Hemorrhoids, also called piles, are vascular structures in the anal canal. In their normal state, they are cushions that help with stoolcontrol. They become a disease when swollen or inflamed; the unqualified term “hemorrhoid” is often used to refer to the disease. The signs and symptoms of hemorrhoids depend on the type present. Internal hemorrhoids often result in painless, bright red rectal bleeding when defecating.
External hemorrhoids often result in pain and swelling in the area of the anus. If bleeding occurs it is usually darker. Symptoms frequently get better after a few days. A skin tag may remain after the healing of an external hemorrhoid.