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What Do Hemorrhoids Look Like? Hemorrhoid Pictures, Photos and More!

Posted on 03 February 2018

Do you wonder what do hemorrhoids look like? Most hemorrhoids are detected by the symptoms they come with rather than their visible appearance. Itching, pain, bleeding, and burning are common symptoms that alert patients to the fact that they may have hemorrhoids.

While you should contact your hemorrhoid doctor or physician if you are concerned about your hemorrhoids, it is helpful to have an idea of what hemorrhoids look like.

This helps patients to avoid panic and clarify what they are dealing with when they experience rectal symptoms. This hemorrhoid treatment guide details everything you need to know about properly treating hemorrhoids.

Unsure what causes your hemorrhoids? Visit this guide to learn more.

Here is a Youtube Video that Shows What Hemorrhoids Look Like

What Do Internal Hemorrhoids Look Like?

Hemorrhoid tissue is a part of every individuals body makeup. Normal hemorrhoid tissue cannot be seen by the naked eye. It is when hemorrhoid tissue becomes inflamed that we can visibly notice hemorrhoids.

No matter what type of hemorrhoid you have, they are characterized as swollen veins in the lower part of the rectum or anus.

Hemorrhoids that become more irritated cause the veins to bulge. This results in the vision of hemorrhoids that you may already have in your head.

internal hemorrhoid photos

Internal hemorrhoids are a little different. Because there are no pain-sensing nerves where internal hemorrhoids are located, you often will not realize you have them. Internal hemorrhoids form in the same way external hemorrhoids do, but we cannot see them due to their location.

With internal hemorrhoids, the lining of the rectum becomes substantially enlarged. When an internal hemorrhoid becomes prolapsed, this will be the only type of internal hemorrhoid that is visible.

Internal hemorrhoids can get to the stage where they become prolapsed. Prolapsed hemorrhoids are internal hemorrhoids that become so big that they bulge outside of the opening of the anus.

When you have a prolapsed hemorrhoid, you will notice a moist bump that is pinker than the surrounding area. Prolapsed hemorrhoids usually go back on their own, but some can be gently pushed back into place.

Internal hemorrhoids are generally divided into one of four stages. The more serious the stage of the internal hemorrhoid is, the more likely it is to be seen. Stage one internal hemorrhoids are not seen externally.

Although they exhibit cause some hemorrhoid bleeding, they will not push out of the opening of the anus. Internal hemorrhoids at stage 2 begin to prolapse.

Although they might be seen on the outside of the opening of the anus, they generally retract back into the rectal cavity on their own. Stage 3 internal hemorrhoids have prolapsed externally and often require at-home or physician treatment.

The most serious internal hemorrhoids, stage 4, protrude out of the opening of the anus and are likely to become thrombosed.

Prolapses can often be the result of the combination of hemorrhoids and pregnancy, when there is a big increase in the pressure surrounding the veins in the anal canal.

Internal hemorrhoids are typically found in the right anterior, right posterior, and left lateral positions (1).

common position of internal hemorrhoids

What Do External Hemorrhoids Look Like?

Hemorrhoids, often referred to as piles, get their name from the Greek word “haimorrhoides.” This means veins that are liable to discharge blood. Do external hemorrhoids go away? Yes, often times they will go away in a few days and not require any medical treatment.

These products can be used to help reduce the symptoms of external hemorrhoids.

  1. Hemorrhoid Cream (2)
  2. Hemorrhoid Wipes
  3. Hemorrhoid Supplement
  4. Hemorrhoid Pillows

External hemorrhoids, unlike internal ones, are noticeable to the human eye. They are located underneath the skin that surrounds the anus. When external hemorrhoids swell, they can be visible. When an external hemorrhoid becomes swollen, it will prolapse to the outside of the anus and can then be seen or felt.

external and internal hemorrhoids

External hemorrhoids appear as clumps of dilated blood vessels outside the opening of the anus. When hemorrhoids swell, the veins enlarge, and their walls become stretched, causing the swollen bulges we see in external hemorrhoids.

External hemorrhoids appear in bunches as soft lumps. They are generally soft or squishy to touch and can range in size. Witch hazel is often used for external hemorrhoids.

External hemorrhoids can be as small as a pea and as large as a grape. There is a mucus covering on hemorrhoids that can become damaged during bowel movements. This is when bleeding external hemorrhoids occur.

External hemorrhoids that become thrombosed may appear different as explained in the next section. You may experience serious hemorrhoid pain with a thrombosis. Take a look at this guide to hemorrhoid itching and burning for information on how to get hemorrhoid relief.

Depending on the type of hemorrhoid treatment you undergo for your external hemorrhoid, they may have different appearances. There are several techniques used to destroy a hemorrhoid. A rubber band ligation involves placing a small band around the hemorrhoid to cut off its blood supply.

Sclerotherapy is another technique where a chemical is injected into the hemorrhoid, causing it to die and fall off. Both techniques will cause the hemorrhoid to turn blue in color as the blood supply dies.

Home remedies for hemorrhoids can make a big difference in the amount of pain you experience.

What Does a Thrombosed Hemorrhoid Look Like?

Thrombosed hemorrhoids are a form of external hemorrhoid that are visible. When external hemorrhoids become prolapsed, they form soft clumps around the outside of the opening of the anus. In some cases, external hemorrhoids could form a blood clot. These can be extremely painful and are called a thrombosis.

external thrombosed hemorrhoid photos

Thrombosed hemorrhoids can be frightening. They can form into a hard lump and can turn purple or blue. They may also bleed. Most thrombosed hemorrhoids appear as a lump on the edge of the opening of the anus and protrude out.

They appear in a dark bluish color because of the blood clot that is contained inside the swollen vessel. When thrombosed hemorrhoids are treated medically, a hemorrhoid surgery is typically involved. A healed thrombosed hemorrhoid may leave behind scarring or a tag of skin protruding from the anus.

What Does a Small Hemorrhoid Look Like?

Many small hemorrhoids go undetected. Internal hemorrhoids that are small are not visible. They may bleed during bowel movements, this being the only indication that you have hemorrhoids. External hemorrhoids that are small may still go undetected. They form as pillow-like, soft lumps around the opening of the anus. Usually, internal hemorrhoids that have not prolapsed exhibit little to no hemorrhoid pain.

It is common for a thrombosed hemorrhoid to burst and bleed. The clot will usually only bleed for about 10 seconds. 

They often go away on their own without treatment. It is not until an external hemorrhoid becomes increasingly prolapsed that they can be easily felt or seen. Small hemorrhoids have been compared to the size of a pea.

Can Hemorrhoids Look Like Warts?

In some cases, hemorrhoids may be confused for anal warts and vice versa. They are both lumps or masses of tissues around the anus. If you are concerned of whether you have anal warts or hemorrhoids, a hemorrhoid doctor or proctologist can perform a scan to determine the diagnosis.

Do Hemorrhoids Look Like Blisters?

Although it is not uncommon to confuse a hemorrhoid for a blister, there are noticeable differences. Blisters develop on the surface of the skin (3), while hemorrhoids originate from below the skin. They form noticeably different lumps.

Another way to tell the difference between a hemorrhoid and a blister is the size. While some hemorrhoids can be as small as a pea, most blisters do not get any larger than the size of a pea. Blisters have a thin membrane and are only located on the surface of the skin.

If it feels as though the lump has a mucus protective membrane and originates from deeper below the skin, chances are you are dealing with a hemorrhoid and not a blister.

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