Should you pop a hemorrhoid?
Hemorrhoids are swollen veins in the rectum or anus. Internal hemorrhoids form inside the rectum and are usually painless, but they may still bleed. External hemorrhoids develop around the anus and tend to be more painful. They can cause itching and bleeding, and they often make bowel movements uncomfortable.
External hemorrhoids sometimes lead to a bubble or bulge forming around the anus. It is important to remember that hemorrhoids are blood vessels and that popping them will create an open wound. Taking this action will not treat the underlying cause, but it may make the problem worse.
It can be harmful to pop a hemorrhoid.
Attempts to pop a hemorrhoid put pressure on the bulging blood vessel. With enough pressure, the blood vessel opens to create an open wound, which typically causes bleeding.
If the blood vessel is large, the bleeding can be severe and difficult to stop.
sometimes prolapse, which means that the swollen part of the blood vessel falls out of the anus and becomes visible. Prolapses can cause massive bleeding that may be life threatening.
People who have bleeding disorders or are taking anticlotting drugs have a higher risk of excessive bleeding.
As a popped hemorrhoid is an open wound, it creates an easy pathway for bacteria to enter the bloodstream and cause an infection. This risk is high because stools are full of bacteria.
Infected hemorrhoids are very painful. In some cases, the infection will spread to other body parts, potentially becoming very serious.
Popping a hemorrhoid causes bleeding. However, hemorrhoids can sometimes also open on their own. Having constipation and straining during a bowel movement can increase this risk.
If this happens, a person can lie down and place pillows under the hemorrhoid to elevate it above the heart. They should avoid picking or scratching the hemorrhoid, applying gentle pressure to it instead to slow the bleeding. The bleeding should stop within a few minutes.
It is important to seek immediate medical attention if the following symptoms occur:
- very heavy bleeding
- bleeding that lasts longer than a few minutes
- severe pain
It is best to treat a popped hemorrhoid in the same way as any other open wound, keeping the area as clean as possible. People can use hemorrhoid wipes or witch hazel to clean the wound after each bowel movement. Placing a bandage or gauze over the area to protect it may help ease the pain.
It is important to see a doctor if there are any signs of infection, such as:
Popping the hemorrhoid does not address the underlying cause. The bulging vein is likely to reappear without proper treatment.