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What Do Hemorrhoids Look Like? | Internal | External

Updated on June 1, 2013

What Do Hemorrhoids Look Like?

What do hemorrhoids look like? Are they internal or external?

Can you use the same treatment method for each type?

Let's take a look at all of these issues to better understand what hemorrhoids look like both internal and external and what types of treatment methods will treat both.

First we will discuss what internal hemorrhoids look like and some of the signs and symptoms most commonly experienced with them.

They are a little more difficult to determine but it can be done as long as you know what to look for.

They usually occur above the pectinate or sometimes referred to as the dentate line in the anal canal, which is the line that divides the upper 2/3 and lower 1/3 of the anal canal.

They are usually covered by a mucous membrane layer.

The indications of internal hemorrhoids show once the rectal lining and connective skin come to be loosened and stressed along with the vascular system becoming swollen or enlarged.

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Internal Hemorrhoids

Determining the severity of the hemorrhoids will help decide on the best treatment method. One of the main factors in determing the extent of the hemorrhoids depends on how far they have descended into the anal canal. Here are different stages of internal hemorrhoids that are used to determine their severity.

  • Stage One- At this point the hemorrhoids are enlarged, however they do not prolapse and almost never generate symptomatology. This stage of internal hemorrhoids are not visible during an external check-up but will require an examination using a proctoscope.
  • Stage Two- In this stage they actually prolapse during a bowel movement however they go back to their original position in an instant. Much like the first stage this too can't be visualized in the course of an external exam but will also need the use of a proctoscope.
  • Stage Three- As opposed to the first two stages of internal hemorrhoids, you will experience prolapse with just about every bowel movement as well as with actual physical exertion. Some hemorrhoid flare-ups will need to be returned back to their point of origin by manual placement.
  • Stage Four- At this stage the hemorrhoids are permanently prolapsed regardless of efforts to position them to their original position. All four stages present a chance for thrombosis, extreme discomfort and pain as well as bleeding.

Internal Hemorrhoids Symptoms

Here are a couple of symptoms you can look for to help in determining if you have internal hemorrhoids and should start a treatment method.

One of the first and most common symptoms you may notice is tinges of blood on the toilet paper or toilet seat after a bowel movement. Another common symptom is incomplete bowel movements leaving you feeling bloated and uncomfortable.

Internal hemorrhoids often protrude outside of the anal canal which leads to discomfort and pain. You may also notice extreme itching which leads to further irritation.

External Hemorrhoids

External hemorrhoids are much easier to diagnose but there are still signs and symptoms to look for. They are usually swollen or inflamed sections of tissue and veins around the anal area. They can be extremely innervated and hypersensitive and can be vulnerable to thrombosis. They develop throughout the external area of the anus.

External hemorrhoids can be very painful as well as embarrassing. External hemorrhoids are basically irritating protrusions, which can make personal hygiene very difficult. They also often develop a clot inside of them after a period of diarrhea or constipation. If this happens, it normally creates a firm, but painful lump of swollen tissue around the rim of the anal area.

External Hemorrhoids Symptoms

  • External hemorrhoids symptoms may be noticed when you have excessive straining during a bowel movement and it becomes painful or uncomfortable.
  • You may also notice the small grape-like clusters when cleaning around the anal area. They often cause a mucus like drainage and this can result in irritation and extreme itching.
  • The hard lump around the anal area mentioned above is a result of a blood clot forming and this condition is referred to as a thrombosed external hemorrhoid.
  • Just as with internal hemorrhoids, you may also notice slight bleeding on the toilet paper or seat.

Hemorrhoids Treatment Methods

There are several hemorrhoids treatment methods ranging from something as simple as a sitz-bath to surgery. Once you have determined whether you have internal or external hemorrhoids, you can choose one of the following treatment methods:

  • Sitz Bath- a small tub that is specially designed to allow the soaking of hemorrhoids without taking a bath. The sitz bath soaks the rectal area in hot water for approximately 15-20 minutes, about 3-4 times a day. This will help relieve symptoms as well as aid in the shrinkage of the hemorrhoids.
  • Surgery- Surgical removal of hemorrhoids is really a last resort used only in extreme cases.
  • Over the counter ointments- These can be purchased without a prescription and will help relieve swelling and discomfort. They do sometimes have ingredients that may be irritating to some.
  • Venapro- An all natural home remedy that will treat both internal and external hemorrhoids. This is a great alternative to over the counter medicines. It does not require a prescription but does come with a guarantee. Click here to find out more about Venapro all natural treatment for hemorrhoids.

Regardless of the treatment method you choose, the first step is learning what do hemorrhoids look like.

Share Your Hemorrhoids Treatment Methods

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    • Kimberly Vaughn profile image

      Kimberly Vaughn 

      7 years ago from Midwest

      Very interesting! I have been lucky not to have hemorrhoids yet but I have wondered what they were. Thanks for sharing!

    • MyMastiffPuppies profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago

      It is more common than people want to admit sometimes. It is just one of the things that can be embarrassing and being able to find valuable information from the privacy of your home, I felt was important.

    • dinkan53 profile image


      8 years ago from India

      Hemorrhoids are very common in peoples and you explained it in an understandable way with diagrams and video support. Welldone. Rated up and useful.

    • rutley profile image


      8 years ago from South Jersey

      My brother just had this operation. It's extremely embarrasing but its necessary for a comfort level if you've suffered with these.

      He's only 40.

    • MyMastiffPuppies profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago

      Yes it can be a very uncomfortable subject to talk about yet it is very common. Thanks for the support!

    • profile image

      rorshak sobchak 

      9 years ago

      Nice write up. You covered an uncomfortable subject quite well. Keep up the great work.


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