Hemorrhoid Or Pimple

Feeling a bump or lump around your anus? Itching, pain, and tenderness down there are also common. But is it a hemorrhoid or just an infected pimple? While both hemorrhoids and pimples cause similar symptoms, understanding the differences is key to getting proper treatment and relief.

Hemorrhoids are swollen veins located in the lowest part of the rectum and anus. Also known as piles, they often result from increased pressure in the veins of the anorectal area. The pressure causes the veins to bulge and expand, making them painful, especially when passing stool. There are two types of hemorrhoids, external and internal. External hemorrhoids occur under the skin around the anus while internal hemorrhoids develop in the anus or rectum itself. Symptoms include rectal itching, bleeding, and pain or discomfort, treatments are available to alleviate symptoms. Home remedies include sitz baths, over-the-counter ointments, pain relievers, and lifestyle changes to relieve constipation. In severe cases, procedures like sclerotherapy or surgery may be needed to treat hemorrhoids.

In this article, we’ll go over the distinguishing features between hemorrhoid or pimple in terms of causes, location, appearance, pain patterns, and more. We’ll also provide tips on how to examine yourself to determine which one you’re dealing with. Let’s clear up the confusion once and for all!

What Causes Hemorrhoid Or Pimple?

Hemorrhoids – Swollen veins inside the anus or just under the skin caused by consistent pressure and straining, constipation, pregnancy, obesity, genetics, and aging.

Here is a table outlining some of the main causes of hemorrhoids:

Cause Explanation
Constipation and straining Chronic constipation and straining to pass stools can increase pressure on the veins in the anorectal area, causing them to swell.
Diarrhea Frequent diarrhea episodes can also cause extra straining, irritating hemorrhoid veins.
Pregnancy Pressure from the uterus on pelvic blood vessels along with hormonal changes and constipation can lead to hemorrhoids.
Obesity Carrying excess weight increases pressure in the abdomen and pelvis, which can enlarge hemorrhoids.
Weight lifting Lifting heavy weights causes straining that can increase venous pressure and lead to hemorrhoids.
Loss of muscle tone Weakened muscles in the pelvis with aging cause extra straining during bowel movements.
Sitting for long periods Sedentary jobs or habits with prolonged sitting contribute to hemorrhoid issues.
Genetics Some inherited weaknesses in vein walls or connective tissue may predispose someone to hemorrhoids.
Low fiber diet Lack of fiber leads to constipation and extra straining with bowel movements.

Pimples – Infected hair follicles in the sensitive anal skin, often caused by clogged pores, sweating, friction, poor hygiene, blocked glands, or ingrown hairs.

Here is a table outlining some potential causes of anal pimples:

Cause Explanation
Ingrown hairs Ingrown hairs occur when hair starts to grow back into the skin rather than out of the follicle. This can cause bumps, irritation, and pimple-like lesions around the anus.
Clogged sweat glands Sweat glands around the anus can get clogged with dead skin cells, oil, and bacteria. This causes swollen bumps called hidradenitis suppurativa.
Friction Tight clothing, moisture, and friction in the anal area from sitting or exercise can lead to friction folliculitis, which appears as small, red bumps.
Bacteria/infections Bacterial infections like staph can infect hair follicles. Sexually transmitted infections like genital warts can also cause anal pimples.
Allergic reactions Allergic reactions to soap, clothing fabrics, or other toiletries used around the anus can manifest as itchy, red bumps.
Cysts/lesions Some skin conditions like pilonidal cysts or anal fistulas can develop enlarged cysts and lesions around the anus that may resemble infected pimples.

While the exact triggers differ, both hemorrhoids and anal pimples commonly result from increased pressure, irritation, blockages, and infection risk in the affected area.

How To Understand The Difference Between Pimples On Anal Or Hemorrhoids?

Here are some tips to distinguish between a pimple on the anus and hemorrhoids:

  • Location – A pimple will be located on the surface of the outer anal skin. Hemorrhoids develop internally in the anus canal or externally under the anus skin.
  • Appearance – A pimple often looks like a small, raised red bump or whitehead. Hemorrhoids look like bumps/masses protruding from the anus, sometimes dark purple.
  • Pain – Pimples are often tender but hemorrhoids frequently cause severe pain, especially during bowel movements.
  • Bleeding – Hemorrhoids often cause bleeding during bowel movements, turning the toilet water red. Pimples do not lead to bleeding.
  • Duration – Pimples are temporary and either drain or heal within a few days. Hemorrhoids are chronic if untreated.
  • Itching – External hemorrhoids can be very itchy. Pimples are not usually itchy.
  • Causes – Pimples result from clogged pores and bacteria. Hemorrhoids stem from increased pressure on anal veins.
  • Other symptoms – Hemorrhoids may cause discharge, swelling, and soiling. Pimples do not have additional symptoms.

Location, visual cues, pain, bleeding, longevity, and associated symptoms can help distinguish these two anal bumps requiring different treatments.

Types Of Hemorrhoids?

Here is a table outlining the types of hemorrhoids:

Type Description
Internal hemorrhoids Develop inside the rectum/anus. Not visible unless prolapsed. Often painless.
External hemorrhoids Develop under anal skin around the anus. Visible lumps. Can be painful.
Prolapsed hemorrhoids Internal hemorrhoids that bulge outside the anus. Can be painful.
Thrombosed hemorrhoids Hemorrhoid with blood clot inside. Very painful.
Grade 1 hemorrhoids Small swellings inside the anus. Not prolapsed.
Grade 2 hemorrhoids Larger hemorrhoids that prolapse with straining but retract on their own.
Grade 3 hemorrhoids Prolapsed hemorrhoids that must be manually pushed back in.
Grade 4 hemorrhoids Prolapsed and cannot be pushed back in.

Key Notes:

  • Internal hemorrhoids occur inside the anus. External hemorrhoids occur under the skin around the anus.
  • Prolapsed hemorrhoids bulge outside of the anus.
  • Thrombosed hemorrhoids contain blood clots and are very painful.
  • The grade indicates the size, location, and severity of hemorrhoids.

Sign And Symptoms Of Hemorrhoids Or Anal Pimples?

Here is a table comparing the signs and symptoms of hemorrhoids vs. anal pimples:

Sign/Symptom Hemorrhoids Anal Pimples
Location Inside or just outside the anus Around the outer anus and skin
Appearance Soft lumps that may bleed or protrude Firm, red bumps that may drain pus
Pain Mild to severe; may worsen during bowel movements Mild to moderate localized pain
Itching/Irritation Frequent itching is common May be slightly irritated
Bleeding Bright red blood, usually during bowel movements Not typically associated
Discharge No Pimples may drain pus if infected
Causes Straining during bowel movements, constipation, pregnancy, aging, genetics Folliculitis, STIs, cysts, clogged glands, friction, allergies
Duration Chronic, recurrent Varies depending on the underlying cause
Effects on Bowel Habits May obstruct defecation depending on size and location Usually does not affect defecation
Treatment Diet changes, OTC remedies, prescription medications, surgery Topical antibiotics, warm compresses, improved hygiene

Where Are They Located?

Location is a key way to distinguish anal bumps:

  • Hemorrhoids – Occur right inside the anus, at the anal opening, or under the skin around the outside of the anus. Originate from the hemorrhoidal veins.
  • Pimples – Develop in the skin glands and follicles immediately around the anus. Not directly on the opening or just inside it. In a ring around the outer anus.

Pimples only affect the superficial skin, while hemorrhoids come from deeper vascular structures that have bulged out abnormally. Where you feel the bump or pain localized can point to which one it may be.

Location Of Hemorrhoids
Location Of Hemorrhoids

Differences in Appearance and Sensation

You can also often distinguish hemorrhoids from pimples by how they look and feel:

  • Hemorrhoids – Soft, purple, or red lumps that may prolapse through the anus. Smooth texture. Feels like a sac of tissue. Tend to be painless unless they thrombose. Cause itching, moistness, and burning.
  • Pimples – Small red, white, or pus-filled bumps with a rougher feel from infected follicles. Often have a pointed head. Very painful and tender to touch. Cause sharper, more localized pain.

Of course, anal pimples can be internal where you cannot see them, so visual cues are not always reliable. However external bumps and textures provide clues to their identity. Always be gentle probing bumps to avoid rupture or infections.

Duration and Recurrence Patterns

Typical time courses provide more hints:

  • Hemorrhoids – Develop slowly over time. Can last for weeks or months at a time. Tend to recur periodically, especially with re-straining.
  • Pimples – Appear suddenly and are acute. Last days to a week or two before rupturing, draining, and healing. Don’t usually recur in the same spot.

Hemorrhoids represent ongoing vein issues that flair up and subside. Pimples are quick-forming isolated infections that then resolve. These patterns aid identification.

How To Treat Hemorrhoids?

The right treatment depends on hemorrhoid severity and symptoms. Lifestyle changes like increasing fiber and water intake are also important to prevent constipation and reduce straining.

Here are some of the main treatments for hemorrhoids:

  • Over-the-counter topical ointments – Ointments containing ingredients like witch hazel, hydrocortisone, or phenylephrine can relieve itching, swelling, and pain.
  • Sitz baths – Sitting in a few inches of warm water for 10-15 minutes 2-3 times per day can help soothe hemorrhoids.
  • Ice packs – Applying an ice pack wrapped in a cloth to the area can reduce swelling and discomfort.
  • Pain relievers – Over-the-counter medications like acetaminophen, ibuprofen, or naproxen can help relieve pain.
  • Fiber supplements – Over-the-counter fiber supplements like psyllium husk can soften stools and reduce straining.
  • Laxatives – Gentle over-the-counter laxatives like polyethylene glycol may be used short-term to ease constipation.
  • Hemorrhoid creams/suppositories – Prescription creams or suppositories containing hydrocortisone can reduce inflammation.
  • Minimally invasive procedures – Rubber band ligation, sclerotherapy, coagulation, and laser therapy may be used for internal hemorrhoids.
  • Surgery – Hemorrhoidectomy and stapled hemorrhoidectomy are surgical options for severe internal hemorrhoids that don’t respond to other treatments.
Hemorrhoids surgery
Hemorrhoids surgery

How To Treat Anal Pimple?

The right acne treatment depends on the severity, type of lesions, and an individual’s tolerance for certain medications. Multimodal plans are often needed for significant improvement.

Here is a table outlining some treatment options for anal pimples:

Treatment Method
Proper hygiene Gently cleanse the area daily using mild soap and water. Avoid aggressive scrubbing.
Warm compresses Apply a warm, wet washcloth to the area for 10-15 minutes 2-3 times a day to promote drainage and healing.
OTC topical treatments Use over-the-counter treatments containing ingredients like benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid. Avoid hydrocortisone creams unless advised by a doctor.
Sitz baths Sit in a few inches of warm water for 10-15 minutes to soothe irritation. You can add Epsom salts or oatmeal.
Loose, breathable clothing Wear loose, cotton underwear and avoid tight pants to prevent friction and sweating.
Laser hair removal For recurring ingrown hairs, laser hair removal can prevent regrowth in the follicles.
Antibiotics For infected pimples or underlying bacterial conditions, doctors may prescribe antibiotic pills or creams.
Lancing Sterile lancing by a doctor can drain severely swollen or painful pimples.
Surgery Drainage procedures, cyst removal, or laser surgery may be options for severe, recurring abscesses.

Do not try to pop or squeeze anal pimples, as this can worsen irritation and spread infection. See a doctor if symptoms persist despite home treatment.  While you should not self-treat without an examination.

How To Treat Hemorrhoids By Sclerotherapy Process

Sclerotherapy is one treatment option for hemorrhoids. Here is an overview of how sclerotherapy works to treat hemorrhoids:


  • No special preparation is needed.
  • You may be advised to avoid blood thinners for a period of time before the procedure.


  • Performed in the doctor’s office. No anesthesia is typically needed.
  • The doctor inserts a small needle into the base of the hemorrhoid.
  • A chemical solution (such as phenol in oil, quinine, or hypertonic saline) is slowly injected into the hemorrhoid tissue.
  • The solution causes scar tissue to form, which cuts off the blood supply to the hemorrhoid. The hemorrhoid eventually shrinks.


  • Studies show sclerotherapy has about a 70-80% long-term success rate for improving hemorrhoid symptoms.
  • The number of treatments needed varies by case, sometimes just one session.


  • Mild discomfort may occur after the injections.
  • Complications like pain, bleeding, infection, or tissue death are rare.
  • Regular activities can be resumed quickly in 1-2 days.


  • Additional treatments may be given every few weeks if hemorrhoids persist.

Sclerotherapy uses targeted chemical injections to deliberately cause internal scarring and block blood flow to shrink the hemorrhoids. Let me know if you need any more details on this hemorrhoid treatment!

When To Seek Emergency Medical Care For Hemorrhoids?

Here are some signs and symptoms indicating that emergency medical care should be sought for hemorrhoids:

  • Excessive rectal bleeding that soaks through clothing or dripping blood. This could be a sign of a ruptured hemorrhoid or other intestinal issue like an ulcer.
  • Lightheadedness, dizziness, or feeling faint due to blood loss. Hemorrhoid bleeding that is significant enough to cause you to feel unsteady warrants emergency care.
  • Extreme pain that comes on suddenly, is debilitating and does not improve with over-the-counter remedies. This may indicate a thrombosed hemorrhoid or other complication requiring urgent treatment.
  • Fevers over 101F (38.3C) are accompanied by rectal pain, as this could point to a perianal abscess or other infection requiring drainage.
  • Inability to have a bowel movement combined with vomiting and severe abdominal pain, which may be signs of a serious intestinal obstruction requiring emergency treatment.
  • Hemorrhoid prolapse that becomes swollen, trapped, and painfully twisted and cannot be manually reinserted. Strangulated internal hemorrhoids are serious.

In general, seek emergency hemorrhoid care for symptoms like sudden severe pain, substantial bleeding, fever, lightheadedness, inability to have a bowel movement, or obvious signs of complications. Otherwise, make a timely appointment with your doctor

When To See A Doctor For Anal Pimple?

Here are some guidelines on when to see a doctor for anal pimples:

  • If pimples are severe, very large, or very painful
  • If pimples persist for more than 1-2 weeks despite home treatment
  • If pimples continue to return frequently in the same area
  • If pimples are accompanied by other symptoms like bleeding, itching, odor, or discharge
  • If you have fever, chills, or other signs of infection
  • If you develop hardened, draining tunnels of tissue (indicates hidradenitis suppurativa)
  • If the area becomes increasingly swollen, warm, or red
  • If home treatments like warm compresses, OTC creams, and good hygiene don’t seem to help
  • If you have difficulty with bowel movements due to pain or swelling
  • If you experience anal or rectal bleeding
  • If you engage in anal sexual activity and suspect a sexually transmitted infection
  • If you have compromised immunity due to medication or conditions like HIV or diabetes

Seeing a doctor can help determine the underlying cause, provide appropriate treatment, and rule out serious conditions. A dermatologist, gastroenterologist, or infectious disease specialist may be consulted.

How Lifestyle Changes The Risk Of Hemorrhoids Or Anal Pimples?

Lifestyle changes can significantly impact one’s risk of developing hemorrhoids or anal pimples. Here is an overview:


  • Eating more fiber, drinking plenty of fluids, and avoiding straining help prevent constipation and hemorrhoids. Fiber softens the stool.
  • Avoiding spicy, fatty, processed foods may reduce irritation of existing hemorrhoids or pimples.


  • Improving anal hygiene through daily gentle cleansing and avoiding strong soaps or wiping vigorously helps prevent pimples caused by clogged pores and infection.
  • Wearing loose, breathable cotton underwear and clothing helps prevent excessive moisture and friction which can lead to folliculitis and pimples.

Bowel Habits:

  • Avoiding straining during bowel movements, using stool softeners if needed, and not delaying bowel urges help alleviate the pressure that causes hemorrhoids.
  • Managing diarrhea also helps prevent irritated hemorrhoids.


  • Getting regular exercise improves bowel motility and prevents constipation and hemorrhoids.
  • Avoiding prolonged sitting decreases pressure and swelling. Use cushions and take frequent breaks.

Other Preventive Steps:

  • Losing weight reduces pressure on hemorrhoidal vessels.
  • Quitting smoking prevents coughing/straining which can worsen hemorrhoids.
  • Managing predisposing conditions like pregnancy, obesity, and aging can reduce susceptibility.

Adopting a positive diet, hygiene, and activity modifications reduces risk factors leading to enlarged hemorrhoids and infected anal pimples. Consistency is key!

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you have a hemorrhoid and pimple at the same time?

Yes, it’s possible to develop a pimple on the skin around the anus coincidentally while also having separate hemorrhoid. The two are not directly related.

Why do some anal bumps never fully heal?

Recurrent hemorrhoids tend not to fully go away without treatment of the underlying vein swelling. Pimples can recur if the source of infection isn’t eliminated through proper hygiene.

Are hemorrhoids contagious? What about anal pimples?

No, hemorrhoids themselves cannot spread between people. However, infected pimples in the anal region resulting from bacteria, fungi, or sexually transmitted infections like genital warts can be contagious.

Can you pop an external hemorrhoid?

No, you should never try to pop a hemorrhoid like a pimple, as this can lead to further inflammation, bleeding, and other complications. See a doctor for hemorrhoid treatment instead.

Are pimples only an STD if they contain viruses?

No, bacterial and fungal anal pimples can also be spread through unprotected sex. Any pimples in the anal region could potentially have an infectious component. See a doctor for a proper diagnosis.

Last Words

While both hemorrhoids and anal pimples can feel like painful, embarrassing bumps, understanding the key differences between their causes, location, appearance, and ideal treatment can guide you in pinpointing which one you have and finding relief fast. If in doubt, don’t hesitate to seek medical advice. Stay knowledgeable and proactive in caring for your posterior!


My name is Selina, a medical specialist blogger helping people access treatment for 5+ years. Although blogging awhile, only recently deeply engaged. This past year my most productive, providing hospital reviews and info on symptoms, diagnoses and diseases. Also offer guidelines to help readers navigate healthcare. Goal to continue increased content pace to assist many. Aim to facilitate treatment and empower advocacy through writing.

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