Hemorrhoids are generally thought to be severely unpleasant and painful anal inflammations. The uncommon misconception is that not everyone has them; truth, we all have them. When the hemorrhoid cushions become extremely inflamed and too big, that’s when problems generally occur. When this does in fact happen they are known as piles (or pathological hemorrhoids).
Piles: hemorrhoids that become enlarged and/or inflamed. Generally painful and can cause other issues, such as bleeding.
- Hemorrhoids: clumps, clusters, masses, cushions of tissue in the anal canal that are full of elastic fibers, muscle, blood vessels and support tissue (swollen blood vessels in the anal region). Hemorrhoids are the swollen masses.
Often the terms piles and hemorrhoids are considered the same thing.
Anyone can get piles (or hemorrhoids) and roughly 50% of the population will experience a case of them at some time in their life. Abdominal pressure, caused by pregnancy, standing or sitting for long periods of times, vomiting, holding your breath while doing different types of physical labor, intense straining while going to the bathroom, and many other factors can all lead to abdominal pressure which can cause strain and swelling; the result being swollen veins and piles in the anal canal.
Generally speaking, not everyone’s condition will look the same. The overall appearance of piles are differentiated by type; there are internal, external, thrombosed and prolapsed. The type and location will also depict how one’s piles will appear. In most cases however, common similarities are that they all tend to look like bright red, purple, or even flesh colored bumps on the skin (anal region). They can become infected and open up which may cause oozing and bleeding.
If you suffer from pain when you go to the bathroom you should see your medical care provider as soon as possible for an examination and diagnosis.
Below are several photos showing the appearance of different cases of piles.
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