What Do Hemorrhoids Look Like: Types and More

Written by Resurchify | Updated on: February 16, 2023

What Do Hemorrhoids Look Like: Types and More

Let us learn what are hemorrhoids, their types, symptoms, causes and ways to treat them.

Hemorrhoids are known to be swollen, enlarged veins that form inside and outside the anus and rectum. They might be painful and uncomfortable, which might lead to rectal bleeding. Hemorrhoids are also known as piles. If you analyze, you would find that everyone is born with hemorrhoids, but it is at the baseline, which does not bother us. It is only when they become swollen and bigger, irritating symptoms start to occur. Hemorrhoids are usually seen as a common symptom, especially among people who are in the age group of 45 to 75 years. And most hemorrhoid symptoms, which include slight itching or mild pain, can be treated normally at home with over-the-counter remedies.

Symptoms of Hemorrhoids

  • Bleeding is known to be the most common symptom of hemorrhoids. Most people with internal hemorrhoids notice a stain of bright red blood on the toilet paper and sometimes blood in the feces. You need to understand that you need to get checked up by a doctor because bleeding from the bowel can be caused by other factors too. This may include bowel cancer.
  • Painless bleeding sometimes occurs during bowel movement and is the most general symptom. Discomfort, itching, or pain might occur in the anal area. A sensitive or painful lump might occur near the anus. Stools that appear maroon or tarry in color are known to be a sign of bleeding.

Causes of Hemorrhoids

Now you would find that Hemorrhoids develop slowly with time. Small blood vessels and veins known to be found in and around the rectum and anus carry deoxygenated blood back to the heart. If this return blood flow gets hindered, then these tiny blood vessels and veins can swell with blood and eventually grow fat and rough. There are various causes of hemorrhoids. The main causes of hemorrhoids include:

  • Excessive straining occurring on the toilet seat because of constipation
  • Hereditary conditions
  • Excessive physical labor.
  • Sitting on hard surfaces for long periods might also lead to the development of hemorrhoids.

There are three different types of hemorrhoids. Those include:

Internal Hemorrhoids

They are swollen veins known to be found inside the rectum. The rectum is known to be part of the digestive system that helps in connecting the colon, that is, the large intestine to the anus. Internal hemorrhoids may bleed, but they aren't that much pain.

Prolapsed Hemorrhoids

Known to be a more dangerous and painful form of internal hemorrhoids. These veins' role is that it pushes through the anus and hangs out of the body, which means both internal as well as external hemorrhoids can prolapse, meaning they stretch and bulge outside of the anus, particularly after going to the toilet. Sometimes, the anal sphincter, known as the ring of muscle fills the veins that hang out permanently. These hemorrhoids may sometimes bleed or, at times, cause pain.

External Hemorrhoids

They are swollen veins similar to the small hemorrhages which are found underneath the skin around the anus. It feels like hard lumps. Your anus is the passage through which your poop comes out. External hemorrhoids are known to be itchy as well as painful. Sometimes, you would find those bleeding. This might result in pain and swelling.

Now there are some simple ways for getting rid of your hemorrhoids:

  • It is better to increase your water intake. Constipation or hard stool is known to be the most general cause of hemorrhoids.
  • In common, most people can benefit from more fiber.
  • Standardize your toilet habits.
  • It is appropriate to soak your anus in warm salt water. And go for sitz baths.
  • Opt for physical activities.
  • Many a time, hemorrhoids might disappear on their own within a few days, including prolapsed hemorrhoids.
  • Though your hemorrhoids might reverse back inside on their own or with a little help from you, prolapsed hemorrhoids worsen over time. If left untreated, your internal prolapsed hemorrhoid might get trapped outside the anus and lead to significant irritation, itching, bleeding as well as severe pain.
  • When people get stressed, they usually tighten their sphincter muscles and create pressure on the rectum. This pressure might lead to hemorrhoid flare-ups. What's more, stress can lead to improper food choices and, therefore, cause constipation. Chronic constipation causes pressure in the anal and rectal areas, which leads to hemorrhoids.
  • These steps help in preventing hard stools and constipation that might lead to hemorrhoids: It is better not to sit too long or keep pushing too hard on the toilet. Go to the toilet when you feel the need to — avoid delaying bowel movements. Keep drinking plenty of water throughout the day to maintain proper health.
  • No quick treatment has been found that can treat hemorrhoids within 48 hours, but hemorrhoidectomy is known to be the most effective treatment option available.
  • Grade I hemorrhoids bleed but do not crash; on colonoscopy, they are seen as tiny bulges into the lumen. Grade II hemorrhoids subside outside the anal canal but reduce spontaneously. Grade III hemorrhoids stick outside the anal canal and normally require manual reduction.
  • You need to keep some points in mind before eating plant foods. It is very necessary to keep the skins on when they are thin, like on apples, pears, plums, and also on potatoes. That is where the insoluble fiber exists and also compounds such as flavonoids which help in controlling hemorrhoid bleeding.
  • Topical treatments can be done through prescription products such as Haemorrhoid creams, stronger steroid creams, nifedipine, and suppositories containing hydrocortisone can be applied, and nitroglycerin can be used for treating hemorrhoids. Surgery might be required if your hemorrhoids tend to be more severe. It is better to talk to your healthcare professional if you experience bleeding or have symptoms that last for more than seven days. Pads can be used that contain numbing agents or witch hazel.
  • Suppose a blood clot accumulates inside the hemorrhoids. In that case, it might lead to thrombosed, which would eventually burst after the internal pressure increases (which might occur during the excessive straining from either constipation or diarrhea).
  • When you have had persistent discomfort, pain, or itching for a week, it's time to talk to a doctor. While some symptoms of hemorrhoids remove on their own, others don't and so can be treated by a doctor. In this way, you don't need to live with the daily symptoms. Bacteria can occur into hemorrhoids that are bleeding and infect the tissue. If left untreated, then these infections can sometimes lead to serious complications, such as tissue death, abscesses, and fever.
  • Warm baths can help in soothing irritation from hemorrhoids. It is better to keep your anal area soaked in warm water for 10 to 15 minutes twice per day Or else you can use a sitz bath which is known to be a small plastic tub that fits properly over a toilet seat so that you can just immerse the affected area — or take a bath in a tub if you feel so. It is better to opt for a warm bath or a sitz bath 20 minutes after each bowel movement. 

However, you must understand here that Hemorrhoids do not lead to cancer. The basic notion for many people that they may be suffering from hemorrhoids may be blood in the stool, on toilet paper, or in the toilet bowl after the bowel movement. It is very much possible to treat piles or hemorrhoids without the requirement of any surgery. And so, before you head out to check the alternative options for treatment, you need to grasp the condition precisely. The treatment of the condition depends on the stage it is at present.

So before everything else, you need to understand that you have piles in the first place. Because of the characteristic of the condition, piles at times gets confused with other conditions such as anal fistula as well as anal fissures. It is recommended to receive an expert medical opinion on your particular condition.

After getting examined by the doctor, the diagnosis gets confirmed first through examination and then through history. Thereafter, the doctor would also try to understand why piles were developed. Surgery isn't that necessary for all piles.

The most common reason for piles is that it occurs because of a diet with low fiber content and also because of insufficient intake of water or fluids. If you try to absorb foods with low fiber content, for instance, rice, then, it leads to straining and also results in hard stools. The anal canal wall might be damaged by straining, which can cause the blood vessels to balloon.

Lifestyle Changes Can Also Be Done For Treating Piles.

Factors such as body weight and diet might also play a role in increasing the risk of developing piles. This condition can be treated by maintaining a healthy body mass and having rich fiber foods. Most probably, your doctor would recommend certain lifestyle changes that might help you manage piles.

Body Mass Index

The severity of piles can be reduced by losing weight.


There is a positive change that piles might occur because of the straining taking place during bowel movements. Too much straining usually results from constipation. Transforming your diet allows you in maintaining the regularity and softness of the stools. For that, you require to include a high-fiber diet, such as including a good amount of veggies and fruits. Particularly, you must try consuming more whole-grain foods such as brown bread. If you have piles, your doctor might ask you to drink more water. Avoiding caffeine is also that much necessary.

Apart from these, it is also recommended to avoid straining while passing stool and also during exercising. Working out can be quite helpful for conditions such as piles.

Home Remedies

Certain home treatments allow you to relieve the mild pain, inflammation, and swelling of piles. Those include:-

  • These foods help in increasing the bulk of the stool and softening it. This helps to avoid straining, which would worsen the symptoms of piles that are at present. It is better to include fiber in your diet gradually to avoid gas-related issues.
  • Pain relievers: To temporarily relieve the discomfort, Aspirin, Acetaminophen or Ibuprofen can be used.
  • Sit on a donut cushion. Donut-shaped cushions, sometimes also known as tailbone cushions help in reducing the pressure on your tailbone while sitting. Cushions like these help in removing anal pain as well as discomfort, especially for those patients who need to spend an ample amount of their time or most of their work schedule consists in sitting and doing the work.
  • Restrict your duration in the toilet. Straining on the toilet seat for too long might lead to an increase in pressure in the veins in your anus and rectum, which can lead to the formation of hemorrhoids. An advisable tip would be not to stay on the toilet longer than you require to—it is better to keep your phone out of the bathroom and also out of touch with any magazines or books which you tend to keep nearby.

The above treatments would help you get rid of the pile's symptoms within a week. If you still aren't getting any relief, then it would be better to visit your doctor.

What Do Hemorrhoids Look Like 

Here you would find that Grade I hemorrhoids bleed but they do not prolapse; on colonoscopy, they are seen to be small bulges into the lumen. On the other hand, Grade II hemorrhoids prolapse outside the anal canal but they can be reduced instantly. And Grade III hemorrhoids protrude outside the anal canal and require intensive manual reduction.

Prolapsed hemorrhoids look similar to swollen red lumps or bumps coming out of your anus. You might be able to see them if you utilize a mirror for examining the particular portion. Prolapsed hemorrhoids might possess no other symptom other than the protrusion, or they may lead to pain or discomfort, itchiness as well as burning.

Even though most people detect hemorrhoids by a feeling of itching, burning, or pain, sometimes it is good to know exactly what you are dealing with. Hemorrhoid experts provide you with all the details you require, such as the visual details of what hemorrhoids look like, to allow you to understand whether what you are experiencing is, in reality, hemorrhoids or not.

What Internal and External Hemorrhoids Look Like?

Now External hemorrhoids can be considered as any of the following:

  • Known to be as soft lumps that are found to be occurring in bunches around the anus.
  • A firm, hard, red lump known to be extending from the outside of the anal area.
  • You would also find mucus-covered bumps.
  • Bumps that lead to the outpour of blood when cleaned with toilet paper.
  • If any such external hemorrhoids are to be found, then, you need to understand that you probably possess internal hemorrhoids as well. But internal hemorrhoids, you just might not see or feel them in the same way. Internal hemorrhoids fall into one of the four categories based on the extension as well as on the degree of prolapse. For this reason, it is known as the tissue coming out from the inside of the anus.

If you analyze carefully, you would find that small hemorrhoids tend to go away on their own within a few days. Bigger hemorrhoids, especially, the ones that cause a severe amount of pain, swelling, as well as itchiness, can't go away on their own and might require proper treatment from a doctor to get healed faster. Pregnant patients might find that hemorrhoids only go away after they give birth.

But you also need to note here that hemorrhoids can occur again after they have been treated. A gastroenterologist can put forward some solutions if you find that you are hugely struggling with hemorrhoids that don't tend to go away or keep coming back.

If you are, however, experiencing any kind of rectal bleeding. That is if the hemorrhoids are causing any kind of pain or discomfort and if the problems continue to exist despite using over-the-counter hemorrhoid creams or other remedies or if you are passing stools that possess maroon in color or tarry in color, then, it is known to be a sign of bleeding.

Even though the annoyance of hemorrhoids might be a reason sufficient to call your doctor, you can utilize this checklist to be aware of when a visit is required :

  • If the hemorrhoids are creating any kind of pain or discomfort
  • If the problems continue despite trying over-the-counter hemorrhoid creams or other remedies
  • If you are passing stools that appear to be maroon in color or tarry in color, then, it is known to be a sign of bleeding.





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