Is It Possible To Pop Hemorrhoids?

Hemorrhoids or piles are enlarged veins in your anus or rectum. They can be internal or external. Hemorrhoids are common in men and women, affecting about 1 in 20 Americans.¹

Without treatment, hemorrhoids could cause complications like blood clots, skin tags, and infection. Although they may improve on their own after a few days, some hemorrhoids require medication and surgery.

Moreover, hemorrhoids can cause pain and itchiness, so you may want to pop them to relieve the pain and make them disappear. But can you squeeze hemorrhoids just like you’d pop a pimple? Let’s find out.

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What are hemorrhoids?

Hemorrhoids are swollen veins around the lower rectum or anus. They usually feel like tiny lumps in or around the anus. 

Internal hemorrhoids form in the lining of your anus and lower rectum, and they are not visible from the outside. External hemorrhoids develop in the skin overlying your anus, and you can see them from the outside.

Hemorrhoids occur when there is too much pressure on veins around your anus. This pressure may come from various causes, including:

  • Frequently lifting heavy objects

  • Straining during bowel movements

  • Chronic constipation or diarrhea

  • Sitting on the toilet for extended periods

  • Aging and pregnancy, which weaken the supporting tissues in your rectum and anus

How do you know you have hemorrhoids?

The symptoms of hemorrhoids vary depending on the type you have. Your healthcare provider can differentiate between internal and external hemorrhoids based on your symptoms.

For internal hemorrhoids, you may experience the following symptoms:

  • Bleeding from your rectum

  • A prolapse, which is when a hemorrhoid falls through your anal opening

Internal hemorrhoids may not be painful. However, they can be painful if they prolapse. 

Symptoms of external hemorrhoids include:

  • Tender lumps near your anus that you may be able to see or feel

  • Anal itching

  • Anal pain, especially when sitting

These symptoms go away on their own after a few days. However, you may worsen the symptoms of external hemorrhoids if you strain, rub, or clean the area too much.

Can you pop hemorrhoids?

Hemorrhoids may trigger an itchy feeling in or around your anus. This is usually uncomfortable, especially when sitting. 

You might be wondering whether popping their hemorrhoids could relieve this discomfort.

While you can pop hemorrhoids to free blood from the swollen veins, doctors don’t recommend it. 

Therefore, you should avoid popping hemorrhoids—you'll know why by the end of this article.

What happens when you pop a hemorrhoid?

A hemorrhoid differs from a clogged pore as it results from swollen veins, which are thin-walled blood vessels that carry blood back to the heart. This means you won’t get the same results if you pop a hemorrhoid.

Popping a hemorrhoid means putting pressure on the bulging blood vessel, which creates an open wound. You're actually popping the end of a vein, which typically causes bleeding.

Why you shouldn't pop a hemorrhoid

First, popping hemorrhoids causes bleeding as you’re popping a vein. The bleeding can be severe and sometimes difficult to stop. 

Second, it's difficult to see whether your hemorrhoids are internal or external. So, you may not know what you're doing when attempting to pop one. As a result, you may accidentally injure the delicate tissue around your anus.

Not every skin lesion in or around your anus is a hemorrhoid. Therefore, you might cause more harm to your body when trying to pop your hemorrhoids. Your anal area is exposed to lots of bacteria from the skin and bowel movements. Popping a hemorrhoid leaves an open wound vulnerable to infection. 

This may lead to an abscess forming, which is a painful collection of pus and bacteria. An abscess may require surgical treatment to drain and clean. Also, the wound is an easy path for bacteria to enter your bloodstream. This can cause infection to other body parts and potentially life-threatening sepsis.

Popping your hemorrhoids is an extremely painful experience from start to finish. Due to the conditions around the anal area, it might take more time before the wound heals. 

What to do if you’ve already popped a hemorrhoid

If you have already popped your hemorrhoid, minimizing the risk of infection is important. The first step is to see your healthcare provider for evaluation. This can feel embarrassing, but doctors don’t judge, and you’d be reducing the risk of a dangerous infection. 

The doctor will examine your anal area to determine whether you've injured other essential tissues and ensure no further complications. 

Here are some signs of infection:

  • Swelling or inflammation

  • Pus or discharge

  • Heat or redness

  • Increased pain, especially when sitting

  • Fevers, sweating, and shakes

If you experience these symptoms after popping your hemorrhoids, visit your doctor as soon as possible for a proper diagnosis and treatment.

Hemorrhoids can sometimes open by themselves. It’s best not to pick or scratch the hemorrhoid, even when it pops by itself. Instead, apply gentle pressure to help stop the bleeding. If the bleeding is intense, seek medical care.

What should you do with your hemorrhoids instead?

If your hemorrhoids are causing pain and discomfort, don't attempt to pop them. Instead, try various home remedies to relieve the pain and discomfort. 

For starters, gently clean the area and minimize inflammation. Then do the following:

  • Take a sitz bath: Soak your anal area in a few inches of warm water. Add some Epsom salt to the water for extra relief.

  • Use a cold pack: Place a cold pack in a soft cloth or towel and sit on it. This will calm the area and reduce inflammation. Limiting your use of cold packs to around 20 minutes at a time is essential.

  • Moist wipe: Avoid using toilet paper when you have external hemorrhoids, as it can be rough and irritating. Use a moist towelette instead.

  • Don't strain or sit on the toilet for too long: You don't want to put too much pressure on your hemorrhoids.

Tips for managing hemorrhoids

Living with hemorrhoids can be challenging. However, you can do a few things to minimize pain and discomfort and aid speedy recovery.

First, drink more water to stay hydrated and prevent constipation. Eating more fiber-rich foods, including vegetables and whole grains, can avoid constipation and irregular stools. 

You can also lessen constipation by staying active.

If you have severe hemorrhoids, visit your doctor for treatment. Some treatments for hemorrhoids include:

  • Rubber band ligation

  • Bipolar, laser, or infrared coagulation

  • Sclerotherapy

  • Electrocoagulation

The lowdown

Hemorrhoids can be itchy, painful, and uncomfortable, especially those that form on the skin around the anus. This is why some people may be tempted to pop them for relief. While you can pop hemorrhoids, it's not safe or recommended. 

When you pop a hemorrhoid, you'll experience extreme pain and bleeding because you're popping a vein. Moreover, the wounded area is exposed to the risk of bacteria and infections. It’s better to use home remedies and speak to your doctor if they don’t ease your discomfort.


Will popping hemorrhoids relieve pain?

No. It may actually cause more pain and discomfort. So if you have hemorrhoids, it's best to try other home remedies like soaking in a sitz bath.

What should I do If I've already popped a hemorrhoid?

If the wound is bleeding and you're in extreme pain, seek medical help.

  1. Definition & facts of hemorrhoids | NIH: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases

Other sources:

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