It may not be the first thing that crosses your mind, but others have certainly tried it. The question is, can you actually pop a haemorrhoid? If you can, should you? And if you do pop it, what happens?
Let’s find out.
Can you pop a haemorrhoid?
Haemorrhoids, which are also known as piles, occur when veins in the rectum or anus become inflamed and swell, causing a great degree of discomfort for the sufferer. They can be itchy, painful, and can even bleed in some cases.
Internal haemorrhoids appear inside the rectum, while external haemorrhoids develop in the anus, just beneath the skin. They appear as swollen lumps, either individually or clumped together. When an internal haemorrhoid prolapses, it pushes out of the rectum into the anus. And in more extreme cases, a haemorrhoid can become thrombosed when a blood clot forms inside it.
External haemorrhoids, as well as prolapsed haemorrhoids and thrombosed external haemorrhoids, can feel to the sufferer like a pimple or spot, and many people try popping them in a similar fashion. It is possible to pop a haemorrhoid, and it can help release a build-up of blood.
It may not be the best idea, however.
Should I pop a haemorrhoid?
To begin with, haemorrhoids aren’t exactly positioned in a way that’s conducive for popping. Unless someone else pops it for you, you’re likely to have a lot of trouble popping a haemorrhoid yourself. It’s also very easy to injure the region around the haemorrhoid as the tissue in your anus is delicate, and exposing an open wound in an area that’s chock-full of bacteria can lead to infection occurring. It can also make a future diagnosis for more serious conditions (like cancer) more problematic.
And on top of all that, actually popping a haemorrhoid can result in a great deal of pain, during and after it’s actually been popped. They’re not spots or pimples, after all.
“People think they can pop a haemorrhoid the same way they do with a pimple. However, they are ignoring an important fact here.
“A bulging haemorrhoid is different in nature of that of a pimple. A pimple is located on the skin, and when popped it won’t cause any infection or scaring. With haemorrhoids things are much different. A haemorrhoid is a swollen rectal vein, which means it doesn’t stand alone by itself the same way the pimple does, but it is the end of rectal vein.
So when you squeeze or pop a pimple, pus will emerge, which isn’t pleasant. But when you do the same with a haemorrhoid, you’ll have to deal with a lot more than pus squirting everywhere.
I’ve already popped my haemorrhoid…
You may have already gone ahead and popped your haemorrhoid, in which case you’re likely to now be experiencing quite a bit of pain. It’s important that, if you have popped your haemorrhoid, you see your doctor as soon as possible to ensure that no infection occurs. Your doctor will also be able to assess just how bad the haemorrhoid is and steer you in the right direction in regard to treatment.
However, if you can’t get to a medical professional quickly, look out for signs of infection around the haemorrhoid area, including: heat or redness, pus or discharge of fluid; swelling and inflammation, fatigue; fever; more pain than before when sitting down. Any of these symptoms could be a sign that you have an infection.
What are my options if I don’t want to pop my haemorrhoid?
No matter how itchy, painful or swollen your haemorrhoid becomes, you should always avoid squeezing or popping it – you may get some mild relief for a short time, but the long-term problems you’ll incur just won’t be worth it.
Instead of popping, try one of these approaches:
Use a cold compress. Wrap up an ice pack in a towel and hold it against your anus to help bring down the swelling. You can alternate this with a warm compress for added comfort. Always make sure you wrap the pack in a towel to stop it sticking to your skin and causing even more damage.
Use a sitz bath. Do this by soaking your anal region in some warm water, with optional Epsom salts added. You can buy a sitz bath from the local pharmacy.
Stay active. Avoid sitting for too long during the day, and limit your time on the toilet considerably. Don’t strain too much during a bowel movement either, as this can cause further irritation. Enjoy some light exercise but avoid any heavy lifting.
Stay clean. Use moist wipes to clean your anus after a bowel movement – toilet paper can be rough, and the abrasion can cause further irritation. Avoid any product that is perfumed with a fragrance as this can cause a bad reaction.
Try something from the pharmacy. You can purchase over-the-counter creams and ointments from your local pharmacy that can help ease your discomfort from haemorrhoids and curb your desire to pop them.
There’s also plenty you can do in terms of your everyday routine to both avoid getting haemorrhoids and help speed your recovery from them.
One of the primary causes of haemorrhoids is constipation – excessive strain placed on the rectal and anal regions causes vessels to swell and become inflamed, creating haemorrhoids. You can help ensure that your stool doesn’t become so hard that it’s difficult to pass by consuming plenty of fibre like fresh fruit and vegetables, as well as whole grains. You should also stay hydrated by drinking enough water during the day and lowering your caffeine intake.
If a dietary change doesn’t work, you can get stool softeners from the pharmacy or online. You should also stay active and try to maintain your usual routine as far as that’s possible with haemorrhoids. If none of this helps, there are plenty of non-surgical and surgical options, including the new Rafaelo Procedure.
To conclude – yes, haemorrhoids can be popped. Should you pop them? That’s up to you, but be prepared to deal with a lot of pain and probably a lot of rectal bleeding if you do.