The Difference Between a Haemorrhoid and Skin Tag

Hemorrhoids and anal skin tags are common conditions that can sometimes be confused as one another because of their appearance. However, they are two completely different conditions that require different treatment. That is why it is important to know the difference between them.


Hemorrhoids, also known as piles, are swollen veins that occur inside or outside of the rectum or anus. They sometimes present with no symptoms, but it isn’t uncommon for them to become painful, itchy, or cause rectal bleeding. There are several causes of hemorrhoids, including sitting for extended periods, being overweight, or excessively straining on the toilet. Pregnancy is another common cause of hemorrhoids.

Anal Skin Tags

An anal skin tag is a small lump or bit of excess skin on the outside of the anus that are sometimes confused with external hemorrhoids. Unlike hemorrhoids, skin tags don’t cause functional problems or bleeding, but they can become mildly uncomfortable. Skin tags can occur after anal fissures and hemorrhoids heal. They can also be the result of excessive friction from skin rubbing together.

Hemorrhoid Treatment

Your hemorrhoids will most likely go away on their own, but you can treat them at home if they become painful or cause other symptoms. The most common way to treat hemorrhoids is with over-the-counter topical ointments that are applied directly to the affected area. These ointments will reduce any pain or itchiness and can even shrink the size of the hemorrhoid. You can also try soaking in a warm bath or taking paracetamol to reduce the symptoms.

Very rarely, if hemorrhoids don’t heal, medical treatment from a GP or surgeon may be required.

There are many ways to prevent hemorrhoids including:

  • Drinking plenty of fluids and eating fibre rich foods to prevent constipation
  • Not straining when going to the toilet or wiping too hard afterward
  • Keeping your anus clean and dry
  • Limiting alcohol and caffeine intake
  • Maintaining a healthy weight

If you are experiencing painful or uncomfortable hemorrhoids, don’t continue to suffer. You can treat them quickly and effectively with hemorrhoids medications like Proctosedyl Ointment and Scheriproct that are available online in the UK from Pharmacy Planet.