External hemorrhoids:

What are external hemorrhoids?

Like internal hemorrhoids, external hemorrhoids are enlarged clumps of tissue containing blood vessels surrounded by muscle tissues and elastic fibers. External hemorrhoids form below the dentate line, or in the lower 1/3 of the anal canal.

Unlike internal hemorrhoids which are usually not painful, external hemroids can be very painful although not everyone experiences these symptoms. They may also become very itchy or even bleed. Because they can hang out of the anus they can be exposed to irritations like rubbing or cleaning which can make symptoms worse. So, be very careful when wiping or cleaning the area. You may also want to try a stizbath to clean the area because it's very gentle and won't tear or scratch the hemroid.

Sometimes they form a hard lump around the anus as a result of a blood clot. If this happens it is called a thrombosed external hemorrhoid. It usually appears as a bluish-purplish color and many people experience extreme pain.

Although they can look quite frightening, thrombosed hemroids are usually not serious and often go away in a couple of weeks. To get some relief from the pain and itching you could try applying ice, wrapped in a cloth or paper towel, to the area.

If you experience bleeding or pain you should consult your doctor right away because these symptoms can also be caused by colorectal cancer.