyle changes, home remedies, and over-the-counter treatments. Here are some detailed tips to help you reduce itching and discomfort:

  • Maintain good hygiene: Keeping the area clean and dry is crucial. Gently wash the affected area with mild soap and water after each bowel movement. Pat the area dry with a soft towel or use a hairdryer on a cool setting.
  • Use gentle products: Opt for unscented wipes or soft toilet paper to avoid further irritation. Avoid using scented or colored products, which can exacerbate the irritation.
  • Take warm baths: Soaking in a warm bath for 10-15 minutes can help soothe the affected area and reduce swelling. Adding Epsom salts to the bath can provide additional relief.
  • Avoid prolonged sitting or standing: Reduce pressure on the hemorrhoids by not sitting or standing for long periods. If you need to sit for extended periods, use a cushion or a donut-shaped pillow to alleviate pressure.
  • Eat a high-fiber diet: Incorporating more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes into your diet helps prevent constipation and makes bowel movements easier. This reduces strain during defecation, which can worsen hemorrhoids.
  • Stay hydrated: Drink plenty of water throughout the day to support digestion and prevent constipation. Aim for at least 8 glasses of water daily.
  • Exercise regularly: Engaging in regular physical activity can improve bowel function and reduce symptoms. Activities like walking, swimming, and yoga are beneficial.
  • Consider over-the-counter treatments: There are various creams, ointments, and suppositories available that can help reduce itching and discomfort. Look for products that contain soothing ingredients like witch hazel, aloe vera, or hydrocortisone. Always follow the instructions on the packaging and consult a healthcare professional if needed.
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